Another snippet from the new opera, The Boats called Starting Over. Even more masturbation. Trogdor. Metal as Pro Wrestling. Spinal Tap. Going to Eleven. The arc of opera.
Roger CortonA new snippet. Dare I say it seems a bit ‘power-poppish’?
it’s supposed to be theatrical, but at the end of the day it’s not ‘rawk’. These are real people. So I’m constantly checking. Have I gone over the top? Has it become overblown?
RCSo where are we in the story now?
JCHSo… in an opera every character has to have their own song. Typically, it tells you how they are or what they’re trying to do. This is Tomás’ story–the middle brother. The three brothers realize that they’re gonna have to leave. The eldest brother is the least reluctant and the younger is the most jazzed. So Tomás’ feelings are the pivot for the story. Every time he goes out to work he feels like he’s in his element. But his wife is not entirely thrilled–he’d make her a lot happier if they left the life. So he’s having this inner struggle.
RCI have to admit, as much as I am trying to get with this opera thing, I do like when you get back to the whole majestic epic stuff.
JCHThis guy wouldn’t know majesty if it bit him in the face.
RCIt’s been years since I thought about Trogdor. Thanks for that.
JCHIt’s just something I like to think about whenever things get a bit too self-indulgently ‘epic’.
RCYou mean, of course, that fine line between music and This Is Spinal Tap?
JCHIndeed. The funny thing is that the hundreds–and I do mean hundreds–of Youtube videos parodying all the flavors of Metal are some of the best Metal I’ve ever heard.
RCMaybe you just don’t like Metal, so it’s all a joke.
JCHMaybe. But my current theory is that, at some point, Metal, in fact a lot of music, kinda became like Pro Wrestling.
RCLike you can no longer see the line between ‘sport’ and ‘entertainment’?
JCHExactly. It definitely requires some talent to do Metal, but it’s also definitely crossed over from having some real ‘message’ into being like Grand Theft Auto. Is GTA still around?
RCYou’re asking -me-? But what does this have to do with the song.. er.. ‘aria’ in question?
JCHI’m constantly reminding myself that this is opera… it’s supposed to be theatrical, but at the end of the day it’s not ‘rawk’. These are real people. So I’m constantly checking. Have I gone over the top? Has it become overblown?
RCAnd that’s hard to do?
JCHWell, it’s the nature of music to get carried away with the emotion of the thing. And that’s where the whole ‘masturbation’ thing rears its ugly head again.
RCI can’t believe you did it again. THREE WEEKS IN A ROW!
JCHI just mean that while you’re creating this stuff, it’s easy to get carried away with what makes you feel good in the moment and then it becomes distasteful to watch.
RCHey I play guitar. Trust me, I know about getting carried away in the BIG SOLOOOOO!
JCHRight. Self-indulgent may be OK in Metal…
RCHey, it may even be a plus.
JCHTouché But it’s definitely not what makes for art. So here Tomás has to sing his guts out, but the whole thing can’t get too ‘soaring’.
JCHWell because there are like twenty other numbers in the show and they can’t all be turned up to eleven? I mean, I have to gauge everything according to the overall arc of the show. That’s the difference between doing a real ‘show’ vs. an album of individual ‘songs’.
RCThe songs in the ‘show’ have to fit that arc. Whereas individual songs are only responsible for themselves?
JCHWell said. I think that’s a great place to end.
RCWait. You don’t me off. I get to cut you off!
RCAhem! Not. Another. Word.