Opera: Pete Townshend / Quadrophenia

There have been many “rock operas” produced for major label release, but there is none that come close to Quadrophenia in design, complexity, and brilliance of execution. And no other music group or crew of session players charged with producing a rock opera project had three of the most dynamic musicians of their generation – Keith Moon, John Entwistle, and Roger Daltrey – at their disposal to assist in fusing the vision of multi-instrumentalist author/composer Townshend to tracks so exploding with kinetic energy that the music threatens to come off the rails at any moment. 


Opera: Bates & Campbell / The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

On the face of it, as opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs is an overly geeked-out concept. But it really is a grand story. A tale of the massive power of computing and communications put in the hands of all humanity, of technological transformation and behavioral shift that has no precedent in human civilization.

So why was I digging in my heels at the thought of actually sitting through this goddamn thing? 

Opera / SFairbank

Why Am I Writing an Opera?

I’ve been having an avid correspondence with an old friend. Discussing a wide array of topics. Recently the conversation has turned to my latest operatic music project. And she replied with: “So – what made you want to write an opera anyway?”

And my reply was that I’ve created an opera because I think opera is an amazing art form and I wanted to make one that isn’t all of the things so many find so repellent about the medium.


Soundtrack: Toru Takemitsu / Pale Flower

The music created by Toru Takemitsu for the 1964 Masahiro Shinoda film ‘Pale Flower’ has as much invention in the art of writing for film as any I’ve ever encountered. Like most good soundtracks, the cues are fairly sparse. But when they accompany the action it’s for a good reason and they have an impact, and the effect is unique in that brass and string arrangements may be supplemented by percussion like bin-sasara or hyoshigi, as Takemitsu was a giant in Japanese film for being one of the first to score using native Japanese instruments.