Do You Want A Synopsis?

A Slenderman Musical by Paul Shapera

I’ve been debating whether or not to include a synopsis with the Slenderman Musical, a written telling of the plot for clarity.

I usually don’t include one, and by usually, i mean never. I’m not against it in principle, i just strive hard to make sure the entire plot is clearly told in the piece. The Slenderman Musical is no different. There is no dialogue that is not in the album, it’s all there.

I don’t write obscure “concept albums” that you must pour over and over to finally “get”, although obviously it does take repeated listening to catch all the details. However, if the plot is not basically clear on the first listen then i have failed in one of my jobs. I aim to tell a clear story, weird though they may be.

However, i accept that it can be tougher to figure out than i might know. I don’t know, i’ve never listened to any of my work without knowing it beforehand. Maybe people WANT a synopsis. Maybe they’d like to read the story, even if just to confirm that what they think is going on is actually going on. Albums of other musicals and operas sometimes include a synopsis. It’s just… if you read it first you miss the carefully crafted moments of of surprise you’re meant to experience listening. Hell, there’s a few moments knowing about beforehand utterly ruins.

But if all you fine folk have been wishing i would include synopsises this entire time (or maybe you were fine without them until, say, the Atompunk Opera when you wished i had included one) who am i to deny you something that would enhance your enjoyment of the little tale i’m spinning for you?

But if the synopsis, improperly used, would potentially lessen the impact of the thing i spend a year of my life at a time making, then maybe i shouldn’t include it. I will always include lyrics. Always. Perhaps lyrics are enough.

What do i know? Do you want a synopsis?

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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Redneck Greek Chorus

In the Slenderman Musical i use a chorus who i affectionately think of as the redneck greek chorus, since their role and function grew to fulfill a variation of what greek choruses did.

It started innocently enough. During the early song On The Run in the first act, i thought a harmony bit reminiscent of the Eagles Seven Bridges Road during the short choruses (“Leaves fall round as you go…”) would nail the mood i was going for perfectly. So i threw it in.

The thing about these highly conceptual musically things though… nothing can really just be in there. Everything must have some justification if at all possible. If at all possible. I am not against having something in there simply because i like it. The problem is, once it’s in there, i’ll start justifying it.

So a few songs later (Chillin’ At The Motel 6) it occurred to me to use a harmony bit again. I mean, it worked the first time, why not expand it? Why not make it a thing?

“Why not make it a thing.” Surely these words are responsible for more tomfoolery in the arts and media than can possibly be imagined.

So now it was a thing and now i started actually thinking seriously about it. I thought at first it would just be the other singers all singing together (and if staged probably would.) But i started to consider it as a greek chorus, only more like a redneck greek chorus. It wasn’t the other characters’ voices. It was a commenting entity in itslef. It would have to be my voice for purely practical reasons, but since i’m also the character of Timothy, there’s a small problem there. Is the chorus an aspect of Timothy? No….

So i called up Jeff Simms, a drummer i know down the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. Ive heard the harmony work he does with Matthew Broyles and often thought his voice would blend with mine perfectly. He also has spot on pitch. (A whole lot better than me.) Thus did Jeff Simms become my redneck greek chorus.

This chorus gets brought in on occasion to perform various tasks. “A Greek chorus is a homogeneous, non-individualised group of performers, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action.” This they do. They are not however a moral judge of the action. It is not their desire to make moral judgements on behalf of the audience. If anything, they are capable of empathizing with whatever character they’re with at the moment, including the dark and terrible ones. They are a voice of compassion although it can be strange when that compassion aligns with a character who is committing an uncompassionate act. Naturally, i love this ambiguity.

Jeff’s voice turned out to blend with mine WAY better than i could have ever imagined. The House song in the 3rd act is easily in my top three songs of the entire piece (many a night it IS my favorite) and those harmonies, the attitude, the ambiguous purpose, the lyrics, melody and killer execution by Jeff are why.

I see the redneck chorus as a fundamental spirit part of the world the slenderman musical takes place in, but what constitutes spiritual in this world is very… uhm… i can’t go into it now.

My favorite modern interpretations of the greek chorus:

The Criminologist from Rocky Horror.

the criminologist rocky horror

The Cowboy from Big Lebowski

The cowboy from The Big Lebowski

Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors:

Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors:

Statler and Waldorf:

Statler and Waldorf:

and, the number all time best modern interpretation of a greek chorus:

The Ommpa Loompas.

the oompa loompas

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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


A Slenderman Musical Release Date: Tues. Oct 20th!

A Slenderman Musical by Paul Shapera

Barring any insane circumstances, A Slenderman Musical will be released on Bandcamp on Tues. Oct 20th. Itunes and Amazon will follow on about the 25th. Mark your calenders. Just in time for Halloween. (which was always the plan)

We’re down to our last vocalist, the wonderful Tiffany Williams recording her parts this weekend. I forgot to have Lauren do one 4 second spoken bit, so she’ll also do that this Monday (maybe one other 5 second bit too). Oliver Marsh, who plays Samuel is done. Jeff Simms, the harmonizer for the Redneck Chorus (we’ll talk about that tomorrow. It’s the version of the Greek chorus i use for this piece) is done. Rachel Hughes is done. Matthew Broyles has his guitar parts all finished… i’m really just cleaning up the tracks now. (Although i cannot tell you how long THAT takes. I can write an entire track in 3 days but spend the next 3 months cleaning it up).

It’s long. The running time is 2 hours. I try to make these things 90 minutes, but ever since Dolls that keeps growing and growing. I couldn’t make this shorter. I recommend listening to it in Acts.

There are 3 Acts.

Anyway, get the word out, any and all help spreading awareness across the internet is GREATLY appreciated. Like, hugely.

All my love to you, my sweets. Soon. Soon we shall be together again… in strange and inappropriate ways.

Until then…


Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Samuel (Get Back, Devil) From A Slenderman Musical

Featuring the always marvelous Oliver Marsh

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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


Entropy from A Slenderman Musical

Yes. More.

Featuring Jeff Simms, Vocals

and Matthew Broyles, Distortion Guitar

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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Possession from A Slenderman Musical

Here is a nice, easy shareable song from the upcoming Slenderman Musical. You wanna help build some interest in the upcoming album? I’d sure appreciate it. If you were inclined you could share this song. Help get the word around.

Featuring Lauren Osborn.

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Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Listen To Act 1 of A Slender Man Musical

Ah the hell with it, you wanna listen to the first act of the Slender Man Musical? Here it is. Not complete, a song is missing (which is irrelevant to this act’s story) and i’m still fiddling with some details, but as a demo version, it’s fine for listening.

I’ve agonized over the best way to present some preview tracks for the album. The thing is, some of my favorites tracks to preview aren’t ready yet. Others are crucial to the story and i’m loath to present them out of context.

As an advance preview, i figure i might as well throw out the 1st act demo. Listen, enjoy… it gets a lot weirder after this act, but this act is clear and grounded and serves as a nice enough teaser. Because it’s an advance teaser, there are no printed lyrics. The finished album will, and this is a first, also come with a synopsis, but once again, not now.

Listen. Enjoy. The finished album will be released in somewhere less than a month. Late October. No official date yet, but late October if things stay on track.


Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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