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Author Archives: paulms

About paulms

My name is Paul Shapera, a musician working under the name Mocha Lab. I make albums, theater shows, videos, dance pieces, commercials and move around a lot.

The Perils Of Man Video Game, Chapter 1 Is Out! (AND FREE!)

The Perils Of Man

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the first Chapter (out of 7) of the video game i’ve been doing sound and music for for many months now is finally out! The first Chapter is being released today in the Apple App Store for FREE.

Why not download it and play it? The rest of the game will come out next month. But for now, sample it!

http://itunes.apple.com/app/id742987884?mt=8

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Perils Of Man Video Game Demo Comes Out Tues, March 11th.

Perils of Man

As many of you may know, i’ve been working for some months on an adventure game to be released in the apple app store. It’s a wonderfully epic adventure game i do the music and sound design for.

Well, at long last the demo of it is coming out this tues. By demo i mean the entire 1st Chapter is being released (there are 7 Chapters in all) FOR FREE.

FOR FREE.

Apple app store. Tues March 11th, 2014.

The entire game will follow about a month later (and if you want to know where i am I’M WORKING).

If you have any apple device, why not download it (FOR EFFFIN’ FREE! I MEAN WHAT MORE INCENTIVE COULD YOU WANT?!?) and give it a spin. The story is awesome, the game utterly immersive, and the score… (non chalantly flops hair with hand)… well let’s say this: the goal of a video game score is to blend into the game, but even with that, the goal was always to compose background music that would be aching and haunting.

Apple app store. Tues March 11th, 2014.

Here’s a peak at some of the characters:

Ana Eberling is our heroine, who comes from a long line of distinguished scientists and explorers. She is swept into a mysterious adventure when she receives an unexpected gift from her missing father on her 16th birthday…

Perils of Man

The mechanical bird, Darwin, is perhaps the most advanced automaton ever constructed. Thomas built him as a companion for his later years, but the technology that powered this talking machine was lost for generations. When Ana rediscovers this missing link to Eberling history, she sparks a lasting friendship.

Perils of Man Darwin

Thomas is Ana’s great, great, great grandfather. His early inventions made him a celebrity and earned him a fortune. Despite his success, he was a humble man beloved by all who knew him. After a tragic loss in the family, a grieving Thomas withdrew from public life in 1853. His official retirement was always questioned and surrounded by rumor.

Perils of Man

And of course our teaser trailer:

Doesn’t it look yummy?

Perils of Man

Perils of Man

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Symphonic Finnish Prog-Rock Concept Album About Scrooge McDuck

Finnish prog-rock concept album about Scrooge McDuck

Holy bejeebus i could kick myself for not thinking of this first. (Although  i pray Disney doesn’t swing in and sue)

So, Tuomas Holopainen, keyboardist of Finnish prog-metal band Nightwish, is releasing his solo debut, The Life And Times Of Scrooge, on April 15. And by Scrooge, he means of course Scrooge McDuck.

That is right, it’s a symphonic prog rock concept album based on Don Rosa’s graphic novel The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck, which traces the origin of Scrooge McDuck (which as a dork who used to read the old, classic Carl Barks Donald Duck comics i can tell you is rife with awesomeness).

It is due out on April 15, 2014.

Here is the first song released from the album.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

And Suddenly… Bill Hicks On Music

Because DAMN i miss Bill Hicks.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Suzanne’s Mannequin Family

Photographer and Art Director Suzanne Heintz got tired of being asked when she would finally marry and have kids. So she got a mannequin family. took them with her wherever she went and took lots of family pictures. 

No, seriously. She did. These are some of the pics she took.

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

 

“Well meaning strangers, along with friends and family, would raise an eyebrow when the topic of my unmarried and childless status arose. Indicating with a small facial twitch, not only my audacious freakishness, but that I was a little old for such foolish thinking. I mean, come on, eggs don’t last forever! “

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

 

“But really, what was I supposed to do? You can’t just go out and buy a family. Or can you? I did. They are mannequins. The candy coated shell with nothing inside. We do all those family things, all the while capturing those Kodak Moments. Because it’s not really about the journey, or a genuine human connection, when you’re kids are screaming, “are we there yet?” Is it? It’s about the picture in front of the sign. “Get back in the car, we got the picture. Now, let’s go eat.””

 

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

Suzanne Heintz mannequin family

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Atompunk Spirituality: Unarius

UnariusAfter the explosive heyday of new sects, cults and alternative forms of spiritualism that was the 1920s and early 1930s, particularly in the Western United States, things calmed down a bit WWII rolled around and everyone was kept busy slaughtering each other.

In Christianity, Pentacostalism kept raging strongly, but for more alternative forms of spirituality it wasn’t until the 50s that things saw a new boom. As the post war western world settled down, the 50s produced a new wave of groups and movements the vast majority of whom took various precepts of Theosophy left over from the original Victorian movement and all added a brand new twist: Aliens.

Aliens were the rage. If you were in a new, alternative spiritual movement in the 50s, there were aliens involved in your theology, and that was certainly true for today’s group: The Unarius Academy of Science.

The Unarius Academy of Science is quite vehement they are not a religion, but are in fact Interdimensional Science, the precepts of which have been delivered by higher energy beings (from Venus as well as others) and channeled by their founder Ernest Norman.  Unarius is an acronym which stands for UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science.

Unarius

Ernest Norman was a traveling psychic medium who put grieving WWII widows in touch with their dead husbands. In the early 50s he met a woman named Ruth whose dead husband had left her a restaurant chain. Their pairing changed their lives. They married within weeks of meeting each other. Ruth loved Ernest’s alien theosophy shtick and soon he had at his disposal the means to self publish some books written while channeling the aliens who were giving him advanced knowledge about the seven planes of Shamballa, which exist outside the conventional atomic spectrum and are spiritual or non-physical worlds. Each plane has a specialty in the teaching of advanced principles, for the betterment of an individual’s progressive evolution from life to life.

The planes’ specialties are:

  • Venus – Healing
  • Eros – Science
  • Orion – Education
  • Hermes – Philosophy
  • Muse – The Arts
  • Unarius – Leadership
  • Elysium – Devotion

The first book, The Book of Venus, describes communication from Mal-Var of Venus who gives a tour of the Venusian capital. In the work, Venusians are described as having “energy bodies” and living in a higher vibratory plane that would be invisible to a human were he to stand in the middle of the capital city known as Azure. The planet Venus and its culture are said to be more spiritual than that of the Earth and that more advanced Earth-dwellers visit and study on Venus when they sleep. Healing wards for human suicides, alcoholics, the mentally impaired and similar human wreckage exist in Azure and these souls are treated with positive energy and light to help them reincarnate with greater integration.

Unarius

The books began to attract interested people and soon the movement was off on its way.

The great part about all these groups formed in the 50s and beyond is that sooner or later they got around to filming various self promotional videos. These are of course gold.

Here is the Unarius worldview in self funded video form. You are welcome.:

When Ernest died in 1971 his wife Ruth took over and things got even wackier. The theosophical back pinnings of the movement got replaced with more and more aliens and more and more alien channeling stories. Ruth began publishing books describing her channeling of alien beings. She changed her name to Uriel after a channeling revealed a lifetime lived in ancient Atlantis with the name Uriel and began dressing… in a bizarrely lavish fashion.  Alex Heard, in Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America quipped of her that she was, “a true American original who combined the couture sensibilities of a drag queen with the joie de vivre of a Frisbee-chasing Irish Setter.”

Unarius

Her channeled messages referred to “33 worlds of an interplanetary confederation”. These worlds all had various problems and by communicating with Uriel, many of their hang-ups were solved or on the way to resolution.

The group also came up with the idea that trauma inflicted during a past life was causing you suffering in this one and thus would enact Psychodramas, acted out plays by which you could relive the event and over come it. The events would be seen by Ruth (Ioshnna).

For instance, Uriel might decide that a certain Unarian had been a murderous space captain or an evil sea serpent in a past life. So the group would do these semi-improvised and somewhat elaborate plays, that were designed to “drastically relive” these past lives, so that the Unarian follower would be freed from their karma (more or less). In the one with the sea serpent, they literally videotaped it next to a swimming pool and several people got into a crappy aquatic dragon suit fashioned from floating pool furniture and innertubes and swam around as the rest of them held a trial and passed judgement on the “creature.” A lot of their psychodramas had the trial by jury aspect to them

In the mid 70s, a notable Unariun named Louis Spiegel first channeled a message predicting a landing of spacecraft to greet Uriel in 1976. The other sub-channel, Thomas Miller, disagreed with this channeling and a schism opened up between the two. When the landing failed to materialize it was explained that this scenario was a negative “past life reliving” and the channeling was contaminated by Spiegel’s lower sub-conscious self.

As a result, a number of Unariuns were skeptical about the future predictions of a spacefleet landing, also channeled by Louis Spiegel. Many Unariuns felt that these predictions undermined the original mission of Ernest Norman and a falling out occurred. Circa 1980 Thomas Miller, the primary sub-channel, left the organization, leaving Louis Spiegel as the only sub-channel. From this point forward, ever more activities revolved around these predictions. Ruth Norman, now 80, participated less and less in the goings on at the center and so Unariuns turned primarily to Louis Spiegel (aka “Antares”, “Vaughn” and “Charles”) for guidance and instruction.

Unarius

The group has built landing sites for the variety of spaceships that have promised to land and deliver them, but it has never occured. The group is still in existence today and can be found right here.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Mechanisms: Tobacco Chewing, Tom Waitsish, Steampunkish, Mythology Buggering, Epic Music Stories

The Mechanisms

Stop what you’re doing right NOW. You’re going to listen to the most interesting things you’ve heard in at least a fortnight.

The Mechanism is a band. They make albums and play shows. With me so far?

They tell stories and their albums are like have Tom Waits’ steampunk dressing brother tell you some utterly deranged and potentially dangerous retelling of mythology, talking and breaking into song while he does it spitting his smelly chewing tobacco all over your shoe and pausing every now and then to beat someone in the bar up.

This is unlike anything you’ve been fed.

I don’t know how else to get this across other than LISTEN TO THIS NOW. Do you not want Tom Waits to tell you a doomed tale? Because if not, we have little to discuss OTHER THAN YOU ARE WRONG.

“The Mechanisms: a band of immortal space pirates roaming the universe in the starship Aurora. Some say they’re from a steampunk future, others claim they’re from a cyberpunk past, a few even whisper that they may be from a dieselpunk alternate now. They are all correct.”

The Mechanisms

Furthermore, consider that you can support this absolutely daring, utterly orginal band by buying their album(s) FOR A SINGLE BRITISH POUND. Seriously, how can you not want to support this? This shit is NUTS. I want to pour a whiskey and smoke half a pack of cigarettes while listening to this, then go out and dress in a dog suit and find an industrial basement down which a manhole leading to a gash in the timeline that takes you to a bar where seedy people from the last 150 years wind up and in this strange bar there’s a fight pit in which you leap to fight in an illegal dog fight but where both fighters are actually people in dog suits. WHO DOESN’T WANT AN ALBUM THAT MAKES THEM FEEL LIKE THAT?!?!?!

They have 3 recording albums and a live album of what will be their next tale which are available here. All albums tell a single storyline and intermix direct narrative with songs. As you’ll hear. And don’t forget, it costs one single tiny pound to buy, so please consider. I want more people to make more interesting stuff and that can only happen is musicians can actually live and eat.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Great Oxford Writing Circle Album

Holy crap I am having a blast hanging out in Oxford.

I so enjoy these adorable people that I have decided to purchase a bundle of carrier cages and take them all back with me to Eastern Europe where they can spend their days crawling about my hovel like little kitty cats. Every morning I will awake and they will mew and nuzzle my leg and I will scratch all their little ears and pet their heads and give them bowls with vittles which they will lap up adorably before bussing off to catch their daily quota of mice. And in the evening we will all gather round once more and I will rub their little tummies and they will be my warm blanket of purring fur. And some days we will all trek across the hills of the village together, me and my army of cute little Oxford kitty creatures, and village by village we will conquer the lands and subjugate the peasants until finally all of the Balkans lays at our feet and we rule all the lands hither and yon. And I will give each of them a fiefdom, but then they will no longer live with me and have evening belly rubs so I will have to build a pleasure palace of Verseille where they will all want to be all the time, purring and nuzzling, but then of course no one will be overseeing the fiefdoms so the peasants will revolt and the uprising will arrive at our pleasure palace and the peasants will storm it, torches and pitchforks in hand to burn us all in bloody effigy and as they enter our castle they will find me defiantly scratching the ears of my little Oxford creatures, their blankets of fur giving me warmth and I will burn and die scritching… Scritching their little ears with my last tortured, burning breath. Because that is indeed how I roll.

But I digress.

i have much to share with you. I wish to tell you all of The Mechnisms and their musical stories of steampunkish mythology and tobacco spitting epics,  but that will wait until tomorrow. Tragedy tomorrow. Comedy tonight.

There is a writing circle here I was delighted to attend. And an infernal plan was hatched. You know how in between operas I like to make those fairy tale albums? Well, the next such album will be in that vein, but it may not be fairy tales and it will not be written by myself although I will do the music. No, the writing circle will use a story prompt on a subject yet to be decided (and which I will not choose as I must respond to the prompt just like everyone else, but which  i assure you will be suitably fantastical and insane) and they will write a series of small story snippets of the type of length I can use to make 2 to 6 minute songs. They will take the best of the stories they write and send them to me and I will put them to music. As with the Faery Tales some will remain spoken narratives and some will be lyricalized and sung as proper songs. It is possible singers other than myself will be used, I may return here to record extraneous vocalists, but that is not set in stone. Maybe, maybe not depending on a number of factors. We’ll see.

In any case that is the next project, probably after the Atompunk Opera. I expect it to be completed late summer, beginning of fall by the latest. Should you doubt its inevitably awesomeness, stay tuned here for sneak peaks, spoilers and samplers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have GOT to get some tea in me. I have a long day of performing disgusting and humiliating acts of gratification in the bathroom of the bus station so that i can eat later today. Until tomorrow my little furries…

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Clockwork Hart Production of Dolls Opens Tonight

Tonight the Clockwork Hart production of Dolls of New Albion opens and I want to take a moment and hope they break a leg.

i am here in Oxford, but I will wait until tomorrow to attend. it’s a thing… Opening night and all that. Give em opening night to get the kinks and nerves worked out. not that in this case there ‘ll be any problems, I’m sure they’ll rock it to Valhalla and back, it’s theatrical superstition on my part.

So here’s to the few, the proud, the ass kickers of clockwork hart both alive and dead who venture out this evening to tell their sordid tale. May the force be forever on your side living long and prospering there is no spoon.

In the meantime you can check out really cute rehearsal photos and try and figure out which part of the show they’re from at newalbiondolls.co.uk

Which is pretty dorky thing to do, but I’m just sitting her at the hostel, really tired, too early to go to bed, too early to drink beer, and too brain dead to do anything productive having already spent the past few hours reading my kickass book by Peter Hamilton (the reality dysfunction).

So much luck and see y’all tomorrow night!

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A 4 Song Sneak Peak Of The Atompunk Opera

Her are 4 songs from the upcoming Atompunk Opera. It is as of yet unnamed, although you can be assured New Albion will be somewhere in the title.

3 of the songs are from the 2nd Act and because the 2nd Act has a particular flavor not found in the other Acts (to that degree) i am including a track from Act 1 as balance, lest you think the Atompunk Opera all sounds a certain way (and you hate that way and never want to go near it and don’t buy it and i cry until i finally starve to death).

I am not posting these because i think they are the best songs in the opera. The 3 from Act 2 have all been written in the past week and are being posted because they showcase where i am right at this moment. Who knows, maybe i’ll end up hating them or decide they just don’t work and replace them.

The first song is from Act 1.

The following 3 songs are in order from Act 2.

No, i will not tell you what’s going on. Spoilers and that.

Last things: remember, this is music made to have vocals on top off. There are parts that are very awkward without vocals there.

Act 1

A1 S3 Behind The Gates

Act 2

A2 S2 Kyrie

A2 S3 Russell

A2 S4 The Lovers

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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