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The Atompunk Opera Q&A

01 Aug

First things first:

We have been having Old Testmant style thunderstorms for 5 days now and my internet, hell my electricity has been mostly non existant. The very post could be written during a brief hour long respite  at which point i won’t see electricity again for another 5-10 hours. So far weather’s clearing up and it looks like the sun is coming out, but i’m just warning you. I will answer not only best i can, but WHEN i can.

Second things second:

I realize it’s only been a few days and it can take awhile to figure out exactly what the hell is going on. You can ask later. I just thought since there are a few more loose ends plotwise on this one than on others ( i think. I mean, the DO can be a bit more confusing with the whole 4th wall things and meta-narrative shenanigans, but the plot otherwise is pretty well explained) i thought i’d give an opportunity to ask questions. Basically, my test listeners had more questions this time than on other times (although each about completely different things. Had they all asked about the same character or event it would have been easy to pinpoint a place to clarify better) so…

Hang on, i’m rambling. I don’t want to ramble. Basically, you have any questions, ask away in the comments and i will answer. It’s the end of the series. I have few secrets left. (Although i might be coy about a subject or two)

If anything was unclear or you wanted to know exactly what was going on offstage so to speak, you could ask away. I realize i COULD just write a bunch of stories that clarify such things, but i don’t have the time currently and while the desire to know and ask is still fresh…. i am at your disposal.

 
114 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

114 responses to “The Atompunk Opera Q&A

  1. alexanderchesebro

    August 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Paul, In “the Mascot 3000” Connor mentions that the Mascot has brothers (plural) and says that one is lost and that the other will soon return. I assume the one whom he expects to return is Lee, but who is the other brother?

    Secondly, in “the Rescue Plan” when the explosion sound occurs during Lee’s verse at the end of the song and Rachael cries out to him, asking him to get up and what not, I figured the creatures killed Lee, is that correct?

    Also, I realize that Rachael is a reincarnation of Priscilla and Constance, but I was a bit confused about what the creatures were telling her about asylums and her sanity.

    That’s all the questions I have for now. It was a blast listening to the pieces again and trying to work things out!

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      1. The Mascot 300o is the daughter of Connor and Amber. Therefore both Lee and Adrian are her brothers. Lee is the son of Connor and Adrian is the son of Amber.

      2. Yes, Lee bites it in the Rescue Plan.

      3. The world is like an asylum. You do not get to leave the world and go to Elysium just because you die. You only get to leave if you… go sane, metaphorically speaking. There’s a connection between Rachael and the asylum at the beginning of the opera and her leaving the world at the end.

       
  2. Mary Arsenault

    August 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Yay, Q&A time! I have a few questions:

    1. So, this has been buggin me. If reincarnation is 100% a thing in the New Albion verse, how come Edgar was able to resurrect so many people? I mean, I got the impression that reincarnation is a choice so not everyone is going to reincarnate right away, if it all, but was Edgar ever not able to bring someone back because they reincarnated? Did he offer a refund if they reincarnated?

    2. I don’t really understand why Rachael could stay in Elysium without being attacked. She was the reincarnation of Priscilla and Constance, but so was Adrian so I don’t get why they went after Adrian but not Rachael.

    I would also like to say that I adored AO. It was a fantastic finale to the New Albion trilogy. While each opera can mostly stand on its own, I definitely felt that this was the culmination of years of build up. I got so attached to the characters. I want to go on adventures with the Mascot 3000.

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      1. Your beloved grandma has passed. Awwwww. So your family goes to Edgar’s business and a few days later you get your new Grandma Doll. It doesn’t really talk and it can barely move. How do you know it’s actually your grandma? Maybe you choose to never ask that question because you believe what you want to believe.

      2. There are two theories on this, but i am only going to comment at this time on Theory 1. (we might get to Theory 2 in a later answer)

      According to Theory 1, Rachael was Adrian but:

      a. by deceiving Connor in The Deceit, Adrian accrued bad karma that had to be wiped away in order for Elysium to welcome him once more. Hence Rachael’s young life was so shitty. In particualr she was manipulated and her child taken away, much as Connor was manipulated and his child lost to him. I think Rachael got the shittier end of the stick if you ask me, but they DO say “karma’s a bitch”

      b. Technically speaking, Adrian was not killed by the Creatures (Angel, actually. They’re basically Angels. Angels in the old Abrahamic religions are never described as nice, winged people. They’re always described as quite monstrous). Technically, Adrian was killed by trying to go back through the gate. The VPs tried numerous times to send folks back through the gate over a 2 year period, but it never worked and everyone always died, including Adrian. So it was trying to pass back through the gate that actually killed him.

      If monstrous creatues were attacking and slaughtering everyone around you, you wouldn’t really notice that they weren’t ever specifically attacking you, you would just assume you were lucky.

       
  3. Anon Anon

    August 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Hullo~ I just have a few questions, and I’ll try to not repeat. If you want to like… keep things secret, that’s totally okay, I’m just curious about a few things. So uh, here we go:

    1. Is reincarnation only possible with the gate and like with certain souls who please the dead, a la Priscilla/Constance/Adrian/Rachael? Or does every soul reincarnate after a while, when they decide there’s more to do on the New Albion side/get tired of wandering through Elysium?

    2. Is it Priscilla’s sacrifice at the end of the Steampunk Opera that pleases the dead so much that their subsequent reincarnations can calm the souls of the dead?

    3. Which brings me to question 3, I presume like the Lovecraft Horrors are just like… normal souls that are in Terror Mode™ because there’s an infection of real people in Elysium?? Or are they just white blood cell Soul/Creatures/Things beyond Comprehension that are permanently in Elysium and only come around when someone does something stu… like the VP’s did.

    4. Does anyone ever tell Connor that his son is dead/won’t be coming back as an AI? Because Connor just seems to be the chew toy of this opera, I mean he’s kinda focused on just saving his son, but _man_ the cruel irony that he saved a bunch of VP’s, whom he doesn’t like, while his son dies after 20 years… that is kinda salt on the wound.

    5. So do Rachael and the Mascot 3000 just wander Elysium for Eternity, like a sort of Doctor Who in the land of the dead, except less time travel and more Land of the Dead exploration?

    6. Does Lee reincarnate or is he dead dead forever? Like if you die in Elysium, what happens to your soul? Anything special or are you, if you’ll pardon my crassness, fucked five ways to eternity? I suppose this ties into question one a little… 

    7. Why did they have to use babies, fetuses, things for the AI experiments? Were adult souls too complex? Did they use the Doll tech from the Steampunk Opera as a starting point? How many years did it take to get a working AI? Did they ever make any other Mascots after the Mascot 3000? Though I suppose they did, considering 30 VP’s went back… Though I presume that the tech that made the original Mascot 3000 had to be modified to adjust for Fully Grown Human Souls™…

    I hope this isn’t too many questions >,> Thank you so very much for the Q&A session~

     
    • Anon Anon

      August 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Wait, I thought of another, since you keep saying Theory 1 and Theory 2. Is it possible that Rachael _isn’t_ Adrian, she’s just the reincarnation of Priscilla and Constance, and that her ability to hear Lee over the radio is residuals from that lifetime? From that set of Karma? I mean, it always seems like that particular soul has to pay a heavy price for their contact with the land of Elysium, so if the entire pregnancy thing is the karma for being able to hear Elysium, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s Adrian. It’s entirely possible that she has nothing to do with Adrian, but everyone _wants_ her to be Adrian because they figure that’s why she can hear Lee rather than the entire reincarnation angle?

      I mean, how many people realistically know about Priscilla and Constance…? Constance might be more well known because of the Battle of Cryer’s (sorry for the misspelling I’m sneaking on at work and I can’t look it up atm) Boulevard, but her father is probably more well known because well, he’s the one who turned. Priscilla, beside being mentioned by Solder 7285 and being the subject of his trial, doesn’t strike me as being known at all? If anything, I see her dying in obscurity besides being basically the initial sparking of the revolution.

       
      • Tanis Kowalik

        August 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm

        I won’t spoil this surprise of what specifically is said, but the whole Adrian reincarnation thing is indirectly explained in a backwards message at the beginning of ‘The Creatures Speak’.

         
      • paulms

        August 1, 2014 at 8:46 pm

        Connor would have had Lee put onto a tablet. The consciousnesses can be put into various compatible devices.

         
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      1. The only answer i can give to this question is that souls in the New Albion world reincarnate until such time as they are allowed (or wish) access to Elysium. Whether any have entered Elysium and come back after a time is a matter of speculation that i cannot answer. The gate led back to New Albion, but alas, because some lockdown by the Angels did not allow return in one piece. It killed you, but did reincarnate back in the New Albion world. At least they assume they did. This was not known. The remnants of Aracdia looked for YEARS for proof that one of the settlers had in fact reincarnated. if they could prove that they would know then that that’s what happened when someone died going through the gate and offer that as an option to the trapped settlers.

      2. I don’t know to answer this. Subsequent reincarnations cannot calm the souls of the dead. I’m not sure if Priscialla’s sacrifice pleased the dead or whether they cared at all. If you’re speaking of the Creatures/Angels, they’re just doing their thing. Priscilla’s sacrifice did SOMEthing to her soul that allowed it to pass the Elysium Entrance Litmus Test.

      3. They’re permanently in Elysium. Whether they were EVER human souls that rose their way up (so to speak) to become the creaturey/angel things they are is a matter of speculation i cannot answer. It’s also possible they come into being specifically for a purpose, i.e. to be white blood cells when an infection hits. Since an infection had never happened before quite like the VPs, we can assume those particular Beings didn’t exist only for that one purpose and had up to that point just been sitting around for however many gazillion years just in case. On the other hand, perhaps Elysium DOES have need for white blood cells in other regards that have nothing to do with the New Albion world. Perhaps there are all sort of multi deminsional shenanigans that occur for which they’re often needed. Can’t say at this point.

      4. Connor is the chew toy of the oepra. I’m sure he figures it out eventually. I have to tell you, when it occurred to me to have Connor sing the same exact song TWICE, 20 years apart, each time naively waiting for his son’s return not knowing he was in fact totally fucked…. oh, i laughed and laughed, yes i did.

      (i also have a thing: put what bothers you the most in your work. In the SO it was my fear of dying a complete and utter failure, in the AO, as a father of a 5 year old, Connor’s situation is of course one of the biggest fears of my life.)

      5. Who says there’s no time travel in Elysium? Elysium is very… hard to pin down using human concepts. Maybe Elysium has other doors to other worlds. Maybe…. maybe a lot of things.

      6. We assume, based on Rachael and Theory 1, that if you go through the gate you will reincarnate. However, we cannot be sure this will happen if you die by getting shanked by the Creatures.

      7. Fetuses and babies are simpler, less developed and can grow in the necessary ways needed to become true AI consciousness. They worked on it a looooong time and never got it quite right and then turned from it to work on the Elysium Gate. The Mascot didn’t get turned on until after the VPs were gone. The few departments left included the AI dept. Since all attempts to get the gate back open failed (and the Corporation was utterly gutted and so many supplies gone) the AI department became the new hope. The AI department, as most of Arcadia was forced to work underground, but they did manage to smuggle most of the their lab supplies out before the City got around to stripping down their section (the city was delighted to have Arcadia’s tech to play around with. DeLIGHTED. Too bad they had few people competent enough to do anything worthwhile with it)

      So, the old AI department continued working in secret for 20 years. They were of course joined by the other few Arcadia scientists who wished to stay. Connor ironically became a big help. He got funds diverted to them usual all sort of creative city financing and hiding the money trail. He kept them going. Over the course of 20 years they got the Mascot 3000 up and running and the MCG v314, which was instrumental in the Mascot 3000 in the first place.

      What you never want to know about, is the Mascot 1000. That is a very, very ugly story.

      The Mascot 3000 is the only working model in existence. The 30 souls from the beyond are going back to what is basically a giant server warehouse where what to so with them will be figured out. What has not been factored in is that the new AIs may figure things out for themselves….

       
      • Anon Anon

        August 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        Aaah, thank you for answering. ‘u’ Sucks for the 30 souls getting stuck in a server farm, but maybe they’ll figure something out and we’ll have like… idk Skynet in New Albion. I presume that Connor had like… special plans for Lee’s soul though? Since I don’t think Connor would like to have his son just stuck in a server farm. >,>

         
  4. Natasha Laws

    August 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    QUESTION TIME!

    1) in Rachels’s character decription it says that when she cut herself she carved RFE into herself but it wasn’t her initials. Did it stand for anything?

    2) With the ending of New Albion 10, it mentions meeting across the sea. Can we assume that though the stories within New Albion is done, we might return to the world that it exist in?

    3) (Since there are no more operas except the extra 45 minute one) Do Mascot 3000 and Rachel in the future attempt to get in contact with the soul of Lee/Thomas/Soldier 7285?

    4) So what was Rachel/Priscilla/Constance soul’s mission “you did choose to go back to save those who you thought that you could”?

    The Atompunk Opera was epic in everyway. I relistened to all of the operas after that twist of connecting the three girls. My family is tired of hearing me sing the songs (either out loud or under my breath like a psycho maniac). I hope to hear more beautiful (and maybe tragic) stories in the future!

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      1 It does…. omg, i totally forget. I’m so sorry. It does, but i never pursued it and now i’ve forgotten. Let me think and i’ll back to you. (The character background was written early in the process and isn’t necessarily accurate in the final opera. Much of it is. But damn, yes, the RFE was SOMEthing… let me think)

      2. Yes. Both Fairy Tale albums take place in the New Albion world and all fantasy things i do in the foreseeable future will take place on the same world. Not sure about Slenderman.

      3. No, but they do meet again. It is however a very, very long time and in very unusual circumstances, although not altogether unpleasant.

      4. To go back to save those who she thought that she could. (Presumably the Soldier. Something very poignant passed between them in that moment their eyes locked as she was shot. She inspired him and he inspired her)

       
      • Natasha Laws

        August 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        Ah! That makes sense! Thanks!!!

         
      • Natasha Laws

        August 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        OOH ONE MORE QUESTION!
        Just listened to DO again. Is the reason that Constance could hear Lloyd and was immune to the voodoopunks song due to the fact that she had a connection already to Elysium and it allowed her immunity and the answer on how to break the spell?

         
      • paulms

        August 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

        In the DO i would say Constance’s having already been allowed out into Elysium is not THE reason, but it is definitely A reason.

         
  5. Intense Wizardry

    August 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    1. What does Macot 3000 mean? Is it just literally the “mascot” or is there something deeper?
    2. Is Adrian male or female? I always thought she was female, but Lee refers to him/her as a boy, and then in the answers you call him/her Amber’s son? And the singer is female?
    Sorry, I know that’s a dumb question, but it confused me a little. Thanks!

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      1. Mascot just sounded like the kind of name some personal tablety thing would be called. There’s no deeper meaning.

      2. Adrian is male. The singer is female, but according to Theory 1, Rachael and Adrian share the same soul so Lauren Osborn’s voice is that soul. The whole point was Rachael showing up as Adrian’s reincarnation, everybody expecting…. well NOT expecting that Lee and Adrian were gay boys, the rockabilly song is in fact a gay anthem, and obviously Lee is not romantically attracted to some girl that shows up after 20 years.

       
      • Mary Arsenault

        August 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

        That reminds me of another question I had. How come when Rachael hears Lee’s song in The Shopogopolis, he says “oh, girl I’ll take you there tonight” if he’s singing the song to Adrian? Did he change the lyrics when he found out Rachael might be Adrian? Thank you for answering all these questions!

         
      • paulms

        August 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

        No, he’s just using a affectation. Ever hear gay guys call each other girl? Lee would call Adrian girl sometimes. In truth, leaving it in is a mistake.

         
  6. Lyrien

    August 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    First of all, I’m madly in love with the AO! Especially the last act.

    Since most of my questions have been answered, there is only one left: is Connor unhappy about Lee’s romance with Adrian because they’re gay, or simply because all the VP stuff? I mean, being gay does not seem to be a problem in New Albion (Constance and Byron seem to be okay and open about it), so I’m guessing it’s the VP stuff.

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Being gay is not a problem in New Albion. Connor is upset because of the VP stuff and because of his history with Amber.

       
  7. Shiloh KB

    August 1, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Sorry, but could you clear up what exactly was going on with the narrative? Narrator in Dolls made sense because of the general omniscient attitude of narrators, but what was the whole deal with Llyod? Even if the “Radio Hour” itself was fake, how would Jackie be aware of him?

    Also, this is probably a stupid question, but I kept noticing your little side info on the bandcamp talks about two lovers thrust to opposite ends of time, only fated to meet for a short while. Was this Priscilla/Constance/Adrian/Racheal and 7285/Thomas/Lee ? Or is it something else entirely? If it were so, that might explain why they were the only ones to reincarnate.

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      1. I can only discuss Lloyd to a small extant because the… paradoxical nature of him and the show is what makes it. it is supposed to be a paradox in numerous levels. With that in mind:

      The main theme of the DO is illusion. (The main theme of the AO is truth). More to the point: every single living entity, whether a person, a group, a government or a religion has a narrative. A story you will. The way they see life, the drama that is their life, their particular worldview, all of it combines to make a personal narrative that dictates how they go about living their lives and the kind of decisions they make.

      Most of these narratives are bullshit. You’re not really this, that isn’t the real reason you do that… think of someone who is very politically extreme. You know they’re off the deep end just a bit and SO very fired up and so convinced everything is this warring drama. Well, we all live like that, albeit in subtler ways sometimes. So, every entity has a narrative and these narrative are mostly bullshit. Yet, bullshit or not, they have very, very really effects upon both the world and human suffering. They can cause real suffering. And most usually do.

      Thus, the DO is set up as layer upon layer upon layer of bullshit narrative. Characters and groups have the stories that define them and cause them to make the decisions they do. John, Jackie, the Voodoopunks, the government and their super soldier program… everyone lost in their own narrative, suffering abounding.

      So we have layer after layer. Lloyd is a meta layer. (although Constance gains enlightenment and out meta layers him). Lloyd is a narrative on another level, still imposing, or trying to, his will upon the other narrative. Which he can do to the extant that they’re blind and can’t see it. Lloyd seems to be just a usual Narrator for a long while, but don’t trust narratives, they’re bullshit is the theme, so… The more you are aware of the whole meta narrative nature of things, the more you can…

      Jackie is a high priestess of a voodoo cult. One that lives in the underground, an area of New Albion where the walls of reality are a little thinner (i could go into the whole Constance is Inanna, the sumerian godess who goes to the underworld and gains wholeness thing, but we’re going on long enough). It is fair to assume in Jackie’s voodoo-y, underground escapades, she has become aware of Lloyd, in fact on a first name basis.

      Here’s the thing: the Radio Hour isn’t fake. The events depicted actually happen. They’re canon.Are they fake and non fake at the same time? Layers and layers of narrative wrapping the world in a self creating illusion.

      2. The lovers story is just a thing. I decided awhile ago that i hated writing bios and whenever i have to write one i just write a teeny tiny story instead. Different places on the net with bios from me have different little stories. There’s no larger connection to anything New Albion related.

       
      • Tanis Kowalik

        August 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

        Still raises the question of just WHAT Lloyd was, as opposed to the other narrators, who either appeared impartial or was an integral part of the story, Lloyd made no attempts to hide the fact that he was manipulating people for the sake of the plot. I’ve been wondering if Lloyd was actually some kind of creature (or angle) from Elysium, it would explain both why Jackie knew of him through the VP rituals, and why Constance sort of became immune to him. I’ve even toyed with the idea that Lloyd may even be the Devil himself or at least some kind of fallen angle.

        I’m also a bit confused on something in the Rescue. When Lee died, was he killed by the angles of Elysium, or by the Mascot 3000?

         
      • paulms

        August 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        Lee was most definitely killed by the Creatures/Angels. There was no one left to keep them out.

         
  8. oldriku

    August 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Why were the Blood Red Dogs still alive on Elysium?

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Because they’re badasses.

      Some Blood Red Dogs went over the VP settlers as they believed in the dream, and thought they could help out, watch their backs and keep the peace. I would argue that no one would have possibly survived and certainly not for so long, even if it was just a few (100) by the end if the BRD weren’t there. By the end, ALL survivors were Blood Red Dogs. There came a point were there were no lines between civilians and military. If you’re alive, you get trained and you fight.

       
  9. Lyrien

    August 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    In A4 S2, is the person saying the line “and now, it’s time to tune in to the astonishing adventures of Rachael and the Mascot 3000” Lloyd? I don’t know why, it just seems possible.

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Yeah, that’s a Lloyd nod. The Mascot 3000 has her own narrative going on, and Lloyd just loves narratives. Whenever there’s an imaginary presenter announcing your life, it’s Lloyd.

       
      • Natasha Laws

        August 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        Not gonna lie, after Lloyd introduced the adventures of Rachel and the Mascot 3000, I automatically went “brought to you by POPOVER CIGARETTES!”

         
  10. Laysh

    August 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    QUESTIONS!
    1) Jasper is my favorite character, and had a bit of fanboy moment when I heard that the bonus act might have been about him when he was alive, though it sounds like its leaning to not be so. So, I was wondering, what was Jasper like when he was alive, and did he ever thought of Annabel after their kiss? Also do Jasper and Annabel ever meet in another life where she finally has her happy ending with him?

    2) One thing I’ve always wondered was how big the age gap was between Fay and Edgar?

    3) With Lloyd Allen, is it far fetch to assume, due to you saying that time travel may not be counted out in Elysium, that Lloyd was a voodoopunk of the Atompunk era who got trapped and found a way into the Dieselpunk era and tired to change the course of history to make New Albion fall in his own self justified way to save everyone and himself from their folly?

    4) What did the MCG stand for?

    5) I know the point of “Storyville Station” is explaining Constance’s transcendence of the story itself, but was most of it fluff or had it deeper meaning? With the King and and prince It reminds me of “Mad Gertie”

    6) If Constance and Thomas left New Albion to go towards the “Bells in the West” (Which I’m wondering what City that may be) why did her soul end back up in New Albion? Did her soul have such a strong Imprint on New Albion that it anchored itself there and is now only free to venture some where else?

    6) Mostly a silly, fun question, but I pictured when Lee sang his song in “The Lovers” he was at his band rehearsal. Was he in a band? and if so, was it called “The Saint Priscillas?” or maybe, in a more recent taste of Voodoopunk religion “The Saint Harlots?”😛

    7) While I’m sad to see New Albion take its bow, I am excited to hear the other stories of this world. I especially am interested if we will see the consequences of Piston Brown’s conviction has on this world. But the question is even though New Albion’s stories are asleep, will we hear of it in passing in the future, as little easter eggs? (We did have that little easter egg in the album of the “The Fairy Tales of the Homeless Fairies, with he mention of the nameless rusty, sandy drug) And Will we see the reincarnated souls of the other characters in the future?

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      1. The Jasper character background is about as far as i;ve gone into it: https://steampunkopera.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/character-background-3-jasper-the-dead-guy/ Now, this isn’t in the opera, but i like to think that Annabelle became Priscilla. If so, it is likely Rachael one day comes across Jasper in her travels and they enjoy a quite lovely cup of tea together.

      2.Fay is older than Edgar, and while i don’t exactly remember the math (it’s been awhile since the SO) she might have been around 7 years older? Part of why she could not deal with his immaturity.

      3. If the DO is staged, it is my preference that Lloyd be played by a human sized “doll”. The voice of the doll would also play Thomas, and the actor would voice Lloyd but step out and actually be Thomas when Thomas is up. What this means for larger continuity is admittedly a head fuck, but if you ignore larger continuity, simply for the DO that would be my preference.

      4. McGuffin.

      5. Storyville Station is a retelling of the opera and Constance in metaphor.

      6. For some metaphysical reason beyond my knowledge, Constance is indeed anchored in some fundamental way to New Albion. Also, the place in the west where the little…place/town/temple was built is not actually particularly far from New Albion. It’s in the mountains to the west.

      7. I’ll definitely sprinkle little references… forever as i go. As for reincarnated souls of other characters: it’s possible, i’ve considered it, but i have no particular plans. I would probably never do it for a larger, opera piece, since that needs to be self contained (alhtough i’m not above a little reference). It would be in a smaller, fairy tale type story that i would do such a thing if i were ever to do it.

       
  11. absolutionjailor

    August 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I am so glad to see so many people participating in this Q&A, it just shows how many people are deeply affected by your work.

    1) Where is New Albion 7? Was it intentionally left for the bonus act, is it a missing memory we just didn’t get into due to the storytelling style of AO? Did I count wrong or miss something?

    2) The Creatures Speak sounds surprisingly heavenly backwards, really impressive there to write a song like that. Mascot claims to translate for Rachael, does she intentionally mislead her by leaving out the reversed revelation, or is her translation incomplete/fail to hear the lone herald of (what I gather is) Theory 2?

    3) Your cast is amazing, there’s no other way to describe them. From your YouTube videos they seemed pretty committed to the work. Do you discuss these character arcs with them, or write characters for your cast based on your history? Given an infinite budget and a worldwide stage, would they all reprise their roles for a visual production of the trilogy?

    And some general notes/non-questions.

    I’ve always loved reprisals. They’re unique to musical theater and they carry so much weight, as they are evidence of experience upon a character. With the AO, you included so many nods to the first two and successfully recurring themes, that it is, in all of my experience, one of the greatest final acts I’ve encountered. When the Blood Red Dogs show back up, when The Bonfire solo appears in the Rescue Plan, all of this comes together to perfection. There are a hundred other examples of remixes, riffs, and references.

    In doing so, you recapture the feelings the first parts invoked.

    I don’t know if you’re a Harry Potter fan, but the score in the movies did a similar thing. The final piece playing over the emotional finale is a more powerful reprisal of the song that played for the first train ride to Hogwarts. The audience relives the journey and, if done well, is forced to confront their progress. It’s a happy ending, but a lot of people growing up alongside the series were brought to tears and couldn’t immediately justify why.

    To say that you have done this well would be a profound understatement.

    Thanks again for everything you do, Paul. You truly have created something astounding.

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Aw, thanks.

      1. New Albion 7 was put on another album, an album of dark fairy tales. Little easter egg.(And an album i’m actually immenesly proud of, written in between the SO and the DO): http://mochalab.bandcamp.com/album/fairy-tales-for-the-lost-and-wandering

      2. For The Creatures Speak i read from the Book Of Enoch.The Mascot starts translating after that bit was spoken, and that bit was spoken for a meta audience beyond the characters, i.e. the listener.

      3. Holy shit i love the cast. I adore them. I don’t send them character backgrounds or anything. Just the songs, music sheets and lyrics (although the music sheets have the lyrics too). Because i use them repeatedly, it has become much easier to write knowing that they’ll be the part. I still screw up and make some bad key choices which i have to then change in recording but audio transposing the song then and there and then transposing the instruments properly when i get home. When we made the SO there was a section or two which i had to record me banging out piano chords and then having the singer sing along to that better key and put them over redone music when i got home.

      It’s so tight to fit their schedules in, especially for the AO, that Oliver and Kayleigh did all there vocals in a single session.

      Pay the poor people and they’ll happily do the show. I’m not saying they wouldn’t want to do it anyway, but i assure you, pay them well and they would definitely do it, happily squeeling all the while. If it were my choice, which it likely wouldn’t necessarily be, i’d want them to do the role. If i “made it” i would do my damndest to help them along. Even if the decision was out of my hands and they couldn’t be used, i would go out of my way to help get them other great gigs or meet folks who could help them or whatever. The operas would never have gotten so much love if it weren’t for them. They have helped me more than i can possibly say and lord knows i pay them a pittance. (i of course am not getting rich and i would pay more if i could.)

      4. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove reprisals. I think it’s pretty obvious. And yeah, i caught the Harry Potter music. The music throughout the movies was always stellar included the choices of when not to use music.

       
  12. Rachel

    August 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    1) Did Jasper reincarnate into Thomas/Lee after he died, to follow Priscilla back to New Albion?

    2) What will become of the Ascended VPs?

    3) Is there any significance in Mascot’s MCG number?

    4) Did any other characters reincarnate into recurring characters?

    5) What happened to Rachael’s child? Was it taken away at birth or before then?

    6) Is New Albion a city-state or a city within a larger country?

    7) What became of Steampunk’s guilds and things (such as the Alchemist Guild mentioned in New Albion 1) in the wake of Act 4 of Steampunk and beyond?

     
    • paulms

      August 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      1. No friggin way. There was NO way Jasper was coming back. Soldier 7285 reincarnated as Thomas.

      2.Good question.

      3. Nah. it’s pi, obviously, but that was cheap. I had my hands full and being overly clever on the MCG number just wasn’t gonna happen.

      4. I’ll leave that up to speculation for now, but i muse over a Jackie/Amber connection.

      5. Rachael’s child was aborted. There was NO way they were going to let that baby be born. No way. The committal was quick and fierce. I put a lot of thought into having her fetus connect with the Arcadia program, a lot of thought actually, at one point the Mascot was going to be her child, but in the end i wanted the Mascot to be Connor’s and i just didn’t have the space to fit in a plotline for Rachael’s child so i abandoned it.

      6. NA is a city state, most definitely. Way back at the beginning i was going to flesh out a slightly a larger world and alternate world history, but i decided against it. I was going to have NA be where Buenos Aires is now, but i abandoned that. The world NA is in does not have the same continents as Earth.

      7. Alas, just as in our world, the guilds have gone the way of the dinosaur. Or have they? I would say a few have evolved into some interested groups and there’s certainly a few freemsonary type lodges evolved from a few of the old guilds, but by the AO they too have evolved in something rather different and unique.

       
  13. Blake Young

    August 2, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I have a few questions too, but they’re not really to do with the story – so, it’s cool if you don’t have an answer

    1. I want your talent inside me.

    2. You said you wouldn’t, but IF you were to keep the New Albion story going would you do a Biopunk Opera or is there another derivative you would want to try?

    3. I waited and bought the AO as a whole, so I only noticed this week. The Act 2 song “The Lovers” reminded me of the About on the mochalab.com website (the story about The Lovers – Major Arcana). I’m not sure if you know, but the domain has expired and the website isn’t there anymore. Do you have a copy of the story? It probably wouldn’t mix with Slenderman, but it would be great on another Fairy Tales album.

     
    • paulms

      August 2, 2014 at 10:07 am

      1. Few survive the ritual.

      2. I did not think about it. If you think about it, you may start having ideas and if you may start getting into those ideas and…. so i haven’t thought about it. However, the birth of the new AI species leaves interesting direction open if i should ever decide to come back.

      3. Is it the same story on the Bandcamp page? I might have had to shorten it but the stories are each used a couple times. I don’t have a copy personally, but it’s out there somewhere. I go back and forth with having ideas for Slenderman (mostly music oriented) and ideas for the Bonus Act. Since i’m going to do the bonus act first, i’m trying to stay focused on that one. I haven’t really officially started thinking about it seriously, except i sort of am anyway. So i’ll probably get serious very soon. I already know the entire first song, but i need a story. I have the male character, probably name Alexander. I need to know the female character’s arc before i start filling in grand concept details. Grand concepts are the easy part. Far more important are the emotional character arcs. I’m rambling. It’s first thing in the morning and i’m writing this while drinking my morning tea.

       
  14. Illya Paolino Velleman

    August 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I don’t have any questions but I’d just like to say I’m a massive fan of the New Albion universe and all the operas. I’d do anything to see them live.

    Keep up the good work, man!

     
  15. Natasha Laws

    August 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Hi, me again…
    Re-listened to SO. Was Amelia allowed to enter into Elysium due to her wish to be free of her abused life or was she reincarnated like the others?

     
    • paulms

      August 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Reincarnated like the others. Alas, a sad life is not what gets you out…

       
  16. paulms

    August 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    One last note on the souls of the dolls from the SO: it is not clear how you go to Elisium proper and how long you are around after death in between before being reincarnated. It is quite possible many were put into dolls who weren’t actually due to go to Elysium but hadn’t yet gone back. Is it instantaneous? Is there a lag? Is there a Waiting Room? I don’t actually know this, i have not een privy to that information, but i’m just throwing it out there not everything that came back as a Doll came from Elyisum. Which also brings up other questions if the NA universe is multi dimensional and there are more “places” then just the NA world and Elysium.

     
  17. Craig Graves

    August 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Howdy! I have a few questions, too;
    1. Are the Blood Red Dogs also Voodoopunks? In the Dieselpunk Opera it seems as though they aren’t, unless they and the Company Captain are on different sides of the civil war.
    2. You said in a previous answer that you were reading from the Book of Enoch at the beginning of ‘The Creatures Speak’ and I was wondering what passage you were reading.
    3. I noticed that you repeat similar thematic images and phrases in the songs across all of the operas like “I will bring you down,” various angels, dreams and sleep, parties and revelry, and gambling. Is this to add a specific flavor to the atmosphere of New Albion?

    I also just want to say that the works you have done are phenomenal and always manage to brighten my day and have been an inspiration in every way possible. I know whatever project you start next will be amazing. Thank you!

     
    • paulms

      August 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      1. At the time of the DO the Blood Red Dogs were definitely NOT Voodoopunks. However, a lot changes in 2 generations, especially since the VPs ened up favored by the state as a way to promote city unity (and accept the new government). The Blood Red Dogs are not necessarily VPs. Some are, some aren’t. But the contingent who went over the Elysium were certainly sympathetic to the cause.

      2. “Observe ye everything that takes place in the heaven, how they do not change their orbits, and the luminaries which are in the heaven, how they all rise and set in order each in its season, and 2 transgress not against their appointed order.”

      3. I like repeating themes. I think it not only helps gives consistency to a world but the emotional impact becomes very pronounced and it binds together the evolution of conceptual themes and shows how history repeats and mutates and repeats.

      Thank YOU.

       
  18. Moira Darke

    August 3, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Sorry if this has already been answered or if I missed it (I only just finished the Opera, and am still in a state of mild daze) but to clarify: Is Mascot 3000 the actual narrator of all three operas?

     
  19. RobRocket

    August 3, 2014 at 4:20 am

    I love the operas, and I have 3 questions.

    1. Were all of the uncredited male parts you?

    2. What’s the story behind the man in “The Pitch” in DO? How did he know about John and why did he want him in particular?

    3. Why does Constance say she is playing Inanna, but is then referred to as Constance by everyone except for when Thomas calls her Inanna once?

    4. This isn’t a question but when the intro to Blood Red Dogs started playing in Rachel’s Return I became incredibly happy.

     
    • RobRocket

      August 3, 2014 at 4:23 am

      And one last question, in The Steampunk Opera, why did everyone believe that Edgar could bring back the dead if all they could do is move slightly and play radio stations?

       
      • paulms

        August 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

        Never, ever underestimate peoples’ ability to believe what they want to believe regardless of evidence. You could get rich off that underestimation. Many do.

         
    • paulms

      August 3, 2014 at 10:22 am

      1. Yes.

      2. The City government was keeping their eye on potential recruits. They knew John had the right blood type and the right potential motivation. They recruited an awful lot of candidates. John was far from the only one. He was, however, the only success. (and few that even survived the “process”)

      3. Constance does not use her real name. Her new life, with Thomas, thieving high society, is done under the name of Inanna. Theoretically Thomas only knows her by this name, but when we discover he is in fact working with the police and knows all about her, he drops the pretense and called her by her birth name.

      4. I had really, really hoped that that would be the case.

       
  20. Rachel

    August 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I’m back, with more questions!

    1) Would you ever make novelizations of SO, DO, and AO? If not novelizations, short story anthologies?

    2) In SO, during Voodoopunk, the lyrics mention the Sidhe, but all other instances/talk of VPism refer to the dead. Was Amelia, and all subsequent possessed, channeling a Sidhe or the spirit of a deceased person?

    3) In relation to the above, does this mean the Fair Folk exist within New Albion? If so, do they have their own realm or do they dwell in Elysium?

    4) What would you say to someone interested in writing stories derived from the setting of NA and its eras?

     
    • Rachel

      August 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      I wanted to add one more thing. Every time I listen to the operas, the story plays out as the most epic of animations in my head. Have you ever considered video-izing the songs in that way?

       
      • paulms

        August 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

        I’m all for it, but i don’t possess the skills to do it. If someone came along and wanted to do it, they would have my blessing. I’ve gotten asked for permission a few times for certain people to do interesting stuff with the SO. I usually say yes, send whatever materials they need and wait and see if anything actually happens. I believe there’s some kind of web series coming along that will present the SO, but we’ll see. Basically, if an animator wants to, i’m all for it and power to them. Basically, if ANYbody wants to do something with the SO, power to them. If money is going to be made, then we need to work something out, otherwise, make away.

         
    • paulms

      August 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      1. I wouold make short story anthologies of the stories surrounding the operas. I would not novelize the story contained in the operas, because they were specifically made to be told in musical form. It doesn’t mean if something offered some obscene amount of money i would say no. It wouldn’t hurt the mythos, i just wouldn’t spend the time to do it all things being equal.

      2. The Sidhe, (faeries for those others reading) actually originates in ancestral worship, worship of the dead. So, the the Voodoopunks picked up voodoo they incorporated their cultural mythos into voodoo mythos. Think of how, during the 50s and 60s british and american youth appropriated the african born music playing in the land: blues, gospel, r&b. The Voodoopunks do the same thing with West African and Haitian Vodun. Vodun calls for contact with the ancestral dead and beings of other spirit realms, well, in their culture that would be the Sidhe.

      I would point out, that i DO use actual faeries in the world in which New Albion is based and they ARE a living, separate species. I usually refer to them as the Fae. They are separate from what the Voodoopunks are attempting to channel and not the Sidhe, although most people confuse the two. The Voodoopunks are using the idea that the Sidhe originate from ancestral worship. However, the VPs fuck around with a lot of stuff, and they’ve calling up a lot of weird shit over the years. I am sure they have called a dead faeire spirit spirit somewhere along the way and that there’s a rather interesting story of how that turned out. However, i have not told it.

      3. The two fairy albums i have made (http://mochalab.bandcamp.com/album/fairy-tales-for-the-lost-and-wandering and http://mochalab.bandcamp.com/album/fairy-tales-for-homeless-faeries) absolutely take place in the New Albion world, and two of the songs (not including New Albion 7) within New Albion itself, although most take place in other lands. The majority of the stories from Fairy Tales For Homeless Faires takes place in the city of Victoria which is on the same continent as NA. There are less fair folk in NA than there are in other places, but they’ve been there at certain historic periods.

      The Fae within the larger NA world operate on a whole different spectrum. I would highly doubt they go to Elysium when they reach a spiritual balance and die, like humanity does, but it doesn’t mean they can or can’t access Elysium through other means. The world of NA is multi dimensional and Elysium itself accesses (and contains) a number of dimensions. The Fae have access to some dimensions even Elysium does not border with.

      4.Good luck, feel free to send me a copy, if you do it without monetary intentions then you have my blessing, otherwise we need to talk, and of course, do what thou wilt, BUT DON’T FUCK WITH CANON.

       
  21. Akalazoo

    August 3, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    To satisfy my little curiosities, and if there’s still time with which to ask you these;

    1) From the announcement of the Dieselpunk Opera, I had considered it a fair wager that the intention was to create a sort of tetralogy of works, rather than a trilogy, culminating in a sort of Cyberpunk finale (as a root from which the various Punk-genre seem derived.) Even Atompunk’s ending, I feel, might lend itself to continuation into that. As such, did you ever consider a Cyberpunk Opera? Was there any thought process against it, or did the thought simply never appeal?

    2) Had the Irish ‘troubles’ any hand in inspiring Dieselpunk’s New Albion’s segmentation and paramilitary warfare? As toward the Blood-Red Dogs in particular, with their thuggish mindset and thick, British idiom (hunting down a family of O’brians, no less)- was there any element of the ‘Black and Tans’ caught in there?

    3) Did you ever decide what genre and form you would have called these works? I recall a post some years ago wondering on the matter.

    4) Was John in any way intended to be a sort of doll? Could any similarities be called between the Voodoopunk’s Mascot-Machines and the wooden-likes of Jasper?

    5) Are you aware that Connor’s Reprise is the most bitterly painful thing I have ever listened to a dozen times through in one sitting? YOU BEAUTIFUL MONSTER.

     
    • paulms

      August 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      1. i left the Atompunk with an intriguing option at the end in case i ever decide to come back round. The cyberpunk never held appeal. I liked the trilogy idea because steam, diesel and atompunk are all retro future looking. Cyberpunk is future and cyberpunk as a genre has been well explored.

      2. McAlistairs are Scottish, O’Briens are Irish and Morgans are Welsh. Other than that, there’s no connection.

      3. No i didn’t. i suck at coming up with genre titles for me work. Sci-fi rock rock operas?

      4. John’s Doll like nature, that he was made into a Doll to serve the city’s war effort was very, very intentional. And yes, the Mascot as being a further development along these lines is also very intentional. It’s a major theme of the trilogy.

      5. Omg, thank you for that. I was SOOOOOOOOOO proud of coming with the Connor Reprise idea (“wait… what if…. holy shit, what if Connor, 20 years later, after having tried all that time to get his son back, ends up singing the EXACT SAME SONG AGAIN???” I chuckled like a motherfucker. And i REALLY made sure that song held up. it is the moment in which i want to break your heart thoroughly and utterly, and especially have you not see it coming. My thoughts were: okay, the listener knows i’m out to break their heart at some point. They’ve made it through Act 3 and The Moth, they’ve made it through Act 4, they saw Lee die and yet, you know, it was a shame but the moment didn’t break them…. well then… i think we’ve made it through the AO without letting Paul rip out… wait… what’s happening now? Wh… oh shit, Connor, i forgot about him, is he… oh shit no… oh fuck….”

      I thought of it like a game i played with the listener. You know i’m gonna break you, i know you know… can i still catch you off guard?

      Also, an important rule for me: if you want to break your audience. you must break yourself. The deepest, most intense emotional moments are always the ones that relate directly back to my weak spots. I have a 5 year old. I can cry on command thinking about him. Let’s take the cruelest scenario while still being creative (i mean okay, sure you can kill anybody, it has to have a dimension far more creative than just that), dig down, okay, rip out my guts, okay, now put that in the opera and slap y’all with it.

      I am SO glad it worked for you. You have no idea. I sat and waited for MONTHS and MONTHS hoping that one day it would work on someone like i imagined it might.

       
  22. Intense Wizardry

    August 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I hope this doesn’t sound dumb, but what is the population of New Albion in each opera?

     
    • paulms

      August 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      I have very, very purposely left that alone. That is open to interpretation and is designed to be.

       
  23. Wubbledaddy

    August 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    1. Have you ever considered making a rock opera? After listing to Postcards from Perdition Trail and Blood Red Dogs you obviously have the ability to make more traditional rock music and have it sound awesome.

    2. Is there any chance of ever being able to license any of the operas so they can be performed?

    3. Along with the CD’s on the box set, are you going to print the librettos?

     
    • paulms

      August 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      1. This is the closest i’ve probably come: http://mochalab.bandcamp.com/album/the-fallen, although it’s probably not so rock as you’re suggesting. I don’t play guitar so it’s easier for me to write no using too much guitar and get my buddy Matthew Broyles to play it when needed. I’m not oppposed. I fucking love classic rock. it’s what i’m raised on.

      2. Yes. You wanna perform it? Email me.

      3. I am not going to print the librettos. The reason: they are available online (i have to put the AO up) and every little physical thing i add to the box set raises the price. I want to keep the price down.

       
  24. Dave Pounds

    August 4, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Most of my questions have been answered already from previous questions. Although I was speculating maybe Jasper was secretly there and had a large hand in convincing the monsters in holding back from attacking Rachael. Maybe Jasper was even one of the ones that killed Lee to free Rachael from her bonds to the ‘Asylum’.

    All three operas were amazing and it’s been a pleasure listening to them. I’m curious what part of the world do you plan to visit next? Personally, I would really be eager to see more of the realm Amber ventured into in the Snowglobes stories. Finally, can you update the stories from New Albion page? I’m not sure if there’s any I missed between the current stories there and Snowglobes stories.

     
    • Abed Alsolaiman

      August 4, 2014 at 4:02 am

      Wait, what are these snowglobe stories you speak of? I haven’t seen them, and I can’t find them in stories of New Albion, where are they? Thanks!

       
  25. Pandamonic

    August 4, 2014 at 5:24 am

    1. How did Connor know to the right person to give the Mascot to was Rachel? He says “you think that we don’t know you but oh my dear i’ve watched you for so long”, how would he know to watch her in the first place?
    2. How does Connor communicate with Yasser? And if Connor can communicate with the VPs on the other side, couldn’t he also contact Lee?
    3. How does Rachel hear Lee’s song? Is it on the same channel as the New Albion Radio Hour?
    4. The Atompunk opera has made me cry so many times…I’m drowning in tears here. I first found your work way back when you had just the first or second acts of the Steampunk Opera out, when I was looking for steampunk music for mood while I was worldbuilding and making art for a steampunkish (well, more airships and skypirates) game. I ended up listening to it over and over, it seriously inspired me. And now its grown into a trilogy, and the world of New Albion has grown so much as well. I just wanted you to know your work is a huge inspiration to me and many others. Keep making awesome worlds!

     
    • paulms

      August 4, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      1. The remnants of Arcadia suspected that reincarnation might occur and after each person has attempted to pass back through the gate (and died) careful tabs were kept on babies appearing within a calculated time. A large number of kids of Rachael’s generation were watched, including Rachael. Because her penchant for hearing a particular song no one else could was a major factor at her asylum commitment hearing, from that point on enormous attention was paid to her and much research into her life made.

      2. Morse code, when it works. Yes, he could theoretically contact Lee and most certainly did, but hardly in a fulfilling manner. However, it is how he knows that Lee is still alive. (or was up until the end)

      3. It is unclear exactly how Racahel hears the song, but because she has been to Elysium, she seems able to pick up on a certain frequency eminating from Elysium. I wouldn’t say it’s teh same channel as The Radio Hour, but if you adjust the dial only slightly, you’ll be able to pick up the Radio Hour. If Rachael was to alter her consciousness in certain ways she’d get the Radio Hour. Perhaps has.

      4. Aw, thank you.

       
  26. B2 the General

    August 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I feel kind of silly for asking this since it’s probably really obvious bu-ut:

    Who won the worlds longest game of cards in the end? No matter how many times i listen to the SO I can’t figure it out. Love love love TDoNA and the fairy tales and am looking forward to listening (and hopefully following the production of) whatever you do next. Hanging out for the next big serial so bad, and I hope you keep writing about the process (I like peering into the glimpses of your thoughts and creative process you offer here).

     
  27. oldriku

    August 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Why did people in Arcadia Corp bothered to use fetuses to create “dolls” when the VP had been doing the same thing with the souls of the dead? Did the knowledge to raise the dead died with Edgar?

     
    • paulms

      August 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      What Arcadia was trying to do with the AI program went well beyond using dolls. They were trying to create a system whereby consciousness could be placed into an endless variety of technological vessels, so that a human could change “bodies” at will. Become a starship, a probe, it’s explained in greater detail in today’s Character Background post.

      Also, don’t forget, the events of the Dieselpunk Opera did not go very well. Calling up the dead was approached with a lot more caution. Plus, the City disapproved of it severely, fearing another city wide possession disaster. When the city decided to back the Voodoopunks in order to create a state sponsored religion, there were many stern words had about the whole possession issue. Probably a main reason Arcadia started thinking up other methods

       
  28. oldriku

    August 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Also, will you update these character backgrounds?

    https://steampunkopera.wordpress.com/character-backgrounds/

     
    • paulms

      August 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Working on it….

       
  29. Natasha Laws

    August 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Was the reason that we knew for sure that it was Jasper in the doll’s body and how he was conscious enough to mix the radio’s song because when he died he was not reincarnated and exploring Elysium or because he was waiting to be reincarnated?

     
    • paulms

      August 4, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Annabelle’s formula could definitely pull from Elysium and could pull from the waiting room, if there even is one. Jasper definitely was in Elysium, his song Elysian Night makes clear he has been there. His understanding of it was spot on. He was there.

       
  30. Dave Pounds

    August 5, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I noticed that to of the song titles were Elysium 1 and Ark 1. Does that mean there is a good chance there will be an Elysium 2 and Ark 2 in the future or is there some other meaning to the 1’s?

     
    • paulms

      August 5, 2014 at 12:38 am

      It’s a nod to all the new Albion numbers, obviously. It does tease that if we were to find ourselves in Elysium again, we would, like with the New Albion songs, follow chronologically.

       
  31. DrewW

    August 5, 2014 at 8:43 am

    1. Does Byron know that Jasper is his grandfather?

    2. Are Lloyd and Mascot 3000 reincarnations of the steampunk narrator?

     
    • paulms

      August 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

      No and no. That was easy! Byron was never told

       
  32. AyaAzuresea

    August 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hello!

    This is actually not a question, I think everything was asked and answered before, but I don’t know where to write this, so…:)

    I want you to know that I am a huge fan of New Albion. And though ‘The Dolls of New Albion’ remains my most favourite part of the trilogy, it is AO which makes me cry. Every time I listen to Connor, I can feel his pain. It’s just ‘beautifully heart wrenching’ (I can imagine Lloyd with extremely contented smile right now). I was having the same feeling during John O’Brien’s parts in DO, but Connor reached the top in heart breaking. Thanks both to you and Mr Oliver Marsh.🙂
    And I really appreciate the using of SO and DO themes in AO. It was a real pleasure, especially the return of Blood Red Dogs. Such a cool guys, I have to say.😉

    Thank you again for wonderful music, lyrics and stories. New Albion is something which I will never forget🙂

     
    • paulms

      August 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Aw, thanks. This is the stuff i remember when i’m working that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Which is bad for tragedy but good for the composer.

       
  33. Dan Endres

    August 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    This may have already been covered, and if so I apologize, but were the Blood Red Dogs part of the same militarty/police organization which Soldier 7285 and/or John O’Brien were members of? If so, would they have been around as a group during 7285’s time or did they form between the SO and DO? I’ve noticed that they do seem to be popular (and who could blame anyone for loving those sexy machines?) and was really wondering if they were conceptualized specifically for DO or if they were an idea that you’d had even during SO’s writing. Again, I apologize if this has already been covered, and thank you so much for writing these wonderful, heart-wrenching stories.

     
    • paulms

      August 5, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      The BRD were definitely created DO era as a war unit. The police in the SO certainly became a truly terrifying force, but there weren’t actually wartime battle units like the BRD. Because in both the SO and the DO i portray militaristic power in a bad light, i wanted to turn around and do something the opposite for the AO, where they are neccessary and without whom the colony would perish completely.

       
  34. Intense Wizardry

    August 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    What is New Albion’s government system?

     
    • paulms

      August 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Depends which era. By the AO there is a city council with elected representatives from 8 districts and a Mayor’s Office, although the Mayor’s office has steadily increased its power. In the DO it was a one party system, although the Minister position was voted on every 8 years by the ruling Council. In the SO it was a commonwealth Parliamentary system with a Mayor until Act 4 when the Parliament ceased being elected although there were some illusions of elections for other posts including Mayor, although Mayoral candidates were hand picked by the Parliament and subservient.

       
  35. amyjay

    August 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Not sure if this has already been asked, but did Edgar ever make an attempt to bring Annabel back as he did with Jasper?

     
    • paulms

      August 15, 2014 at 11:55 am

      No, he didn’t. This is for several reasons, but one telling fact is that in Edgar’s last will he very specifically instructed that he was absolutely NOT to be brought back.

       
  36. Dan

    August 15, 2014 at 3:48 am

    1. Is Amber in Snow Globes the same Amber in Atompunk?

    2. Just found the backwards message in the Creatures Speak and I’m amazed yet confused as to what it means and how its possible. If you don’t wanna say, that’s totally fine, but Id love to know, how?

     
    • paulms

      August 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

      1. No.

      2. Can’t say much on a public forum, but the how… things can overlap. It seems a paradox, but in the end we are we.

       
      • Dan

        August 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

        Thanks! Also I have one more quick question. You said that if the DO was ever staged, you’d like Lloyd to be a puppet character. Is there such a character in the AO?

         
  37. paulms

    August 16, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    The Mascot is up to a director’s vision, but it’d be nice to see puppets for the Creatures. I wouldn’t insist or anything, but it’d be nice.

     
  38. Pandamonic

    August 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

    If you were in the same situation, which would you choose: portal or become an AI?

     
    • paulms

      August 24, 2014 at 9:41 am

      I’m not sure. That was why i liked the choice. Another problem making the decision is that i have insider knowledge on how a bit of the future is going to turn out and know about the next step in the chain of existence… however, rather than avoid the question, i’ll give a straight answer: i would probably, all things being equal, take the reincarnation. Although what i would want to know is if i become a computer, do i still have a soul? Can i become the new computer species and if i get tired of it after 500 years die and go back into the reincarnation cycle? I assume the Mascot 3000 has no idea, so…

       
  39. Lotta

    September 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I have just three questions.
    After listening to the song in the 4th act where the creatures talk to Rachel I realized it was a backwards message that says “xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxx. xx xxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxx ”

    Is this true?
    Then why could Rachel hear Lees broadcast?
    And why did the Mascot lie about what the creatures said?

     
    • paulms

      September 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

      This is true.

      Rachael can hear the broadcast because she has already been to and been accepted into Elysium. Although she chose not to stay and to go back, she is officially welcome there which means she can hear broadcasts from there.

      When did the Mascot lie? The backwards message was spoken before the Mascot began translating. Also, it is spoken by the Angels to the listeners, but even so is delivered before the Mascot begins translating.

       
    • Intense Wizardry

      September 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      What does the backwards message say?

       
      • paulms

        September 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        I’m so sorry. I cannot tell you. One does not simply go through the trouble of making a backwards message only to just blurt it out.

         
      • Intense Wizardry

        September 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

        Alright, I’ll try to figure it out on my own then.

         
  40. Werekill

    October 30, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Do people welcome to Elysium leave children behind, or is that only a coincidence in Priscilla’s case?

    I’d love to discuss theory 2 with you over email. Would this be possible?

     
    • Werekill

      October 30, 2014 at 9:21 am

      I’m sorry, a bit of a typo there. I meant do they NOT leave children behind, sorry.

       
    • paulms

      October 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Sure, but you can throw it out here too at this point

       
    • paulms

      October 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

      When you die, you die. Children or no children. And whether or not you have children doesn’t necessarily affect whether you are spiritually evolved enough to transmigrate to Elysium.

       
      • Werekill

        October 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

        *slaps head* Sorry, I just thought I had stumbled onto something. I was thinking we’ve only seen people without kids welcome into Elysium, but I forgot all about Jasper.

        And heh. I’d love to talk about Theory 2 here, but considering how much I enjoying thinking on it at first for myself, I’ll save it for emails. That was slickly done, and belting it here might rob someone, someday, of exploring for themselves.

         
  41. Alfonso Tamoria

    November 6, 2014 at 1:24 am

    I was relistening to the DP’s the underground. its when Constance broke character and said there was a radio broadcast and Lloyd replied with “another life in another world” was he talking about Constance’s reincarnation to Rachel?

     
    • paulms

      November 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

      He was talking about the reality in which Constance is an actress.

       
  42. MrBlack

    December 4, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Long convoluted question in-coming! Apologies in advance!

    In DO, during A1s “The Operation” it’s said that John O’Brien bursts in on 2 men and a woman, and from the end of A2, we know that John bursts into “The Substation”. While we learn the woman was Constance, there’s no mention of who the two men were, and I thought originally they were just random VPs and their plan was to use Constance as a means of projecting the MCG, hence during “Waiting” Thomas and Jacqueline don’t talk about or mention John ever appearing, or the fact that there’s been no word from the surface, Constance, or the other Voodoopunks.

    Because in “Waiting”, Thomas and Jacqueline are in The Substation. But don’t seem to notice that Constance is missing and presumably there would be a massive broken door or something from John breaking in, and then Jacqueline says she thinks she’s done “something very bad” when she realizes the soldiers haven’t been incapacitated.

    So now I’m stuck wondering if the two men were supposed to be Thomas and Jacqueline? Is that the mistake she made, by not being there and upsetting the natural timeline of events? If it wasn’t, what did Jacqueline do?
    ~~~~
    Couple of smaller questions:

    I’m just assuming this from the dialogue before Blood Red Dogs, but did Jacqueline and Thomas actually miss the Battle of Crier’s Boulevard and travel back in time to be there for John and Constance?

    Did the Voodoopunks try to fight the Blood Red Dogs beside John before the MCG started working at Crier’s Boulevard?

    This is probably wrong or just my weird train of thought, but were the Blood Red Dogs the original test subjects for the Super-Soldier project that damaged and/or not as strong or didn’t take to the procedure as well as John did?
    ~~~~
    As you might be able to tell, I’ve got a slight addiction to the DO, but I’m madly in love with the whole NA mythos and your work. I was actually fortunate enough to have the experience of being the sound engineer on Dolls of New Albion with Clockwork Hart at the Edinburgh Festival, so your work has helped keep me in a job as a sound technician, so many, many thanks good sir!

     
    • paulms

      December 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

      1. Howdy.
      2. The two technicians in the Substation are just random guys working there, waiting for the MCG. They would not use Constance for the broadcast. One of the Voodoopunks would “go under” and get possessed and sing the song. However, since Jackie had an actual policeman she couldn’t resist using him.
      3. Jackie and Thomas arrive later. She knew Constance just wanted to drop off the MCG and go the fuck home so she doesn’t expect Constance to be there. There is no mention of the blown off door basically because they don’t happen to discuss it during the tiny snippets we hear. There WAS a short conversation when they arrived with the VPs to broadcast the song (It went something like “What the fuck happened to the door?” “He’s gone now” “We don’t have time to discuss this shit, we gotta do this now”) or whatever variation to that effect.
      4. Jackie released a viral song she KNEW was friggin’ insanely hypnotic. It was supposed to simply take down the Blood red Dogs and other government soldiers who, due to the new MCG technology, were all in linked communication with each other. (It’s no different then soldiers being linked in headsets today, but back then it was new tech). AS she’s sitting waiting for word that the government soldiers are incapacitated and receiving no word, it starts to dawn on her that maybe this plan done fucked up and it always had the potential to.
      5. The Battle Of Criers Blvd is specifically when John goes into beserker mode one last time at the end after Jackie is killed. The VPs were mostly set to take the city by simply sweeping in and taking the Parliament while all the troops were incapacitated (which they basically did, although they got thrown off when there was no population left to be “free”). Whether any helped John during the battle is a matter of speculation. In my opinion, some did.
      6. The Blood Red Dogs are an elite military unit. They are NOT products of the super soldier program. Undoubtedly a few were chosen for the program, but they died.

      I think that’s everything and i have to leave the house like, now, so i can’t proofread and check if i missed anything, but: No sir! YOU sir, are indeed Teh Awesum.

       
  43. Emilie Boehm

    December 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    So a couple things, I love the series but I just have a couple questions.

    1. I was wandering what some of the characters may look like; namely Lee, Adrian, racheal and the creatures.

    2. When Lee dies, is he killed by the creatures or something else? And would he ever get to be reincarnated?

    3. Did Rachael’s child ever get put into a an analougue consciousness as the mascot did? (Since that’s what Arcadia wanted the baby’s for.)

    4. Did Lee cease to age when he entered Elysium? Or has he been getting older there?

    5. Did Lee actually end up loveing Racheal after she left the bunker?

    6. And finally, did the creatures kill the “Pilgrims” because they did not belong in elysium?

    Sorry, I know that’s a lot of questions. But I just love the story and was very curious. I also want to say thank you for the ride, the story was very emotional and I was captured the moment I heard the steampunk opera overture.

     
    • paulms

      December 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks for the question. The answers:

      1. I was wandering what some of the characters may look like; namely Lee, Adrian, racheal and the creatures.

      Up to the listener. Although the creatures/angels look monstrous

      2. When Lee dies, is he killed by the creatures or something else? And would he ever get to be reincarnated?

      He’s killed by the creatures who have no one to keep them out. As to whether or not he gets reincarnated it is very unclear.

      3. Did Rachael’s child ever get put into a an analogue consciousness as the mascot did? (Since that’s what Arcadia wanted the baby’s for.)

      I played around with the idea of a subplot where that happened, as well as a version wher the Mascot is Rachael’s child instead of Connor’s, but in the end dropped it. So i’m going to say no, the child was never put in AI. Logically, the Alderman would have made damn sure the fetus was thoroughly disposed of.

      4. Did Lee cease to age when he entered Elysium? Or has he been getting older there?

      He’s been aging. They all have. They’re still alive and their bodies work biologically normal.

      5. Did Lee actually end up loving Racheal after she left the bunker?

      He didn’t “love” her, but he did warm up to her, felt a bit of sympathy for her and felt a little bad that she freaked out after he turned her down.

      6. And finally, did the creatures kill the “Pilgrims” because they did not belong in elysium?

      Yes. The creatures are simply Elysium’s white blood cells, and the pilgrims are foreign invaders, a virus that has entered an organism it has no business being in.

      Sorry, I know that’s a lot of questions. But I just love the story and was very curious. I also want to say thank you for the ride, the story was very emotional and I was captured the moment I heard the steampunk opera overture.

       
  44. Kayla

    December 28, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I hope this is still the place to ask questions! The world of New Albion is extremely engrossing, but also somewhat frustrating in that there are simply so many things going on that we only hear snippets of!

    Okay to start off:

    1) Is Kevin related to Sam? Or is he simply the same species?

    2) In AO, were the VP immigrants actually in Elysium or… elsewhere? Were they simply stranded by the gate due to their inability to break past the creatures trying to kill them?

    3) You’ve mentioned a couple of times that Lee was killed by the creatures since there was no one left to keep them out. Are we to assume that Yaser at the rest of the Blood Red Dogs were killed trying to protect them? What about the remaining 30 VPs that were able to escape via the Mascot 3000? Why was there such a slaughter in the first place, after having survived for so long? Were the creatures somehow aware of Rachael’s presence?

    4) You’ve hinted a couple of times that the dolls resurrected by Annabel’s formula might not have actually been the souls of the dead. In that case, was Jasper REALLY the Jasper that Annabel loved and wished to bring back, or was it something else that gained a personality over the many years trapped inside the doll? If the former, why was Jasper alone successful in being brought back?

    5) You’ve also mentioned that Elysium is not necessarily constrained by time. Would that explain how Theory 2 is possible? I feel like the semantics around having the same soul inhabiting 2 different bodies at the same time would make such a possibility unlikely or undesirable.

    6) Going by Theory 2 rather than Theory 1 concerning Rachael’s reincarnation, is her shitty luck in life simply explained by unfortunate circumstances rather than any bad karma she had from a previous life?

    7) Constance’s ability to withstand the song was not directly related to the fact that her soul had been to Elysium. My theory is that it was due to the fact she was briefly able to hear Lloyd when she first went underground. Is this close?

    8) You mentioned that Priscilla chose to go back to save the Soldier. But why would Constance decided to leave Elysium and be reincarnated?

    9) Like almost everyone, I feel very keenly for Connor’s story and tragedy. When he knew that Lee was involved with the Voodoopunks and with Adrian, shouldn’t he have realized that he was planning to go with them to Elysium? If that were the case, why would he later go back and destroy the machines, effectively trapping them there, and not realize until later what had happened?

    I think… that’s about it? This seems like a lot, so I will leave it at this for now.

    I would also like to say that I’m extremely moved by your ability to express emotions via metaphor. One of my favourite songs in AO is “The Show No One Saw” because of how poignantly it is able to express rejection and disillusionment that Rachael felt and how she saw her entire life to be meaningless and empty once she realized that Lee didn’t love her as she thought.

    (A close second would be “What the Trite and Banal Say” ’cause of those melodies…. UGH)

    Though I think it’s the DO that will always have a special place in my heart… I simply adore Courtney Ellis’ voice in “The Voodoopunks”

    Anyways, congratulations on making such a beautiful trilogy. To me, it truly encapsulated how effective music can be as a storytelling medium.

     
    • paulms

      December 28, 2014 at 1:43 am

      1. Sam is indeed Kevin’s ancestor.

      2. They were actually in Elysium. The creatures are more like Angels, but they are entrusted with protecting Elysium from foreign viruses much like white blood cells.

      3. Yaser and the Blood Red Dogs are by that point included as VPs. They got out. Lee and Rachael were the only ones still there. Thus there was no one left to defend against the invading creatures. The creatures were driven to attack by the use of the Gate,

      4. Jasper was really Jasper. Annabel made quite sure. The process does in general work, but by the time it had grown to such mass production, the results were not always completely accurate.

      5. The possibility is certainly undesirable, but reincarnation in the New Albion universe can be tricky and in not always constrained by time.

      6. Rachael is a Savior Soul. She keeps coming back to save, although not always effectively. If Theory 1 is correct Rachael’s backstory has early suffering because she must burn off the muck caused by Adrian’s deceit of her father. If Theory 2 is correct, it is because, alas, Savior Souls tend to attract suffering circumstances.

      7. Constance’s assumed name was Innana. Innana was a Sumerian goddess who went to the Underworld, was stripped of everything she had and by undergoing it achieved enlightenment. It’s also a precursor to the Greek myth of Orpheus who ventures there to reunite with the dead. (and sort of does) Constance goes through the myth of Innana. she is stripped of all she has, ventures to the underworld, sees the cracks in reality, and even reunites with her supposed dead father. By living the myth she obtains enlightenment and thus the song holds no sway over her.

      8. As to why Constance/ Priscilla would choose to forgo Elysium to go back and try to save the Soldier i cannot say for sure. You’d have to ask her. Certainly in Buddhist religion Bodisavas would do this, and in a western concept savior soul idea, they would do this too. She’s a fool and i wish there were more like her.

      9. Connor did not realize Lee was part of the VPs. He was led to believe they were simply using him to achieve their aims and would be released once Connor had done what they wished. Also, rage clouds judgement. Connor was angry. Anger leads to the dark side.

      Thanks for the kind words. Honestly, kind words like that really does keep me going and helps me to believe in what i’m doing and work harder.

       
  45. Gregory Mann

    September 22, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Salutations! First of all, I just want so say I’m amazed by your talent for conveying narrative with such a strong emotional impact through your music. The New Albion Trilogy (quadrilogy?) has been my constant musical companion since I discovered it despite its gut-wrenching nature.

    I have a couple questions from back in DoNA: we know that Jasper is the same person Annabelle first brought back in Act 1, but is Jasper actually Faye’s father or did Edgar unwittingly bring Jasper back when attempting to bring back Faye’s father? Either way, I can’t help likening Jasper to the bowl of petunias in Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker” books, when it’s first thought upon winking into existence is, Oh no, not again.”

    Also, we know that Jasper learns to communicate in an indirect way using bits and pieces from the radio broadcasts, but by the time he has become Priscilla’s companion, he is capable of interacting directly with her. Is this because he has become a more adept communicator over time, or could it be because Priscilla is the first person who treats Jasper as a fellow soul and not simply a possession? Granted, Byron was also in love with Jasper, but it almost seems like that was more of an infatuation with a very possessive element to it.

    Or perhaps I’m reading too much into this.

    At any rate, thank you for creating the NA universe and all its tragically flawed inhabitants.

     
    • paulms

      September 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Thank you for the kind words. In answer to the questions:
      1. Jasper is actually Fay’s father, they are one and the same.
      2. JAsper has had 3 generations to perfect his communication abilities. The initial idea was that Jasper picks words from various radio broadcasts and songs. Then rearranges these words into what he wants to say. So after 3 generations he has now built a substancial library and can communicate quite well. Musically he was actually going to sound like that: like some crazy sample cut and paste. However, when i got to him singing a song like Elysian Night, it became clear if i actually took that approach i would lose a great deal of emotional impact. Plus how would someone pull it off live? So i backed down and used a straight ahead Jasper voice. But to a great degree Jasper is simply better. Byron couldn’t understand Jasper much because Jasper refused to talk to him, seeing that his self professed love was actually misplaced obsessions (and he is, unknown to Byron, his grandfather and is not having any of this.)

       
  46. Jordan Mooney

    September 13, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Little late to this Q&A (only discovered the series last year, right before you took SO and DO down from YouTube, talk about good timing, might never have found the series)

    But I figured might as well ask
    So you know how you keep this theme in all 3 main albums where the police burst through the door and sing “and on the day we come it’s over” from
    Rachel returns
    The bust
    And Ark 1

    Which one of those do you like the most? And what made you think to reuse that idea of them kicking down the door and singing their own version of that song?

    Like when writing DO did you suddenly think “hey that would be a great throw back to SO and then it just sorta happened again in AO”

    Out of all the things you reuse throughout the series, it’s my favorite and I just love all 3, new albion’s police force are very good singers (is there a better term for it? Cause me saying Reuse sounds like a bad thing to me, I don’t think it’s bad at all, I love all the different lines and tunes that keep appearing through out the series)

     

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