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Let’s Talk About The Upcoming Box Set

Hi all.

Sorry i’ve been silent on the blog here lately, but that’s because i have been working like a monster on the Bonus Act. I mean BUSTIN’ ass. And the end is starting to appear in sight. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s getting close. I’ve probably only two more songs to compose and very soon i’ll start sending tracks off to Lauren to record.

Which means we need to start discussing the physical box set.

I cannot give a specific date at this point, but late November, early December. Perfect for Christmas presents!

I am pricing the package as we speak. It is a 7 CD set. Each opera takes 2 CDs and the bonus act, a full length album in its own right, takes a CD. So, 7 CDs.

I’m trying to keep the price nice and friendly but make sure the set is reeeeeal perty and special.

After i get the pricing worked out i’ll announce and here’s where it’s important: i will take pre-orders. In fact, i HAVE to take pre orders. As a lowly musician i cannot possibly afford to have a whole bunch of box sets made without pre-orders. I’ll have a couple extra made for any last minute purchases, but in general, if you want one you have GOT to pre-order.

I’ll announce when it’s time.

Also, i’ll say once again: if you already have the operas digitally, do not want the entire CD box set but DO want the Bonus Act (which is likely to be titled The Room Beneath New Albion) the album WILL be available online on Bandcamp and iTunes and Amazon, etc. You will NOT need to buy the box set just to have it.

So, keep tuned for more info. I’ll be picking up blog writing here so this site will be active again.

Now if you’ll pardon me, i have to finish writing Lauren’s big near end of album aria. I mean let’s be honest, we all know near the end of every piece Lauren will sing a big song, and this is her giant wailing epic for the new album. It’s a cross between the band Low and Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Which admittedly, is either utterly dumb or utterly awesome. I’m going for awesome.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The New Albion Instrumental Tracks Album Is Out

The New Albion Instrumental Tracks by Paul Shapera

People asked for it.

In a million years it would never, ever have occurred to me to ever release an album of instrumental “highlights” from the New Albion Trilogy. Seriously. But i keep getting emails asking for instrumental versions of different tracks, most often from folks looking to use it as an audition song or various other sing along reasons.

So okay then. Here is a buttload of instrumental versions from the trilogy.

I picked stuff with a definite focus on singing along to. That;s the real purpose here, not to showcase the songs without vocals. So the picks heavily lean towards solo numbers, the big aria stuff and of course the most requested ones.

In answer to a question i’ve been getting also: can you make videos or recordings of yourself singing these songs and post them online? Yes, you certainly may. Go nuts. What you cannot do is charge money for it. Otherwise you may absolutely record and post on youtube or soundcloud or whatever or wherever. Credit me and my works of course, no selling it (if you wish to sell it you must speak with me), but posting it it you have my blessing.

And uh… well, there you go. All for you, my pretties.

The Bonus Act is coming along splendidly. Release date is almost certainly November, I wanted end of Oct but i cannot rush these things. I figure you want quality as do i.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The New Albion Instrumental Tracks

I get asked on a very regular basis for instrumental versions of tracks from the operas, mostly the steampunk opera. So, tomorrow i am going to release an album that is nothing but instrumental versions of various songs from the trilogy.

I am NOT going to release entire albums sans vocals, but i will release any and all songs people are interested in up to a reasonable point. Songs from the Steampunk Opera are pretty obvious. I know what i get asked for consistently and so i know that i’m going to release these at the very least:

New Albion 1
Annabelle Raises The Dead
Annabelle’s Lament
Edgar Gets His Heart Broken
The Old Trunk In The Attic
Edgar Builds A Business
Elysian Night
Priscilla Considers
Bring You Down

Daddy Left
The Soiree
The Wasteland

Rachael
The Show No One Saw

Are there any other tracks you would particularly like? Anything from the other operas? The tracks will all come with lyrics, although you can get those obviously from here on the blog, but of course i’ll include them anyway.

This way, you can get any song you want for a dollar, or buy the whole shebang for 5 bucks.

Tell me if you want something, i’ll put it on.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Phase 3

Phase 3 is where i actually make the damn thing. You know, what i’m doing right now.

I am pretty much exactly halfway through creating the Bonus Act. I have 4 songs basically done (24 minutes), although i might go back and rework orchestrations if i see fit. Lyrics for 3 of them are done (barring corrections). I’m well on the way.

Phase 3 is where i sit down in the studio every day for as long as i can or as long as concentration holds, and in song order create and record the music. (See it records while i play everything. So i just play different instrument sounds together until it sound like a song.)

When i sit down to begin a new song i may have a melody (recorded into my phone at 1 in the morning or while walking down a street most likely) for the vocal section. If this is true i will decide on a key for the song based around who is singing the melody. If i don’t have a melody, i’ll just guess a decent key based on who is supposed to be singing it. Then i just… start picking a bunch of sounds and putting them together until i like it. I pick a bunch of chords and wing it. My chord choices are usually very pedestrian. I’m never going to win an award for creative chord choices and i really should work on this one day.  I know my stuff is banal in this regard, but i like my simple catchy melodies too, and they work without a lot of fuss. Perhaps the next project i’ll start spending more time developing more complex chords and melodies (i always say) but for this one i’m going with my usual.

I don’t work out music beforehand other than maybe the sung melody, but remember, i know exactly i want the song to do. Song 2 for instance… big bombastic intro.. then get quiet with a finger snapping feel for the male vocal section which will build. That’s plenty of a song blueprint.

Working out the orchestration is the big thing and i spend a lot of time on it. Often, after the first day or so, the song is there, but sounds strangely like shit. At the end of the following day it’s amazing the difference.

Sometimes i might suddenly stop work altogether and go write lyrics. I never used to do this, but these days i do. I get really into the mood and the melody is going round my head and my ears need a break, and boom, i’m upstairs writing the words.

A song takes on average 3 days to make. After that i can fiddle and fuss with it for the rest of my natural life.

Phase 3 takes weeks.. months, but the work goes best in big stretches. A big 3 week stretch, then back off a bit, then another big stretch. As i mentioned earlier, the are many plot holes going into this and this is good. While working on Phase 3 ideas come of their own accord AND you may realize where you need to go based on the music. You suddenly KNOW that after this song ends the mood of the next one NEEDS to go over here or there. This process is extremely immersive and ideas come now very steadily. You’re not going about your day trying to think of a story or of music ideas, you ARE making.

A song starts off soft. Okay let’s pull up a soft sound. Piano? Not air enough? Are belly thingsd appropriate? Sure why not. Here’s a belly sound. Eh, too synthy. Another one. Too Christmassy. Another one. Oh this is nice. Play a pattern. Nice pattern. We need something to go with it. Since the belly sound is high we need something lower. Cello-y? Sure. FInd sound you like. Cello doesn’t work but weirder cello like sound odes. Now play a part that sound good with bell-y sound. Good.

Rinse and repeat. Eventually you have a song.

Obviously every part of a song has a specific mood or emotion it’s going for and one must make sure that is being served. You can work on something for hours, walk away and come back to find you ended up totally missing the ball. Erase everything to back where you last had it nailed. Begin again.

If you are not prepared to throw away weeks worth of work in a single instant because it’s not up to snuff than BEGONE with you! Don’t be too proud of your shit. It keeps you realizing it’s shit and should be flushed. Seeing that anyway is tough enough. There is no album i have ever made that’s not full of stuff i could have and should have done better, but couldn’t see it at the time. (LooOOOOOOTS of dumb mixing choices. Holy crap i specialize in dumb mixing choices. But that’s Phase 5. We’ll get to that in about a month.)

Anyway, there you have it. Phase 3, sit and play and are record away until you can listen to in multiple states of mind and not be offended.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Ween: Mutilated Lips

For no reason other then if you’ve never heard this you’re missing out.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

An Actual, Real Life Walking City

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

I first ran across this idea in the brilliant book The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, which along with The Fractal Prince are some of the best sci fi books i’ve ever read, so you should totally go check them out.

We are not here today however to discuss alternative realities, we are here to discuss actual potentials for this reality. The significant potential in this case being a city that actually walks.

British architect Ron Herron in 1964 first seriously proposed the moving city concept. In an article in avant-garde architecture journal Archigram, Ron Herron proposed building massive mobilerobotic structures, with their own intelligence, that could freely roam the world, moving to wherever their resources or manufacturing abilities were needed. Various walking cities could interconnect with each other to form larger ‘walking metropolises’ when needed, and then disperse when their concentrated power was no longer necessary. Individual buildings or structures could also be mobile, moving wherever their owner wanted or needs dictated. Early precursors to this include Hell On Wheels the  mobile town of support personnel, restaurants, saloons, and various recreation facilities (laundry, gambling, dance halls, etc.) followed the railroad during the building of the U.S. transcontinental railroad. More modern examples include cruise ships.

However, Manuel Dominguez, Spanish architect, proposes an actual walking city.

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

Manuel Dominguez’s “Very Large Structure,”  is the result of his thesis project at ETSA Madrid, and proposes a nomadic city that can move on caterpillar tracks to locations where work and resources are abundant.

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

Dominguez looked to the world of heavy engineering to inspire the structure’s colossal steel frame and caterpillar tracks.Very Large Structure, despite its enormous size, has much less of an impact on its surrounding ecosystem. Its mobility is proposed as a way to encourage reforestation of the static cities which it replaces, and part of its day-to-day function is the management of this environment. The specific social conditions of the Spanish territory it is designed for also add to its relevance: it provides work for the high number of unemployed citizens in Spain. Dominguez even incorporates on-board energy generation.

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

With a length of 560 metres, the city would be made up of three levels. Three levels would house an array of functions necessary for the city to function and accommodate a large nomadic population. The lowest would function as a warehouse and construction area, while the middle would accommodate mechanical functions such as waste disposal and air conditioning, and the top story would be used as a living deck where new architectural structures can be tested.

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

The structure is based on a giant gantry crane. A total of 36 oversized crawlers would allow it to move, propelled by the kinds of electric engines used in large sea vessels. Despite its size, the city would strive to reduce its impact on its surroundings – the area left behind by the city would be reforested.

Walking City, Very Large Structure By Manuel Domínguez

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Imagining The 9th Dimension

Imagining the ninth dimension

Let’s talk about the 9th dimension, postulated by first String Theory, which theorizes 10 dimensions, and then M Theory which theorizes 11 dimensions, the details of which i do not even begin to understand.

“One notable feature of String theory and M-theory is that these theories require extra dimensions of spacetime for their mathematical consistency. In string theory, spacetime is ten-dimensional, while in M-theory it is eleven-dimensional. In order to describe real physical phenomena using these theories, one must therefore imagine scenarios in which these extra dimensions would not be observed in experiments.”

I point you to the wonderful blog Imagining The Tenth Dimension, which we are going to pilfer today and which you should totally visit. You want to be walked through the various aspects of these theoretical dimensions? Go here.

Text from above video and from his post Imagining The Ninth Dimension:

“I’ve been saying that the eighth dimension is as far as you need to go for any expressions of matter, while the ninth can only contain information/meme patterns, preferences for one kind of reality over another. How could I arrive at such an ambitious statement?

With my Imagining the Tenth Dimension project, I begin by saying that a point indicates a position in a system. In Imagining the Sixth Dimension, I mentioned that thinking about the set of all possible states for our unique universe would be thinking about our universe’sphase space. In fact, that’s the definition of phase space: a space in which all possible states of a system are represented. I believe there’s a way to apply this thinking to every single dimension – in a sense, a dimension when considered as a “set of all possible states for that dimension” becomes a finite but unbounded hypersphere, and that hypersphere becomes a point in the next dimension up.

If I’m on a boat in the middle of the ocean, I can see a horizon that appears to be the same in every direction. From this I can deduce that there is a slight curvature to the surface of the ocean, which is topologically speaking a 2D plane, and understand that I’m really on a 3D sphere. From the 2D topological perspective, I could head in a specific direction forever, giving me the impression that I was on an infinitely flat surface, but with the added curvature of the third dimension we can see how “apparently infinite” can be equated with “finite but unbounded”.

With the knowledge that it takes a certain amount of “time” for light to reach our eyes, we realize that what we’re seeing around us is not space, but space-time, and that as counter-intuitive as this may seem at first it’s actually impossible for us to see 3D space: we can imagine and use the logic of 3D shapes, but we can only see them from our moving position within 4D space-time.

From our position within 4D space-time, we look out to the furthest reaches and see a cosmological horizon which is the same in all directions. From this we can deduce that there is a slight curvature to space-time, and that we’re really a point moving on the surface of a 5D hypersphere. There are many other indications that our reality comes from the fifth dimension: back in 1921 Einstein accepted this idea as proposed by Kaluza. Holographic universe theories propose that we are an interference pattern projected from the fifth dimension, or from the “edge of the universe” but I disagree with those who say that this edge is far, far away.  Think of it like this: the third dimension is at the “edge” of the second dimension no matter where our imaginary 2D flatlanders are located. In the same way, this “edge” they speak about in holographic universe theories as being at an additional right angle to our space-time reality is not far away, it’s right “here” in the next dimension up, no matter where we are within our space-time reality. And Hugh Everett, even through he didn’t propose extra dimensions with his Many Worlds Interpretation, did propose that the branching universes derived from quantum mechanics occur within a space which is orthogonal (at right angles) to space-time.

Some quantum physicists are fond of saying that extremely unlikely events such as one of us suddenly disappearing from here and reappearing on the moon are allowable within the quantum wave function, but they are so unlikely that they would take longer than the life of the universe to occur. Likewise, Everett talked about how there are branching tree-like structures which are causally connected, and he even allowed for the possibility that some of those branches might fuse back together further down the causal chain, but he was very clear that causality could never be violated – so the universe where dinosaurs never became extinct or JFK was never murdered or where I died in a car crash last year would exist within the universal wave function as described by the Schrödinger equation, but they are now inaccessible from the universe we are currently observing. Those other universes, in a manner of speaking, are beyond the horizon of our 5D probability space, which leads me to conclude that we are a 5D point moving on the surface of a 6D hypersphere.

This sixth dimensional “phase space“, as some have called it, includes all possible versions of our universe, from its beginning to its end. But within that phase space, we never wander off into one of the other universes with different physical laws, because those are in effect “beyond the horizon” of our universe’s phase space, and from this we can deduce that the system representing our universe as a timeless whole is a point on a 7D hypersphere.

From here we are beginning to move into discussions of information flow rather than physical realities, but we’re not all the way there yet.

In his book Just Six Numbers, Sir Martin Rees tells us that we only need to define six “deep forces” to describe our unique universe. Adjusting any one of those parameters by surprisingly small amounts would cause our universe to fall apart as the laws of physics break down. So if our unique universe is located at a position within the multiverse landscape, or constrained by a D7 brane as some string theorists have suggested, then are we moving, or are we stationary on the surface of this 7D hypersphere? There has been some evidence that the basic physical laws of our universe may have been slightly different at the earliest history of our universe, which would indicate that perhaps we have changed our 7D position slightly according to the logic we’re pursuing here. But the idea that there is a certain natural selection occurring at the seventh dimension and beyond also makes sense – if we move too far away from our position, the incredibly delicate balance of forces that allow our universe to exist would collapse, so at nearby positions within this multiverse landscape there might not be universes that cohere into any meaningful structures, but further away another universe completely different from ours could be assembled with its own unique set of intricately connected physical laws and its own unique expression within the sixth dimension and below.

We also talked last entry about how we can imagine a data set of universes within the seventh dimension which would then require the “beyond the horizon” additional degree of freedom of the eighth dimension for us to be able to simultaneously consider other data sets not included within the seventh dimensional one: but to be clear, those data sets could be interchangeable, so this is more of a question of reference frames than it is of some data not being part of the seventh dimension. In that sense, the seventh dimension harkens back to the “garden hose” analogy used by string theorists: it’s useful to imagine that the seventh dimension looks like a straight line, but when we move closer we can see the dimension has the potential for additional twists and turns that are inside the “rolled up tube” that is, topologically speaking, the “plane” of the eighth dimension.

With this project, I’m proposing that the eighth dimension would encompass every possible physical expression of every possible universe. This would even include the extremely unlikely universes that result from oscillating rather than static constants – the degree of freedom to allow such changes would be within the eighth dimension. So no matter what universe we are imagining, we can visualize it as a point on an 8D hypersphere, but in the case of our own universe I suspect that we are not partaking of that additional potential degree of freedom, so we are definitely not moving away from our 7D position within the eighth dimension.

What’s beyond the horizon of the 8D construct we’ve just envisioned? String theorists who talk about there being ten to the power of five hundred possible universes are really describing the different possible shapes the extra dimensions could take. In The Hidden Reality, Brian Greene uses the following image to picture the terrain of possible extra-dimensional shapes: he calls this terrain the Landscape Multiverse (as opposed to the Brane Multiverse, the Quilted Multiverse and so on), and describes how quantum tunnelings through this mountainous string landscape realize every possible form for the extra dimensions in one or another bubble universe. To tie this idea to my approach to visualizing the extra dimensions, the topological “plane” of this landscape is the eighth dimension, and the additional degree of freedom allowing this tunneling to occur would be in the ninth dimension.

So here we are in the ninth dimension. Now we really are into the realm of organizing patterns, or “big picture memes” as I’ve called them in my book, where we are finally fully into the “information” side of the “information equals reality” equation. What caused our particular universe to be selected from out of the sea of potential patterns that roil and froth like quantum foam at the ninth dimension?”

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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