As most people who have to listen to me face-to-face know, I have recently accepted a “handshake commission,” i.e., no one is handing money over to anyone else, to write the score to Carey Scott Wilkerson’s Seven Dreams of Falling. We were introduced by a mutual friend who hoped we would find such a collaboration fruitful and enjoyable, and indeed we hit it off right away.
Scott and I have been communicating for about a month now discussing how to turn his quirky little post-modern play into an opera, and we’ve made some good progress. However, I haven’t really thought about actually writing any music yet.
Until today. Or rather, last night, when my body and my brain conspired to keep me from sleeping, and one thing that kept running through my head was music for part of the opening scene, “Dream One.” So this afternoon I thought, well, why not see if it actually comes out of my head?
On the LSCA, this tiny bit was between 2 and 3, so yea me!
Quick synopsis: Icarus’ flight and fall has become an annual event, webcast, pay-per-view. His father Daedalus manages all the technical aspects. Theseus has become their publicist while still managing his own annual myth, that of killing the Minotaur. Ariadne has settled into embittered sniping; she runs a feminist blog and podcast. The Minotaur—well, let’s talk about him later. As the show progresses, Icarus decides he wants out of the myth, wanting to find life for himself. Etc.
In Dream One, we open with a grand baroque chorus as the populace watches the Event on their iPads and phones. We shift from the Chorus to Daedalus, and he sings of his son and the pride he feels in their continuing their myth for the benefit of the world. That’s the part I wrote today, when the music shifts from piccolo trumpet and chorus to a Zadok-the-Priest-like figure in the strings and Daedalus steps into the spotlight.
So here are the very first notes written of the fabulous new opera, Seven Dreams of Falling, by Dale Lyles and C. Scott Wilkerson. I should note that I decided to start with a piano score, which I will have to have anyway for rehearsals. Those who remember the sometimes astonishing changes the William Blake’s Inn score underwent during orchestration may already hear timpani and chimes in the future.