RSS

Tag Archives: musical

Coming Dec. 6th: Miss Helen’s Weird West Cabaret by Paul Shapera

Miss Helen's Weird West Cabaret

Featuring Lauren Osborn as Miss Helen, Psyche Chimere as Han-Mi, Rhys Owen as Henry The Alchemist, and Studly McMuffinpants as The Sheriff. Cover and extras art by Sarah DeBuck.

The album is Act 1 of The Ballad Of Lost Hollow.

Length: 1 hour and 2 minutes. Price likely to be 7 dollars, 5 pounds, or 6 euros if purchased from Bandcamp. As usual, it will go on sale at iTunes several days later.

Listen to an early preview track:

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Preview Of Henry The Alchemist Featuring Rhys Owen

From the upcoming album Miss Helen’s Weird West Cabaret. I would mention that this song is definitely a homage of sorts to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I am still fidgeting with it, but i really want to share it, so here it is.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Listen To The Opening Song of Miss Helen’s Weird West Cabaret

Here it is folks. There’s a second video coming that features Lauren actually singing her take.

Featuring Lauren Osborn.

Artwork by Sarah de Buck.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

A Slenderman Musical! (Notes on the Zoe & Timothy banter)

For those of you not aware, A Slenderman Musical is out now. Give it a listen. If you like it, buy it! Support the artists who have worked hard on this.

A Slenderman Musical by Paul Shapera

Okay, a few notes on the Zoe & Timothy banter, which is actually my favorite part of the piece.

For this project i did something i haven’t done before, i made a detailed, written outline of everything up until the end of the 2nd act before i started on any music. I did not do the 3rd act because, and here’s a dirty little secret, except for the Atompunk Opera i have never known what was going to happen in the final act in ANY of these operas, and do not figure it out until i am well over half way through composing the piece. I don’t mean to do this, it’s just how it works out.

There is a great degree of things that happen while working on a piece that you cannot plan for, that happen spontaneously during the course of creation and that you should respond to as it happens. Let this new unforeseen thing live. Let it change the piece even. The Zoe & Timothy banter is one such thing.

In the outline, Timothy died at the end of Act 1. That was it for him. Spend an Act building him up then kill him. It’s a horror trope thing. Zoe takes over and that’s all there is. I had three volunteer listeners this time around (plus Kevin Hulburt, who i always sucker in), and when i sent them the outline, Christopher Webster in particular made a very impassioned case for keeping Timothy around. Later, when i sent the first act demo out (but before starting on Act 2), Kevin Hulburt too made an impassioned plea for keeping Timothy in the game.

When i ask for feedback, the truth is, i’m going to ignore 90% of what you say. I’m looking for that 1 out of 10 comment i didn’t consider which makes a bell go off.  This was different. But… two impassioned pleas for Timothy… hmm.  I considered what to do with him.

I did have a problem with Zoe that needed work. Act 2 has 3 character arcs: Jordan, Samuel and Zoe. Jordan and Samuel’s acrs are clear, but all Zoe really does is find her way to the Librarians. Not much arc. She could see the Abbey along the way and allow me to paint it a bit… all right… it’s not a character arc but maybe i’ll forgo an arc and just do this.

When i considered what kind of back and forth i would need to have at the end of Welcome To The Decadent Abbey it occurred to me that Zoe hasn’t had a body in a long time, and wouldn’t you… want to flirt? Have sex? Get a drink? If you had been without a body for several years wouldn’t you be desperate for sushi, beer and a little… you know. She can’t have sushi, no time between getting inside Timothy and the Slenderman taking her out of our World. I don’t even think she would actually have sex with Jordan. I think her heart if too focused on her Reina and her goal. (Yeah, for the record, she wouldn’t actually go through with it.) But she would flirt, Zoe would totally flirt.  Which led to Timothy having something to say about it, which brings him back in the game. (The conversation is mostly Zoe trolling him as she wouldn’t actually bed Jordan under the circumstances and enjoying the banter as a way of taking her mind off of the weird shit.)

This is where the important thing happened.

I liked the Zoe & Timothy 1 banter. It wasn’t the first of many back and forths, it was just the one. But i liked it. And i went away for a weekend to some mountain and sat out drinking a beer on a balcony by myself at night thinking about the piece, and that’s when i came to understand something very important: Not only was the Zoe and Timothy discussion really good and i should do it more, but it’s the most important part of the entire piece. The piece is missing a heart. The back and forth, the friendship that grows between Zoe and Timothy through their banter, which i should put EVERYWHERE I CAN, is the heart of the entire piece.

The musical is really about alienation and connection. Alienation is the killer. It drives Timothy to despair, almost to the end of his road. It destroys Jordan. It takes Samuel down, all in their ways. By forming a honest connection, Zoe and Timothy are able to make it through. It is their connection that makes this possible. Alienation causes all the troubles in the musical, even Mother suffers from it and sends her tall, thin son to solve it for her. Connection saves everything in the piece, including stopping the Slenderman attacks, and it is Zoe and Timothy’s bond that is the seed from which all other connections in the show are made.

Furthermore, i’m going to build that connection to a point where i am going to make a love song between a straight guy and a lesbian with absolutely no sexual tension whatsoever, no romantic anything at all between them, just an honest bond forged from mutual respect in dire circumstances.

And with that, my understanding of what i was doing writing this musical truly came alive.

The banter is designed to seem to fill the cracks between plot holes, which is misdirection, because as far as i’m concerned, it is the most crucial aspect of the show, without which those plot points lack a heart and soul to bring them together.

So there you go, my thoughts on the Zoe and Timothy banter.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t listened to the musical a few times through, uhm, spoilers.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

A Slenderman Musical Is Out Now!

A Slenderman Musical is officially out now! A weird, creepy and oddly touching song and story cycle for your ears! Listen! Buy! Keep me alive to write more bizarre and far fetched things!

A Slenderman Musical by Paul Shapera

Click the picture! Click here!
2 hours of rock musically goodness!

 
13 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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

A Slenderman Musical by Paul Shapera

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

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

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

There are 3 Acts.

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

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

Until then…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Welcome To Act 1 Of An Atompunk Opera

It is wisest to promote the new release of the 1st Act of An Atompunk Opera another day, so i am doing so, but after the link we’ll talk a hair.

If you haven’t heard, the 1st Act of An Atompunk Opera, The New Albion Guide To Analogue Consciousness is here! Listen to it! Buy it! Keep me and the singers alive! Every Tuesday another act will be released.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, i hope you are enjoying the first act.  There are a few things i was very specifically attempting to do with it.

First of all, since this is the final piece of a trilogy, the 1st act is designed as a play on numerous parallels and inversions of parallels to A Steampunk Opera. Should you be noticing any of them (and there’s a list of parallels and inversions) i assure you, they’re all quite intentional. I do not do this with the other acts, only this one, but i really wanted to begin the Trilogy closing by riffing and inverting the Trilogy opener.

This opera differs from the first two in that the entire opera carries a much, much greater emphasis on an unfolding plot. I’m not saying there’s no plot unfolding in the other two, i’m just saying that was really a major, prime even, consideration in the AO from the get go. Thus the 1st Act only goes so far and likes to dangle a lot of threads. Oh, it’ll pay off, don’t you worry.

So welcome to the ride. We’ve got a LONG way to go and the next installment is lots of high energy, so thanks for trying out my ride, i promise, i spent a year making my entire life’s mission that by the time this opera is all over, you will have said “Holy fuck” a number of times. Well, the holy fucking is coming, so stay tuned and thank you all for caring and supporting this trilogy. I love you all. We will discuss the future a little later, but rest assured, it’s on its way.

The New Albion Guide To Analogue Consciousness, An Atompunk Opera Paul Shapera

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Act 1 Of An Atompunk Opera Is Out Now!

Okay kids, here it is. Act 1 of An Atompunk Opera!

The remaining Acts (4 in total) will be released each Tues from here on in.

A few things:

1. Please bear with it. Think of this as a weekely series and this first episode is of course where we set up the pieces. A single act is only 20 something minutes and you may hate me when it suddenly ends. But i’m very curious to try out this format and curious what you think of it in the long run.

2. Don’t forget, your purchase will go straight to paying the singers, those delicious voices you hear who make the opera sound awesome and not like crap. They are literally what brings this thing to life. The poor dears need fed, BY ALL THAT’S HOLY PLEASE FEED THEM.

3. Posting links and tweets and talking about this online is how we have gotten here. It is THE reason there is now 3 of these instead of just 1. Thank you all for that. Please keep it up.

4. I love you all. I hope you enjoy.

The New Albion Guide To Analogue Consciousness, An Atompunk Opera Paul Shapera

 
17 Comments

Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City

Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City

Ask me what book i’m reading. Go ahead. Ask.

Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City by Elizabeth Wollman, as if the title of this post wasn’t a dead give away. It is awesome and you should go download it or order it from Amazon.

1970s New York was such a particular place in such a particular time. The city was going bankrupt and everyone predicted it would crash and burn any day. The wild 60s had transformed into the strange and decadent 70s. The sexual revolution was in full swing. Times Square was not the Disneyland it is today, it was the sleaziest sexland you’ve ever witnessed. Hookers, peeps shows, sex shows, adult book stores, adult movie places…little crappy booths whose seats were grimy and sticky where you could watch scenes from porno movies featuring ugly dudes with ridiculous mustaches and chicks with feathered hair and unshaved nether regions. It was before computers where everyone could just quietly enjoy titilation in the privacy of their home. It was before even video cassettes. You wanted sleaze, you had to go out there and get it. And Time Square was the world’s epicenter, the wonderland of sleaze.

Out of this feral mix arose a very specific genre of theater, the adult musical. Oh, Calcutta is the most famous. It would be the one you’ve heard of if you’re heard of any.

This book explores this genre that rose for a few years during the 70s. It’s kind of hysterical at times. At other times it’s quite interesting from a social point of view.  Many productions attempted to be serious in many ways. They tried to frankly discuss the issues arising in the age of sexual revolution, feminism and gay rights. Some tried to be clever. Some tried to be cheap. Some were out for a fast buck and some had high minded aspirations. There was nakedness and lots of pelvic thrusting, but no actual sex.

There’s these delights such as the Musical ‘Let My People Come; complete with the cheesiest 70s soft rock score you’ve ever heard (which we’ll feature in a moment), but also gay musicals reflecting the sexual revolution from a gay standpoint post Stonewall riots.

It’s this lost, forgotten and needless to say fascinating genre which this book explores. I seriously can’t recommend this enough.

Here. Take a listen to this abomination:

That is…. that is so bad it’s…. it’s… it’s hysterical.

And yet, there’ much more. It was a sign of the times. Feminism, gay rights, sexual experimentation were all finding their footing and this genre of New York musical was a part of this moment, as well as a central target for the obscenity controversies that roared and backlashed, particularly as the 70s sputtered to an end the conservative 80s began to slouch towards Bethlehem to be born.

Plus it cannot be left unmentioned, this genre did give birth to a movie. Oh yes. One of the most WTF movies of all time: Alice In Wonderland, an X Rated Musical Fantasy.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

The Album Is Here!

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW

Welcome everyone to the grand premiere of the entire album The Dolls Of New Albion, A Steampunk Opera. This 90 minute, 4 Act slightly demented musical story features the immense vocal talents of Lauren Osborn, Jason Broderick and Kayleigh McKnight. Written and produced by Paul Shapera.

Officially out today you can purchase the entire double album for only 12 little measly US dollars. If you live in England or Europe this is like money you lose in your couch and if you live in a Scandinavian country, this isn’t even money. It costs more there to feed a flea.

But wait! There’s more! Not only does the full download come with the complete lyrics, should you want them compiled in one easy spot then take note, if you look near the top of the page you’ll see a new tab called Libretto. It has all the lyrics so you can read them, copy and paste them, or use them to make dirty rhymes by substituting naughty nouns and verbs at just the right places.

It slices! It dices! How many times have you had to put up with embarrassing spills and odors? Well no longer! It’s a @#$#^## download! It won’t mess up your kitchen and is great to cook while listening to!

In order to take this project from here to the live stage in decent venues we need more than anything word of mouth. Seriously, word of mouth is gold. It’s a long road from here, folks, barring unforeseen miracles. Word of mouth…

I’d like to lastly thank Mark Swetz and MProductions for their invaluable assistance.

If you have already purchased the 1st Act or the Random Tracks sampler before May 8th, 2012 and would like a half off discount, please email me at paulms@gmail.com with your name (which i have on file) and i will send you a special download code. Also, thank you, each and every one of you who not only buys it, but actually likes the damn thing. I cannot put into words what that means to me.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,