Some time after each of my operas is released i go back and look at it and try to discover why i made it and what my subconscious was actually saying. Why did i REALLY some up with those characters and put them in those scenarios?
I find that my stories usually have some personal, hidden meaning that i hadn’t realized when i first made it.
I first discovered this a few years ago when i found an old OLD musical i had made when i was very young, Karavan. I listened to it for kicks and giggles. It was pretty painful as the quality really went up and down, but what i found most interesting is that iw as able to see what was in that album that had been in my subconscious. U found issues of my stugglign with different aspects of myself based on my idea of gender roles from my mom and dad. Nothing they taught, but what i had absorbed through watching them as a child. The male just wanted to escape and the female was all business, the one who drove forward. I saw how i had viewed the world at that age and a bunch of other interesting insights.
It was after i released the Dieselpunk opera that i realized something so obvious, i can’t believe i hadn’t been aware of it the entire time. I hadn’t.
I conceived the 1st act of the Dieselpink shortly after my natural father John died. I had only met a few years ago, just 3 years before his death. Meeting him was surreal and his death wasn’t… upsetting as such since i really had just met him and he wasn’t in any way an influence on my growth, but it was a trip to deal with.
I had created this character, John who was estranged from his family, as this man was. He had abandoned his wife and son when the boy was 4. This boy was NOT me, but a half brother i had found about only a short time before i met John. John’s abandonment of the boy haunted him the rest of his life. He had impregnated ANOTHER woman the same year just a few months before he left his wife and son, and THIS was my natural mother who gave me up for adoption.
I had looked for my natural father casually throughout my life, and had gotten in touch with his sister, Patsy hwo had been looking for him for years. John was still missing at this point, but Patsy and i bonded.
Patsy is Jackie. A lot.
Patsy eventually found John and after all these years who reunited with her estranged brother. They had never been close growing up, but as the years passed she became more and more set on finding her long lost brother. She did, and told him about my existence (he had never known). I wrote him a letter and asked to meet him for a single weekend. I flew to Vancouver Canada and spent a single weekend with him which was… extREMELY interesting. Extremely. And weird. REALLY fucking weird.
All this is in the Dieslepunk opera and you’d have though i’d have seen it, but no. I just came up a story and made it and only later realized why that story and why those characters.
So i do this ow after every album.
The Room Beneath New Albion i figured out is a statement on my completing the New Albion Trilogy. I am Alice, who was chipping away at my art in vain, unknown, unlistened to, afraid i would die without ever having achieved any type of success. (This was why Annabel, too.) But i made the New Albion albums and suddenly my entire career changed. People discovered it (like Alexander being shown the Room) and if i had achieved nothing else in this life, i had made this thing of beauty. I had also connected with real people, who actually cared about it (hence the bond and kiss between Alex and Alice at the end.) Viewed from this lens, the story become obvious.
Slender Man we shall see, but in looking at it already, it’s obvious how much having a new baby influenced it, although in a totally weird and fucked up way. I’m not fucked up over the baby, i love him, but there’s a whole of weird shit that is very much me having fun playing with a shadow consciousness side of it and expelling it bu putting it in the opera. I’m sure i’m missing several insights i won’t see until it’s well past done.
So yeah, after every album is done and put to rest, i find there’s some weird psychotherapeutic insights i get looking back at it and trying to see why these characters and why these situations. Nothing comes from nothing. You get ideas from SOMEwhere and many times its from the subconscious and there are reasons you cannot see at the time.