In honor of leaving for London to record the amazing singers for the Dieselpunk Opera, today we shall feature some iconic photos from the 1940s. I should note, i’m featuring daily life photos not WWII related photos.
I want to keep things focused on Dieslepunk since i leave in just a few days for London to record the wonderful vocalists. However, i just have to…
Understand that i am SO excited to be recording and mixing the Dieselpunk Opera. But the job to do is a production job. I love that angle. However it is very different from the grass roots creative angle. You know, the “coming up with shit from scratch” angle. The puzzle pieces are already put together. I go crazy without a puzzle to work on.
So the other day when i got the rough idea to do a Fairy Tale album about Faeries… the thing is i’m exploding with ideas. I know to do an album usually when i get an idea and then over the next… anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 days, ideas just start pouring. That’s what’s happening now.
I realized… this Faerie Tales album will be 8 little short stories, like i said before very much in the vein of Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering, but there will also be a larger story subtly told around the edges. All the stories will stand alone, but as you listen you’ll also realize there’s as larger story in there. Naturally the full nature of it won’t be clear until the end, but….
So i’m writing stories for it now. I’m not sure if i should post any. Maybe choose one and post it so you can see the process from beginning to finished product on the album.
So there’s that.
In the meantime here’s some artists’ representations of Avalon.
The part of John O’Brien in the upcoming Dieselpunk Opera album will be sung by Oliver Marsh. Some of you may recognize him from the steampunk opera workshop where he was Edgar, Byron and Soldier 7285.
However, sadly, he does not exist only to serve me and my purposes. He does a wide range of theater, singing, acting, he sings in a band (Sailor)… hell, the guy can sing both opera and rock and roll.
Rock and Roll:
However, what intrigues me the MOST is that he’s played Bruce Springsteen AND Elwood Blues. (You know, Blues Brothers Elwood Blues?) That’s the key to my heart right there…
So, to recap:
1. Here’s Oliver Marsh. He’s awesome.
2. Dieselpunk Opera. Album. Coming.
3. For no particular reason here’s an easter egg give away: Soldier 7285. The numbers are not random. They spell out letters on a cell phone. Those letters are Paul. Yes that is my name, but that is NOT who they refer to. They refer to St. Paul, who was a policeman persecuting Christians, but who had a conversion experience regarding the sacrificed Jesus and went about spreading the word and in a sense bringing down the Roman Empire. Soldier 7285 is the St. Paul of the Steampunk Opera. He is a policeman who has a conversion experience regarding the sacrifice of Prisicilla (who instead of sacrificing herself so that someone may live, sacrifices herself so someone may die) and sets about to bring about the fall of the current regime. Also, if Annabelle is the one who begins the Fall (although in this case, instead of ending eternal life, she actually invents it), which gets worse and worse each generation, Prisicilla is the one whose sacrificial death breaks the downward spiral and begins the reversal process.
So here’s the lowdown:
On wed May 8th i will depart for London to record the 3 vocalists, the always spectacular Lauren Osborn, the stunning Oliver Marsh who played the male lead in the workshop last Dec, and we are thrilled to introduce the AMAZing Courtney Ellis who will play Jacqueline O’Brien.
This is Courtney Ellis:
Is that awesome or what?
From the 9th to the 12th i will record all the vocals. I will be doing a daily video “diary” of the process so you can follow along on this blog, using my spiffy Kindle Fire HD to record and upload.
On the 13th i will fly back and immediately begin mixdown. It should take 2 weeks maximum and then, somewhere in the 20s of May release the album on Bandcamp with iTunes and Amazon release occurring about a month or so later.
I WILL put lyrics to the entire thing up here on the blog under libretto since i know i will get a ton of email otherwise.
So, to recap:
1. Here’s Courtney. She’s awesome.
2. Heading to London May 8th, will be doing daily video updates
3. Album released sometime in the May 20s.
After thinking about it, i have decided that i am going to follow through with the idea i came up with while writing that blog post 2 posts ago about faeries.
I am going to make an album of moody, brooding fairy stories. It will be much in the same vein as Fairy Tales for the Lost and Wandering, only it’ll actually involve faeries.
After having the idea i have since been struck with numerous ideas for little stories, so much so that i must follow it. Just like Lost and Wandering it will serve as a side pause between operas, in this case between the Dieselpunk and Atompunk operas. I imagine it should be available in the fall.
Naturally, the tales i’m going to write will hardly be classic stories, they will be creative and at times twisted takes on faery lore. It will not be new agey.
If you want to think of them as operating within the world New Albion is situated you can, but obviously it won’t be relevant most of the time. There will be a tale or two within New Albion specifically, but i doubt i’ll do another New Albion 8 or anything and it certainly will have nothing to do with any of the operas.
Anyway, it’s neither here nor there. This is a side project so i can stretch out my story and music making muscles before commencing work on the final opera of the trilogy.
By Stefan Paris..
You can check out Stefan’s other work here.
It’s no secret i like Faeries. A lot. I think they get utterly misrepresented as good little new agey pretty things, when in fact faerie lore is kind of creepy. They have a moral ambiguity and an otherness that make them creepy, and some Fae creature are out and out malevolent. Their abductions of humans and especially of human babies are not cool. And yet their otherness, their enclaves deep in the forest, in their mounds, is enthralling.
You know, i should do an album like Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering but of nothing but actual Faerie stories, specifically about the Fae. Hell, i could make up some awesome Fae stories.
Huh…. that’s an interesting idea there…
In between the Dieselpunk Opera and the Atompunk Opera next year i could make an album in the vein of Fairy Tales of the Lost and Wandering… huh….
Anyway, before i get sidetracked, today we feature songs that feature fairies. There’s kind of no way to avoid songs where celtic and new agey sound converge, and for some that’s not a bad thing. For me it’s pushing the line, but…. i mean don’t get me wrong, i have a 4 year old and i…. i might be misleading him as to the existence of fairies (there’s a patch nearby we’ve dubbed The Fairy Forest and as far as he knows fairies actually live there and come out at dusk. He asks questions about them and i answer. It’s my version of Santa Claus. We’ll get to the truth when he gets a little older but for now…. i know it’s crazy but let him have a little fantasy and magic in his childhood.) Since he’s only 4 i don’t really desribe the creepy kind, sadly they’re more the new agey kind, don’t worry, as he gets older we’ll darken those faeries up, oh yes we will.
If i did a Faery album i would make it deep and mysterious, atmospheric, yes, but not new agey.Creepy. it’d be creepy and otherworldy. And yet there’d be a trace of celtic in there, just… there’s another direction you could go.
Realm Of The Fairies
Since you can’t get away from the over abundance of new agey faerie songs out there, we might as well start with one that does it right.
Loreena McKennitt: Stolen Child
You know, i actually like Loreena McKennitt. I would sway about the room with my infant son on my arm playing The Lady Of Shallot. Like, every night for weeks. I’d be amiss to not include one of her faeie songs. This one gets the pick because it’s a rendition of the wonderful William Butler Yeats poem.
Blackmore’s Night: Faerie Queen
You know, i’m starting to think more and about this Faerie album ideaq, because all the music i’m running across online is ALL EXACTLY THE SAME. Seriously. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of people who like this genre and style and i’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to it, i’m just saying… there could be more diversity in Faerie songs. They don’t ALL have to be celtic meets new age.
Innisfree Ceoil: The King Of The Fairies
Ah, Here we go. This is nice! Traditional Irish goes down so much better. It’s a matter of soul. It has more soul
Tchaikonsky: Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
Yeah, you know what? This son rules. It’s so embedded in our psyche we forget it, but listen to it… it’s awesome. It’s beautiful and gentle and yet leagues above the syrupy smaltz that i keep finding on the net. Plus, damn this girl can DANCE. Who can’t use little ballet action in your day?
Black Sabbath: Fairies Wear Boots
Oh, damn, Black Sabbath wrote a fairy song! Wow. There is no way i can’t put this on the list. here it is.
There are visionaries right this very minute coming up with buildings designed to house anywhere from tens of thousands of people to, well, entire cities. That is quite interesting. Today let us look at some of these.
All these buildings operate according to the science of arcology, the combination of architecture and ecology. Arcology was first coined by architect Paolo Soleri.
Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid:
Crystal Island is a building project in Moscow, Russia that is planned to have around 2,500,000 square meters (27,000,000 square feet) of floor space and a height of 450 metres (1,476 ft) designed by Norman Foster.
The tent-like superstructure would rise to 450 m, and form a breathable “second skin” and thermal buffer for the main building, shielding the interior spaces from Moscow’s weather. This second skin will be sealed in winter to minimize heat loss, and opened in the summer to naturally cool the interior. The building would be integrated into a new park, which would provide a range of activities throughout the year, with cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter. It is stated to have a multitude of cultural, exhibition, performance, hotel, apartment, retail and office space, as well as an international school for 500 students. The building would be powered by built-in solar panels and wind turbines. The site would also feature on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation.
The structure called Ziggurat will house nearly one million people and will be self-sustainable with all natural-energy sources. Like the pyramids of the Mayans and Egyptians, this new structure in Dubai is a giant; it will cover 2.3 square kilometers (0.88 square miles) and will be able to sustain a community of up to one million people. The “Ziggurat” is named after the temple towers of the ancientMesopotamian valley, a terraced pyramid structure with successively receding stories. It will be a carbon-neutral structure. 
According to the International Institute for the Urban Environment, the technologies incorporated into the Ziggurat project will make it a viable metropolis. Timelinks has already patented the design and technology used in this project. The building is green and is to be powered by solar, wind and natural sources and is capable of running completely off the grid, according to Timelinks, a Dubai-based pioneering environmental design company who is in charge of this building. The building also boasts an efficient public transportation system that will run horizontally and vertically
The Ultima Tower:
The Ultima Tower is a hypothetical supertall skyscraper, designed by American architect Eugene Tsui in 1991. With a total height of 3,218.7 meters (10,560 ft), the tower would be 2 miles tall, and comprise 500 stories if built. The proposed tower would have a diameter at the base of 1,828.8 meters (6,000 ft), and comprise 1,500,000,000 square feet (140,000,000 m2) of interior floor space. Tsui proposed that the tower would be home to 1 million people, and would cost an estimated US$150 billion. The tower would use the atmospheric pressure difference between the bottom and the top of the tower to create electricity throughout the tower The building is intended to handle problems with overpopulation and to create a “mini-ecosystem” for its inhabitants.
Dubai City Tower:
The Dubai City Tower, also known as the Dubai Vertical City, is a proposed skyscraper design announced on 25 August 2008. The building, created by an architect to display possibly future technologies, is the third tallest building ever fully envisioned after the X-Seed 4000 (4000m) and the Ultima Tower (3217m). If ever constructed, the Dubai City Tower will be much taller than any other current man-made structure, at almost three times the height of the Burj Khalifa. The Dubai City Tower would be almost seven times taller than the Empire State Building.
The design has 400 floors with a 200 km/h (125 mph) vertical bullet train acting as the main elevator. The design is inspired by the Eiffel Tower to better deal with the massive wind forces pushing on it. It has a central core with 6 outer buildings that are connected to the central core every 100 floors. This design both stabilizes the structure and spreads out its mass.
The Bionic Tower:
The Bionic Tower is a proposed vertical city, an extremely large building designed for human habitation designed by Spanish architects Eloy Celaya, Mª Rosa Cervera, and Javier Gómez. It would have a main tower 1,228 metres (4,029 ft) high, with 300 stories housing approximately 100,000 people. The bionic tower would be exactly 400 meters taller than the current tallest building, Burj Khalifa. The point of the Bionic Tower is to use Bionics to solve the world’s rising population problems in an eco-friendly way, an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish.
The Bionic Tower is composed of two complexes put together. The first complex, Bionic Tower, is made up of twelve vertical neighborhoods, each eighty meters high. The neighborhoods are separated by safety areas to make for easier construction and evacuation in case of an emergency. Each neighborhood has two groups of buildings, one on the interior of the building and one on the exterior. Both groups of buildings are situated around large gardens and pools. The second complex, called the Base Island, is 1,000 meters in diameter, and is made up of many buildings, gardens, pools, and communication infrastructures. Foreseen uses of these complexes include hotels, offices, residential, commerce, cultural, sports, and leisure.
BoA (Boston Arcology Building):
Highlights of the Boa:
Boa is a floating city within a city, and is technically feasible, with the method as follows:
The foundation of Boa is a series of poured concrete cells, which are combined to form a buoyant platform. The grid of these cells serves as the foundation for the rigid steel
Hope City, Ghana:
Hope City will host a cluster of buildings and facilities to serve as as an ICT Park. The cluster is expected to cover a total Gross Floor Area of approximately 1,200,000 sqm. It has been designed as a vertical city of towers linked together by bridges at different heights, with both public and private facilities. The cluster is composed of six towers: one tower of 270 m height (75 stories, the highest in Africa), two towers of 216 m height (60 stories) and three towers of 152 m height (42 stories). The towers will have a central space or Piazza on three levels and an inner garden.
Proposed building on the Huan River, Seoul, South Korea:
Here are a series of drawings envisioning arcological buildings:
And another awesome picture:
I may be jumping the gun a bit, but i believe i have found the artist who will not only design the cover for the Dieslepunk Opera (due out late May if you’re waiting), but will likely design all 3 covers for the steampunk opera and atompunk opera as well.
I love his work, we’ve talked and all seems set. So i’d like to introduce you to his stuff and show why i’m a fan.
Iconic. Eye catching. Straight to the point. Uses simple imagery to get across a period and feel. Iconic. You can visit his deviant art page here.