Lovely Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the Vox Chaotica Council! A huge part of my life right now is the insane-0-bot project I created, signed up for, and recruited a board for: my Honors Undergraduate Thesis/Creative Project. Now you may be thinking, how many pages is it, what topic are you writing on, why are you telling us about a giant paper you're writing for an academic system you don't really believe in? Maybe you're catching on with my virtual tone of voice and the fact that I deliberately put in a slash and a secondary title, but my thesis is non-traditional (honestly, what about me ever is). I am writing, producing, recording and performing a concept album.
Quick deviation: not many people know about concept albums anymore because most popular bands don't have the time or creative license to make them, so I'll give a brief overview. A concept album is a collection of songs which either deal with the same topic or–more commonly–are all a part of one story that gets told in episodes (one song equals one episode). Coheed & Cambria's albums are concept albums, some people argue over whether American Idiot is a concept album, and Pink Floyd's The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon are the probably the most famous concept albums.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/167172151" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
My concept album is based around a collection of short stories written by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges called Labyrinths. Originally, Borges came into my life through my Human Event seminar class (required by Arizona State University's Barrett Honors college). For class we had to read "The Library of Babel," which immediately piqued my interest with its high-brow verbiage and surreal world. I went and found the exact book the story had been photocopied from and checked it out from the ASU Library and ravenously tore through each story in the collection. I've pulled the book out at least once every year I've been at University, and it never ceases to amaze me with its depth and genius. While Labyrinths is a fantastic collection of stories, it is admittedly quite academic (my nice way of saying Borges' word choice is complex, his writing is very cerebral, and sometimes you have to slog through the mire of his sentence structure)- but his themes in these stories are fascinating to me. Basically, each delves into the ideas of infinity, the labyrinthian nature of thought, and the eternal struggle against the unknowable forces of our universe. Deep stuff, I know, but they are exquisitely tempered with surrealism and that makes them intriguing and fun rather than a collective sack of academic drivel.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/167172328" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
Anyway, the songs are definitely post-rock inspired in terms of general feel and structure; I feel post-rock and surrealism go hand in hand, but I have a strong background in alternative and indie rock (Interpol was my inspiration to pick up guitar in the first place), so that seeps in as more of a secondary influence. Currently, the majority of the songs will have readings of the text over them as opposed to my taking the prose and turning it into poetry used as lyrics, which I definitely felt weird about until I recorded my first song: "The Circular Ruins" in which the readings really make the song for me.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/167172548" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
Yeah! That's what I'm doing like 300% of my time right now. Feel free to ask me more about the book, the album, the author, the music, whatever–I would be more than happy to explain things in finer detail.
tl;dr Cutter learns he doesn't know how to write a proper conclusion, he's making an album for his thesis, and you can listen to teasers.