What Should I Make Next?

10 Jul


Hi all.

Let me begin by thanking each and every one of you who are listening to, liking (and buying, bless your souls!) An Atompunk Opera. My deepest, deepest thanks. And trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Acts 3 and 4 are where the payoff happens. Keep riding along and trust me, i won’t let you down on this one.

I have two questions:

1. What should i do as my next “opera”? I am taking suggestions. The only rule i’d point out, please don’t recommend an existing book or story. Writing the story is half the fun (and i couldn’t possibly afford the rights to an existing work anyway). This whole thing came about because i said “steampunk opera” as a throwaway thing. Those two words, not meant in any seriousness sparked the 3 albums (and one day i hope, world famous live show).

I do not plan to stop writing epics like this. These operas have taught me an enormous amount. ENORmous. Now i wish to take what i have learned and apply it to a new epic. Since you fine folks are the very people i’m looking to enthrall, i was curious to throw out the question. I haven’t considered it too much (it’s taken a LOT of work, a year of intense effort, just to get the Atompunk Opera done. Almost done. It’s still not perfectly mixed in the later Acts. Every night i listen to the entire thing and hope this will be the night where i don’t have a page of notes. The notes are getting shorter and shorter, but dammit, each night i still have them.) I have a strange idea, but it’s not based around plot, it’s just a musical concept. But i’m not going mention anything, i’m curious what you folks might throw out.

2. As you may know, when i release a physical CD box set in the late fall, i was thinking of including one last Act, an act not in any of the operas. Now, this is not necessarily a good idea. If i do NOT include a last act, then i could release a physical CD set MUCH sooner. I don’t have to write another set of songs. This would be smarter. But let’s pretend for a minute that i’m an idiot (i am) and i actually make anther short song cycle. What time period would you like me to revisit? Between steampunk and dieselpunk? Before atompunk? (i know it’s hard to say about atompunk since you have barely scratched the surface and barely know anything yet. You’ll know much more after Act 2.)

Once again i’m curious. I’m considering that adding more is not a good idea. People who really want a physical CD set shouldn’t have to wait so long, but i’m gonna throw out the idea anyway. Hell, maybe i’ll make a single long song, like New Albion 7. Maybe i’ll just move on to the next “in between epics” project (a series of stories set around the Tarot. It’s a short story album in the Fairy Tale vein) and just release a physical set asap, but i just want to throw out the question. And to be clear, answering question 1 is more important.



Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Uncategorized


15 responses to “What Should I Make Next?

  1. Emily Howling

    July 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Firstly, I absolutely adore the New Albion series and am so excited about An Atompunk Opera so thank you for bringing them into existance. In regards to question 1, I am so pleased that you are considering doing another epic and have one idea to suggest. I think it would be interesting to do something exploring angels, because, like fairies, they are very much dumbed down and softened up nowadays. In the bible and other old texts, they are described as many different varieties with many horrifying features. For example, cherubims were said to have many eyes and have been described to have features of animals including bulls, goats and lions. This is a far cry from a Rapheal ‘Putti’ that many associate with cherubim. As you get higher up the hierarchy, angels such as thrones have barely any human resemblance. I think it would be fascinating to look into some of the more traditional myths regarding angels that are nowadays almost unknown. It soon becomes clear why gabriel had to warn the shepherds not to be afraid as he probably had six wings, hundreds of eyes and looked like a grafting experiment gone wrong. Good luck for any new projects! Best wishes, Emily.

    • Courtney Robertson

      July 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

      You know, if you haven’t read the book ‘angel’ by Cliff Mcnish, I would recommend it for you 😊 it’s got ‘traditional’ angels, as in, hundreds of eyes sort of stuff

      • James Gibson

        July 11, 2014 at 9:14 am

        I’ve read some other books by Cliff McNish, The Doomspell Trilogy and The Silver Sequence, and can second that he’s a fantastic and underrated author with a real knack for world building.

        On topic, and in answer to question 2, my sense of symmetry would prefer additional material to talk about New Albion’s beginning (New Albion 0, as told by the Gambler and the Monk, perhaps?) or the definitive end of New Albion, or with them reaching the modern day. Ignoring my desire for things to be symmetrical, though, and it could be interesting to see the rise of the Government from the Dieselpunk Opera. Not gonna lie though, I do really like the idea of a more in depth New Albion origin, but that my detract from its mystery 😛

  2. Ken Carpenter

    July 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I really liked the Sidhe stuff. I think there are so many untold stories there. I mean what really happened after the Sidhe migrated off earth in their space ships? Oops maybe I wasn’t supposed to mention that 🙂

    The imagination is limitless and as more than one writer has said ‘Ideas are not the hard part everyone has them. The hard part is doing the work to put them into a medium’ and you sir do it brilliantly. But since you asked there are a few more ideas at the end of this post.

    I have a question though I have only recently discovered your work and love it and I wonder if you got inspiration to do this kind of music story telling from Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s work I haven’t looked at publishing dates so maybe he actually was inspired by your work? Or maybe you simply are not aware of each other. In which case I would suggest you meet and collaborate in what would likely be the most amazing musical epic ever. 🙂

    Okay here are my ideas:

    Space opera pirates

    Heavy metal zombie apocalypse

    Time honored internet favorite argument of Pirates vrs Ninjas with a suitable tragic love triangle.

    I know you said nothing that was based off books but there is a lot of mythology out there to explore. Something from the American Indian mythos would be cool. Greek and Celtic has been done to death.

    No vampires please.

    Same for werewolves

    Man’s first encounter with an alien race dark, tragic and full of misunderstanding.

    Cyber Punk

    Cyber Punk meets Steam Punk

    Western with some kind of fey twist

    Maybe more as I think of them but in reality I have listened to the whole collection and it was all amazing. Not all appealed directly to me but I still appreciated the talent that went into producing it. Keep it up.


  3. Natasha Laws

    July 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I am so excited to hear the rest of the Atompunk Opera! It’s really difficult trying to occupy my mind until the next act Tuesday but I know the wait will be worth it! 🙂
    As for the extra act, I think it would be cool for that act to be at the complete beginning when the Gambler and the Monk played cards. They could have their debate about God (Annabel playing god trying to bring the dead back to life) and Chance (Constance reuniting with her family at the last moment before John and Jackie are killed) and Fate (What I suspect is happening in Atompunk Opera with Rachel). It would be a cool way to connect the three operas even deeper.
    As for ideas for a new epic, like the three types of punks, maybe you could connect three types of mythology. Some of the myths of different cultures do connect already and it would be fun to play with the music of each culture.
    Really exited for the rest of Atompunk Opera!

  4. Mary Arsenault

    July 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    1.) Well I’d pretty much listen to anything, but since you asked:

    Cyberpunk- Or really anything with the word punk in it. You do it so well.

    Superhero- The holographic superhero in NA9 made me think how awesome it would be to have a superhero opera.

    2.) I would be willing to wait, because more NA is always better, but it’s entirely up to you. I don’t particularly care what time period.

  5. Reggie Lutz

    July 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    *cackles wickedly*


    It doesn’t exits, although, I’d say Alia Gee’s Suncatcher (book) could possibly be called Solarpunk.

    But yeah, if we’re going with *source of energy* plus the word punk…

    Solarpunk. Do with it what you will…

    And now I have an idea starting to form about what happens when stars explode… I’ll shut up now and get my eyes on my own work.

  6. authoralexsmith

    July 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Hi just wanted to say I love the operas and all of your work since I stumbled upon them. This actually made my birth month a whole lot better since the whole opera will be released by my birthday. Maybe you should do something involving fairy tales like the Little Mermaid. I’d love to hear your take on Little Red Riding Hood and such. Give them your own twist or something. Just a suggestion.

  7. Dave Pounds

    July 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    How about something in the setting of the wild west in America?

  8. Courtney Robertson

    July 11, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Paul, I first have to say that I am in love, truly, deeply I am in love with all of your operas, however I can see just from this first act of the AO, that you have learnt so much and applied it all to this undertaking. I will be sorry when this is all over, but the future is still on it’s way, and each player must move on. As for what to do afterwards? Well, that’s something that has many answers-you can tap into a vein of a previous story, perhaps explore other styles and times of music, perhaps create a darker story or another opera but of voodoo punks…who knows, but I do like the idea of elaborating on the evolution of the voodoo punks. They are the very foundation of new Albion in my opinion. Either way, I wanted to let you know that i love all of your operas, originally, being part of the steampunk movement, I was opposed to the DO, but I have come to love it also. I am sure whatever you do, I shall be an eager listener, I tip my imaginary hat to you good sir.

    • paulms

      July 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much. You want Voodoopunks you say? Stay tuned, cause here they come.

  9. Moira Darke

    July 11, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I definitely would love another act in the box set – my personal favorite is the Steampunk Opera (I think that the overture of the Steampunk Opera remains my favorite piece of your music). So between Steampunk and Dieselpunk is my vote.

    As for where to go from here – I wouldn’t mind hearing more of a cultural sound – Egyptian mythology, perhaps? Or at least classic Egyptian music (mixed in with some of your fantastic instrumentals and modern touches – I’m imagining it already…)

    Anything goes, of course, as long as it’s suitably tragic, mildly disturbing, and leaves listeners going “Wha… but… I… can’t even…”

  10. Abed Alsolaiman

    July 14, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    How about an act after the Atompunk Opera? Maybe the world ends at the end, but it would be interesting. Or how about a Spacepunk New Albion?
    And in terms of a new opera, I love where you’re going with that slenderman concept.

  11. T

    July 17, 2014 at 1:34 am

    I wouldn’t mind another act like New Albion 7 for the inter-period between steam and diesel. Choosing my favourite period is way too hard. Maybe diesel… or steam… but the atom… There are a lot of places I would like to here another track or a little more story, but none seem worthy of a whole act. Perhaps an album of unrelated stories (like Fairy tale for Homeless Fairies) telling untold stories of New Albion spanning all three periods. I’m sure there are plenty of short stories that never made the final cut that are worth telling, and I know there are lots of untold stories that I would be interested in just one more song about (the original rise of Voodoopunk as an intermission between Steampunk acts two and three, the early days of Freedom Corp. before they realised their experiments were failing). Another track I would like in a box set would be a stand alone version of “the lovers” song without the additional story – just the rockabilly song alone.

    As for the first question: as someone who grew up with all the original books of fairy tale and cultural myths I love your fairy tales. I would always be happy to here another take on the Sihde and other cultural folk-tales. A lot of people are saying no vampires, but I think a well done take on Eastern European folklore would be great. The other idea I have to throw into the void is “punking” (in the neo-futuristic way, not the 60’s anarchism movement way) the age of enlightenment. For me this period on the cusp of where modern science and religion meet has a particular magic to it. Some of the true stories of the time are so strange and surreal there are so many places to paint some “punked” magic in and make it incredible.

    Just my two cents. I have high hopes for whatever comes next no matter what it is (the Slender-man album, for example is intriguing, HYPE!)

    Thank you for all your work


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