“Are you going to make more stories of New Albion?”
During the writing of the Steampunk Opera i was having so much fun and ideas were coming so fast that i thought, hell, i could make an entire trilogy. A Steampunk Opera, a Dieselpunk Opera and an Atompunk Opera. It would take me one year to write each, so that’s not so bad, even given there would need to be time in between.
But then… first i came to the conclusion that i could never pull a Dieselpunk Opera off. My studio’s not well equipped for all the horn parts i would need, my skill set is perhaps not so geared towards it… and then i have a long road just getting the Steampunk Opera to some level of success… not to mention that in doing the Steampunk Opera the lessons i will learn from it that will make me so much better the next time, well, i haven’t learned them yet.
What if the Steampunk Opera fizzles and dies and i’m just sitting here making this grand stuff as a masturbatory exercise instead of moving on to a better project?
So i decided not to worry about it. I have a long road with the Steampunk Opera. I have music jobs to pay the bills. I haven’t learned my lessons yet and it was a nice idea in theory, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Except i pick at it. My brain picks at it. It just keeps picking away at it. In my idle moments it just… won’t stop picking.
I make stuff albums and stories and albums of stories because i like to pick at music/story puzzles. To keep fitting in little jigsaw puzzle pieces until i’ve made a complete work. What kind of story? What kind of character? What’s the twist? What does the mood of it sound like? How does the music signify this or that? What does the bass do? What is melody for this bit? What types of sounds should i use?
I do this obsessively. I never really stop. I finish a project and i stop doing this. But after a little while i start doing it again. Often times work comes up in which i can turn it to. Other times it just starts on its own.
I can’t do a dieselpunk opera. I don’t have…. well, of course if you had to use a work around… i mean.. just suppose you HAD to… you could do thing like this… or that…. see instead of (a) you could do something like (c) and you’d throw in (h) and (m)…. and… and…. what if….. well of course you can’t figure that out, first you need a story. So let’s think of a story…. NO! NO! STOP! I CAN’T!….. of course if we had a setting like this then our options would be…. no those aren’t good…. what about…. and then…..
I cannot stop picking. So let me just lay it out for you.
New Albion will continue in a Dieselpunk project. Yes, some of you may have already noticed there IS a post Dolls New Albion song out there, but it was a one off experiment and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual bigger project which will be MUCH more dynamic and passionate.
The working title will be The Dieselpunk Radio Hour. I will not begin actual studio work for quite some time.
The story method will be similar to Dolls in that the piece will not tell a single story but several connecting storylines. At the moment there will be 3 storylines following 3 characters. They are related (although in one case in a sort of bizarre way) but instead of following a family over time the stories will all occur concurrently.
The piece will take place during the revolution of New Albion some time after the end of Dolls. The piece revolves around the deciding battle which effectively ends the war, although the battle will not actually be featured. Actually, a better description would be the piece revolves around the “operation” that comes to decide the outcome of the civil war. How the characters relate to the event and each other is more important and of course, their own personal stories.
The characters will be a man, a daughter and a woman who is the man’s sister and the daughter’s Aunt. I think i know the man’s story.
Auditory and conceptual touches from the golden age of Radio will figure into the storytelling.
There will NOT be a New Albion song at the beginning of each Act. Instead New Albion 5 and 6 will begin and end the entire piece.
The music is a lot harder to get into and will need a lot of working out. Laibach meets swing era meets….. an atmospheric noir that is modern which will glue the two together. The industrial sounds of Dolls will be more intensified and in some ways the Dieselpunk will begin with a style that is a clear evolution from the 4th Act of Dolls. However i assure you, it will also out of the gate have a very clear identity of its own.
How the swing era sound will incorporate is a hell of a puzzle. I have the first song… 2 songs actually, worked out, but how to proceed from there is… yeah, a puzzle. It’s all puzzle pieces and the stories need to come first.
Anyway, i don’t know why i told you all this. I know it is a bad idea to be considering this sort of thing so soon. I know, i do. And it’s not like i’m going to actually do studio work on it for some time. But i also must admit defeat. I tried to not do this, i did. I tried to walk away. I swear. But i keep picking at it, toying with little jigsaw pieces, trying to mentally picture characters and scenes and sometimes i hear music in my head while i’m walking down the street just minding my own business. Stupid or not, i accept that i will make it, even if it never lives beyond an audio album.