I’m back to work on the final two sections of the opera after a brief hiatus for grant-writing, the subsequent grant-rejections, and its associated wound-licking.
This week I’m working on the opening section of the opera: I. The Times. The musical portion of the section was actually the first piece I wrote for this project. I had initially thought this music would be for the third or fourth section of Baltimore setting exclusively before I realized that the music would work laterally between the settings. Here is the “Full Orchestra” midi mockup version:
Obviously, I wanted the opening section to set the scene for each time and location, and I ultimately decided to use newspaper headlines for at least the Oakland passages. I spent some time at the San Francisco Public Library transcribing microfiche headlines from New Year’s Day, 2011 and the key editions around the Occupy Wall Street Movement from both the San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times.
It’s actually been a few months since then now, and reading over those notes, it is demoralizing how little has changed in four years. As I try to break this section down and complete it in triplicate, I am planning my attack. I will begin text setting this week most likely with Oakland; which remains the most fickle stage of the process, with Oakland. As I add the text for Baltimore and Athens, it will hopefully be malleable enough to accommodate those points of view as well.
For the Baltimore, 1812 section I have been researching the general rhetoric surrounding the political landscape of the time by using The British Newspaper Archive. It’s a truly amazing resource, while I will detail more in my next post. As for the Athens section, I’m back to good old Plato.
Indeed, it is becoming more and more obvious to me that:
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” ~ Mark Twainbot 2.0