Stories Behind the Songs: “Choices” (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by  Grand Poobah  June 24, 2013  •  No Comments  • 

(I decided to break this into three parts due to the length.)

As might be expected, the suite called “Choices” was written in many pieces that were then joined together.  I had written two other suites like this earlier in my career, “Music Boxed Man” and “Machine Dream”, but despite that prior experience, the writing process was difficult.  I wrote in my journal on November 30, 2005:

 Wracking my brains over the climactic song of the Opera, tentatively titled “Choices”.  It’s a multi-part, complex song, and I’m having trouble figuring out how to approach it.  I had a thought a day or two ago that I could write the words, then the music, but I think that’s not going to work.  I need more structure than that.  So it’s back to the original idea of music first, trying to string different musical bits together into some cohesive whole.

I wrote the repeating piano figure for the first section, “Wake Up”, in September 2005, while waiting for my future wife to get ready to go out.  The second movement, “Darkness and Confusion”, followed in November, and words for both were completed in early December.  I recorded the piano as a guide track which was then replaced twice by John—the second time to introduce a superior piano sound.  He tuned the E string on his bass down to D for this section, as at that time he didn’t have a five-string bass.

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