Monday, May 11, 2015
Inspiration Monday: The Decemberists and Other Musical Storytellers
A few years ago I wrote a long-winded 3-part exploration on my website of the albums and songs from different stages of my entire life that always found their way back to my favorite playlists. One of the recurring themes I found that emerged was that I'm inexplicably drawn to music with a story-telling bent to it. (I also seem to be drawn to songs about sea voyages, which I still don't quite understand.) This love for storytelling in song reaches back to pop/rock artists like Simon and Garfunkel, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd to classical pieces like Peter and the Wolf and Night on Bald Mountain.
The Decemberists, and their passion for ghost stories, ancient Victorian melodramas and strange, dark fairy tales like The Hazards of Love, a rock-opera which I can only describe as "Romeo and Juliet with shape-shifting forest creatures." Their lyrics to Youth and Beauty Brigade (off their first album Castaways and Cut-Outs)had a slight influence on one of the poems in my book called COME TO THE FEAST, around the theme of calling in various outcasts and questionable characters (or as they call them, "bed-wetters and ambulance-chasers") to some sort of gathering. I listened to The Decemberists a lot while illustrating Gnomes of the Cheese Forest and Other Poems, and expect this will continue to be the case with future works, as they keep showing me new layers of inspiration with each listen.
If you haven't yet discovered the genius of their musical craft, I recommend starting with The Crane Wife and branching off from there.
As for the book, a few changes are still being made as I share drafts with friends for feedback and revisions, and chip away at polishing it further. I'm close to wrapping up the animation project I've been working on, and plan on getting the cover finalized and creating some proofs for final revisions throughout the summer. And also, there will be some videos to watch. Stay tuned!
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