Cast, Creative Team, and Staff Playlist: Preludes

In honor of our current production, Preludes, the show’s cast and artistic team along with the Lyric Stage staff compiled a Spotify playlist of songs that remind us of the show. Here are some of our favorites:

“Let Down” by Radiohead

Transport, motorways and tramlines
Starting and then stopping
Taking off and landing
The emptiest of feelings
Disappointed people
Clinging on to bottles
And when it comes it’s so, so disappointing

“If falling through space had a soundtrack I feel like this would be it. It is a little disorienting and a lot melancholy. I imagine hypnosis or entering a deep meditative state to be like falling through space.” – Aimee Doherty, Dahl

“Let Down”s structure features multi-layered arpeggiated guitars and electric piano along with unconventional time signatures. Main vocalist and songwriter for the group, Thom Yorke, was inspired to write the song while sitting in a pub. Yorke observed customers “clinging on to bottles” and saw the “emptiness of feelings” through them. The song parallels the feelings of Rach throughout Preludes, as he navigates through the motions of writer’s block, and the experiences of empty feelings.


“Content” by Bo Burnham

Getting up, sitting down, going back to work
Might not help, but still, it couldn’t hurt
I’m sitting down, writing jokes, singing silly songs
I’m sorry I was gone
But look, I made you some content
Daddy made you your favorite, open wide
Here comes the content
It’s a beautiful day to stay inside

“Both [Burnham and Preludes’ interpretation of Rachmaninoff] find themselves yearning to break out of several years of creative blockage. Both find themselves split between their personal life and a performed persona.” – Josh Telepman, u/s Chaliapin
Bo Burnham: Inside is a 2021 special created, written, directed, filmed, and performed by comedian Bo Burnham. It features a variety of songs and sketches about Burnham’s day-to-day life indoors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the song “Content,” Burnham addresses the audience’s demand for content, though they are unaware of Burnham’s personal struggles and well being. Both Burnham and Rach face what it is like to be stuck inside, and ask themselves whose opinion is most important to them.


“Getting Older” by Billie Eilish

I’m gettin’ older, I think I’m agin’ well
I wish someone had told me I’d be doin’ this by myself
There’s reasons that I’m thankful, there’s a lot I’m grateful for
But it’s different when a stranger’s always waitin’ at your door
Which is ironic ’cause the strangers seem to want me more
Than anyone before (Anyone before)

“This song captures the pressures of living up to the expectations of early fame, the struggle for authenticity under pressure from fans, the fight to maintain mental health, and the fear of losing passion.” – Allison Beauregard, u/s Natalya/Dahl

“Getting Older” is the opening track to Billie Eilish’s 2021 album Happier Than Ever. In this track and throughout the album, Eilish covers a variety of sensitive subjects, personal revelations, and past trauma. Billie Eilish found massive success at a young age, much like how Rachmaninoff rose to fame at 19 with the prelude, and both of them share similarities regarding the pressure of living in fame, finding reasons to create, and the struggle for maintaining strong passion in what they do.

“Vespers, Op. 37: VI. Bògòroditse Devo” by Sergei Rachmaninoff

“It spoke to me so much about the show as it is a part of one of Rachmaninov’s favorite pieces that he composed and was my first experience with Rachmaninov, performing it with my mentor.” – Dan Prior, Rach

“Bògòroditse Devo” serves as Movement 6 in a composition from the Vespers, which is mentioned in the show. The piece is Rachmaninoff’s version of “Ave Maria,” and it is one of Rachmaninoff’s favorite pieces that he has composed. Dan Prior (Rach) adds that “the musical interpretation and specifically its place in my life not only introduced me to all his pieces, but his emotional composition and depth resonated with his expression of his life and experiences and path towards his ultimate wish for musical redemption.”

“Look Who’s Inside Again” by Bo Burnham

Trying to be funny and stuck in a room
There isn’t much more to say about it
Can one be funny when stuck in a room?
Being in, trying to get something out of it

“Burnham and Malloy also share a certain affinity for blending of musical genres, as well as electronic loops and witty lyricisms.” – Josh Telepman, u/s Chaliapin

In “Look Who’s Inside Again” from Bo Burnham: Inside, Burnham discusses how funny he can or can’t be when confined to one room with no audience or anyone to help him with production and filming. Josh Telepman (u/s Chaliapin) adds that “Burnham muses on the parallel between being ‘stuck inside,’ both mentally and physically, due to anxiety and depression, as well as the COVID pandemic.”

“Zu Asche, Zu Staub” by Severija (from Babylon Berlin)

To Ash, to Dust
Return we must
But not just yet
Miracles are ours to get

“It’s dark, sexy, and mysterious. I picture a person running away from or toward something scary when I hear this song.” – Aimee Doherty, Dahl

Babylon Berlin is a German neo-noir television series that is set during the latter years of the Weimar Republic. The show follows Gereon Rath, a police inspector on assignment from Cologne, and Charlotte Ritter who aspires to become a police inspector. The track evokes high adrenaline, and as Aimee Doherty mentions, depicts a scene of a person running away or towards something scary, which can mirror some of Rach’s emotions as he explores feelings of fear and uncertainty in his writer’s block.