Friday, February 22, 2013

Imaginary Processes

So, the Imaginary Opera. Where is it? What is it doing?

This is the process. I have two bands, well maybe three. And so that's being sort of a gang composing motifs for the music, meaning the music hasn't been written yet but we have some themes right now.

Much of The Imaginary Opera is either recitative or (depending on how you want to think about it) more like a musical where dialog is spoken rather than sung.

So there are bands improvising music to which they have no idea what sort of thing they're improvising to. Not yet at least. We start recording some of the dialog on Tuesday (wow, that's a very film way of thinking about it.) The goal here is to create an album version of the opera first, and then try to figure out how to stage it.
Danny Thompson, Super Genius.

So: your real question is: "Drew, what on Earth are we doing?"

And the answer is: I'm not entirely sure. We have a bunch of text. We have a pile of music. It needs to all be put together somehow. We're not 100% sure of even how the process of all this is going to work yet. So figuring out the process is part of the process. I just figure we put a bunch of really good people together and see where it goes.

If you're sensing a lack of clear direction here it's because there isn't one. Which is okay. Because (in my experience at least) it takes a little while to figure out what we do. Once we start doing it we'll wander a bit and then there will be good and cool things and we'll be all like "Ooh, that's nice." We'll go onto another section and we'll be all like "Let's do that thing we did before." Eventually we can say "Let's do that thing we do." And then inevitably, "Let's do that other thing we can do rather than the first thing" and someone will say "How about we do this third thing?" That third thing won't work. But the sixth thing will. You know?

Want to hear some experimental demos? Here's one. Note that seriously none of us in the band had any idea what we were going to do next:

Same here:

Note that we do have actual "songs" coming up. I just don't know exactly what they'll be. I have a notion of getting a straight-up opera singer to do some of the interstitial arias -- sort of art-song melodies on top of minimalist rock-band backings ("minimalist" just meaning a groove, the sound will likely be large). And there you go.

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