I find writing short stories from scratch to be a wonderful way to write the operas. For Dieslpunk, i first sat down and wrote Act 1, based off a mental image of a man made of rust, and then wrote the 2nd act a day or so later. While changes occured once it came time to put into into music and opera form, they’re very close. I generally sit down with very little. I just try to start writing.
(In the original story for the 2nd Act i did have a brief role for the red haired lad, the descendant of the dwarf. I always meant to make one of the descendants into an actual voiced character by the end. We’ll see if that happens)
For the Atompunk, i’m going to need two types of stories:
1. a history of New Albion from the end of dieslpunk through to at least 3 generations later with obvious focuses on the elements i know i’ll be using in the opera. There’s a particular corporation who is quite key and and Voodoopunks are clearly quite key too.
2. Character stories for the actual characters. This sometimes covers what happens in the act.
What happens in the act is where the character and larger history meet. But it’s vital the Acts revolve around the character inside the story development instead of them just being a face to have a story happen to. The Act needs to revolve around the character regardless of the larger plot events.
In the case of the Atompunk Opera i already have the larger events worked out (with some holes of course. I need an excuse to chat with my friend Kevin Hulburt.) and how 3 of the character fit into it (female lead, Lauren of course, male lead, Oliver Marsh, and female narrator again this time, Kayleigh Mcknight (?) probably because i will requite the particular smoothness of voice she has for my view of this opera’s narrator. I worship Courtney’s Ellis’ voice. WORship. And it was PERfect for Jackie. But not this Narrator, it’ needs to be REALLY… a particualr type. I don’t have the 4th role worked out but there are a few possibilities based on how i tell the story). So what i need is to create the characters.
So far i know one important detail about the male, but the 1st Act will center around the female lead. She’ll be pretty young, about 18, and quite troubled. She’ll likely be rejoining the world after a lengthy stay at a psychological care facility, since being 18, she can no longer be held without her consent.
She and Kayleigh (the Narrator) will be able to interact, but not in a Lloyd/Jackie kind of way. This relationship will not be metaphysical or meta level, it will have real practical reasons why. (we’ll get weird much later in the opera. Trust me, the 3rd Act will be batshit nuts)
So, my point, because i figured we could just chat for a few minutes today, i’m in a chatty mood and have been having a particularly productive day creatively, most of which i can’t tell you about, of course…. but… SO: i need to write two types of stories: what has happened to New Albion during each of the 3 generations following the events of the DO AND character stories of what happens to the character during each act. This will of course be what the act is actually about.
I’m debating about doing a stand alone New Albion 8. Much like 7. The true purpose of 7 was to see if could do Dieslpunk. I had given up on the idea of making a dieslepunk opera because, frankly, i was convinced i couldn’t pull it off. The horns, the brass style, i just didn’t think i could do it. I had given up on the idea. But i WANTED to SOOOOOO much. So i did a little one off and discovered that i might be able to pull of a dieslepunk opera after all. New Albion 7 isn’t the greatest track in the series, but it was key in beginning to explore the musical genre.
I will… i might require an experiment that allows me to play around with musical concepts regarding Atompunk. A little trial run to get my musical bearings. A one off track buried on some other album or on the net elsewhere. There’s a period of time after New Albion 7 and before the Atompunk Opera that could be up for grabs. I’m sure there’s a story in that period of time once i get my history written. It might be good practice and allow me to start playing with ideas in a less pressured environment. (Because the 1st Act to the opera has got to be out of the park awesome. Seriously, one of my big rules with these operas: Don’t fuck up the first Act. Make sure that 1st act is a doozy)
So… blah blah blah. Just chatty. Ideas pouring, no one to talk to. Can’t talk here, because… spoilers.
I meant to write stories for the fairy album, like a story about a sentient house, but the Atompunk just…. comes, man. Instead of the fairy album it’s the Atompunk that just keeps coming in. It hit my when i went to London to record. I though i’d spend my spare thought time thinking about the Fairy album, but on that bus ride from Luton to Victoria Station, which is like an hour and half, i’m totally dazed and all of a sudden BOOM, Atompunk ideas just start bloody coming. Today too. Just… bam bam bam.
Oh well. Ce la vie.
Maybe i’ll entertain you with pretty things tomorrow instead of navel gazing. Sorry for that.