I have several hundred of these CDs left of the 1998 pressing of my rock opera, Through Forbidden Black Doors. In an attempt to not be behind the curve, I let go of my "two vinyl records" vision of this thing and shaved a few songs out to squeeze it onto one 72-minute CD. Now of course CDs go to 80 minutes, so I'm behind the curve again.
Although some songs benefitted from a good tango with Mr. Razor Blade, I regret some of the editing. I prefer the original two-part form with an intermission in the middle. I'm currently remixing everything on TFBD and ressurecting lost material; some tracks tweaked, some overhauled, some started over from scratch. I've also since fallen in love with working with everything in the computer domain, which I didn't have available to me at the time this material was mixed for the CD.
Nonetheless, I'm supposed to be talking you into buying the CD as it is. Well, you're not going to be able to buy a newer version in the near future. So if you're curious and want to hear something as close as possible to an ideal version of my rock opera, this is it for right now.
I wrote the opera itself just out of high school in the late 1980s. It's about the collision of two brainwashed societies -- blatantly repressed, life-long prisoners of the factory they work and live in (whose only discernible product is "parts for other factories") -- and visiting tourists, who are more subtly manipulated by mass media (personified as an obnoxious tour guide).
Initially I made a really crappy demo on a 4-track. I submitted it to various people I'd met -- before any vocals were even recorded, along with a photocopy of the vocal lines all written out on staff paper (sometimes I would bravely sing the parts in person while playing the cassette for people), and then eventually a slight revamp with hastily added vocals -- in hopes of getting some interest in recording it professionally, performing it live, or making it into a film.
In the mid-90s, figuring something was probably getting lost in the translation, I began recording a higher quality version. I played and sequenced most of the instruments myself again, but this time also enlisted the talents of Paul Gaspar (trumpet), Mike Edwards (sax, vocal), and others. While playing back the complete recording at a small party, I met Kim Pinegar, who eventually replaced my fake female lead vocal part with a real one, much to everyone's relief -- which along with some other editing and revamping pretty much brings us to the 72-minute 1998 CD version you see here.
Now. I could, and it would seem the obvious thing to do, make this page all about convincing you to part with a few bucks and take a disc off my hands, thanks and have a nice day.
That's not really what I want out of this.
My guess is that, if you're browsing through stuff on the CD Baby website, it's pretty likely that you yourself are a musician, or a creative person, or are close to one. Maybe you attend a college, or know someone who works in a theater. If you would like to either stage a live performance -- or contribute to an animated film -- of something that could be described as Brazil meets Jesus Christ Superstar meets Brave New World meets The Wall, check this out. Think of it as a very good demo, or a nearly-complete work in progress. Then you can contact me via the link on this site, or through my own website at http://www.keithhandy.com, to fill in the gaps and hammer out the logistics.
My website also links to a blog, where I will try to keep you updated as to the progress of my remixing, and my attempt to get at least one song animated so I can submit it to film festivals.
So, there you go, there it is: this baby need allies, cheerleaders, and people generally in its corner. Use your imagination a little. I know plenty of people have already envisioned taking it farther, getting it onto the stage, etc. -- it's just a matter of coordinating people. Again, just bookmark my website and blog, email me any time you like, worst case scenario we don't see eye to eye and nothing is lost.
Okay, that's all there is to read here! Go to my website if you need more to read.
You can go away now!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Workers' Theme
2. Stay With The Group!
3. What Do We Make Here?
4. 881 Drifts
6. The Supervisor Locates His Pen
7. Questions and Answers
8. Through Forbidden Black Doors
9. The Party's Over
10. The Sunset
11. Slab Of Clay
13. No Outside After All
14. Scratched Off, Called Off
16. Do You Remember?
17. Almost Outside
18. The Operation
19. The Thing That Happens Next
20. Nicole's Thoughts