Don, Can you please introduce yourself, tell us who you are, what is your
am Don Dorsey, living in Anaheim, California (a very short distance from
Disneyland). I have my own entertainment consulting
company and have done audio production, show design and software design
work for Disney parks since 1975. In 1977 I became the
Music Director for the Main Street Electrical Parade and wrote and
performed the special arrangements of Jean Jacqueís Baroque Hoedown for
have you discovered Jean Jacques Perreyís Music ?
15 years old when I heard both Walter Carlos and the early Perry-Kingsley
recordings at about the same time. I became intrigued
by the versatility of the synthesizer as both a musical and sonic device.
Also, there was a quality to the sound that had a different kind of
energy that I found very addictive. It continued to be
a curiosity of mine until the summer of 1971, when I was able to borrow
some money to purchase a MiniMoog of my own. I made it
my goal to learn how to make all those sounds myself!
his music influenced your life ?
played guitar, piano and drums for several years and had done quite a bit
of multi-layered recording at home by feeding one channel back into
another. I was a fan of the Beatles and was very
familiar with the stories of the Beatles and George Martin playing tapes
backwards and cutting them up in pieces and putting them back together,
but I had never any reason to do that myself. When I
heard what Jean Jacques did in making the edits into musical ideas of
rhythm and texture, I began exploring that too. I
became very good with the razor blade and did lots of my own looping and
recording. I did not yet recognize that these skills
would prepare me so well for my lifeís adventure.
have worked on the creation of the Main Street Electrical Parade, can you
explain how and why you have chosen Baroque Hoedown ?
not involved with the first Electrical Parade except as a spectator.
Baroque Hoedown was chosen by Jack Wagner (the Producer of the
parade) and arranged by Jim Christensen (the original Music Director).
Paul Beaver (of Beaver & Krause) was the synth programmer for
the first parade tracks recorded in 1972. It was 1973
when I first saw the parade at Disneyland ñ and I was struck with awe at
the lights and the sound. At that moment I knew that I
wanted to combine my skills in music and production with the presentation
of light and sound events to make some kind of career. I
did not know the parade was built on a Jean Jacques piece until two years
later when I started working for Disney in 1975. The
Electrical Parade was not presented in 1975-1976, but when I learned it
was going to come back in 1977, I invented a new opening sequence and made
new arrangements which were approved. I had achieved my
have created an opening and a closing of the parade, some additions of
Baroque Hoedown, how did you work to keep the same style ?
were able to obtain a stereo master of Baroque Hoedown from Vanguard
Records ñ it was really more of a 2-channel mix and most of the rhythm
was on one channel and most of the melody and overdubs were on the other.
By using only the rhythm channel as the foundation for the parade,
it was easy to add new melodies and sounds on top. It
is the amazing texture of this rhythm channel ñ the harpsichord, drums,
and synthesizer (and, I suppose, some amount of analog sonic artifacts!)
that give the parade its unique sound quality. It glues
all the different arrangements together in spite of their thematic
differences. By adding a strong baseline and melody,
the harmonic form is defined, even if the rhythm chordsare doing something
else! To create the opening and closing, I spliced up
different chords from the rhythm track and edited them into the new bars
of foundation that I needed. I thought, ìthis is how
Jean Jacques would do it!î And then, all I needed to
do was add melodies on top and it matched perfectly with the original
is a remixed version of Baroque Hoedown, used for Tokyo Disney Electrical
Parade Dreamlights. Who have had the idea of recreate this parade after
Fantillusion, and why was Baroque Hoedown kept for this parade ?
after Fantillusion replaced the Electrical Parade in Tokyo, Baroque
Hoedown remained very popular in Japan. As we have seen
at all the Disney parks, the Electrical Parade has become somewhat of a
tradition ñ a Disney Character in its own way. Baroque
Hoedown is the real personality; no other tune can do what it has done.
No matter what the parade evolves to look like, the tune is the
charm and wit that defines it forever. The magic is in
the melody. Fantillusion tried to incorporate some
musical similarities, but it did not reach the heart in the same way.
When a new Electrical Parade came back to Tokyo, it had to be the
same character ñ it had to be Baroque Hoedown, even though it had become
a more ìgrown upî character. My good friend Greg
Smith took the best parts of the original parade and created wonderful new
musical adventures to go along with them.
have you meet Jean Jacques for the first time ? Can you describe when it
2003, I was contacted by MediaDreams about their DVD project for
Disneyland Paris ìFrom One Lightbulb to Anotherî. Mathias
Ervyn showed me a clip of an interview with Jean Jacques and I was so
happy to see him in the program! The last work I did
with the Electrical Parade was in 1985 so I had not given it much thought
in a long time, but I knew I wanted to meet and talk with Jean Jacques.
We exchanged emails and when he was coming to Los Angeles to
promote his new CD in 2006, we made arrangements to meet. I
saw him perform with Dana Countryman in Los Angeles and then we spent the
next evening at Disneyland watching the Electrical Parade together.
After all those years of ìworking apartî we were finally able
to share a celebration of our work together!
you have something to say to him, you can here :
Cher Jean Jacques, you have given
me inspiration and memories you cannot even begin to imagine. Your
joyous and inventive work has led me to a career that I love and I am
forever in your debt. I wish you the happiest of birthdays!