One of the projects I’ve been working on lately (and for a while) is 10-minute concept musical about the end of the world.
I started it last year with some basic brainstorm writing and a chorus melody that I liked which has become kind of the focused anthem for the piece.
Recently, probably about two weeks ago, I finally got back to it and I’ve been putting in a bunch of hours here and there trying to sort it out and get it finished. Honestly, pieces like this usually just fit into place in a hurry for me, but for some reason, this one is being quite stubborn.
The basic idea is that two people’s day is interrupted by someone dropping a nuclear bomb nearby. The tone of it is rather light-hearted and funny, though I’m trying to build in some poignancy as well. I really don’t like light pieces of entertainment without purpose. That’s just not me.
So I’ve been singing it over and over in my mind, slowly chiseling away at the melodies, structure, lyrics, and overall theme of the piece. Over the last two days it is finally starting to take shape. I use audacity to make simple recordings of my ideas – just me singing – it’s painful to listen to sometimes – and yesterday I recorded a rough version of the first seven minutes. Since then, I’ve started shaping the final three minutes.
But what has struck me about this piece, is that I have NO idea of what I have here. Will other people understand it? It’s not a straight narrative and it has a hodgepodge of melodies, some which come back around and repeat. I kind of like it, but perhaps no one else in the world will understand what I’m getting at. That’s probably an overstatement because it’s not that abstract, but what if it’s produced and the audience doesn’t get it? What if no one laughs? What if they think it’s stupid?
Or what if they stand and applaud?
Creativity can be flipped on its head in the matter of seconds. There are no guarantees, and what I keep telling myself is to produce the best possible work that I can. Make sure that I am happy with it and that it represents what I want to say. And then let the chips fall where they may.
I do hope that this one will be produced at some point this year. I just can’t tell what the reaction will be. Such is the life of a creative writer or any creative artist for that matter.
So here’s to you: “It’s the End of the World and I Love You.”