What is "The Sleeper's Opera?"

Around 2000/2001, I was trying to figure out a project name for my solo music, which up until then had just been fragmented songwriting and experimentation attempts with no cohesion. I decided I would pick words that represented me in important, philosophical ways and then string two of them together. Simple concept you can use for choosing any band name. You're welcome.

"Opera": Despite the fact I'd been a musician since I was 4 and I had bands/songs I enjoyed, there had always been a disconnect between the music I listened to and the music I wrote and played. The first music I can say I fell in love with was 80's metal like Metallica, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Testament. I can probably still play a little bit of Metallica's "One" on guitar if you feed me enough alcohol. But, that love mostly lasted through my angsty teen years. A decade later, I randomly discovered a love for opera music thanks to NPR. The voices were otherworldly and the depth of emotion they expressed in their storytelling was unrivaled. Mozart, Wagner, Puccini, Verdi (*swoon*). I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised at my attraction, there's a heavy opera influence in the vocals for a lot of heavy metal from the 80's. Sweet, sweet over the top drama, how I love thee.

"Sleeper": I've described myself as living "asleep" for as long as I can remember. Numb, going through the motions, surviving with my eyes closed, allowing life to live ME rather than being an active participant. To live awake and consciously is difficult, it requires a huge amount of honesty and willingness to face pain and suffering in your life with bravery, positive energy and faith. So, I would sleep for many years until I'd wake up, look around, and say with horror, "What have I done?" Then I'd fall back into a dream only to do it all over again.

When I brought these 2 words together, opera had just woken me up from a heavy slumber. I was shaken to my core and dove into a world of music I'd never heard or experienced before. Opera scratched the surface and brought me to the well, but from there I fell deep into the indie music world, penetrating layer after layer of influence, Inception-style, to the darkest corners of artsy madness where the nichest of the niche artists reside. I was inspired to travel to see hundreds of concerts, mostly on my own, and eventually landed in Los Angeles where I wrapped my first album up with a little mental bow, named my second album, promised myself I'd continue to write more, and slowly...drifted...back...to...sleep.

My first Sleeper's Opera story came together as an album of lo-fi drafts, originally meant to be a "demo" album to re-record with better quality at a later time, but instead settled into its jagged edges and muddled vibrancy before curling up in a corner by a toasty fire and closing its eyes.

Now the Sleeper has been jostled awake again after 15 years. This blog will document the journey as I bring to life album #2, "The Traveler's Dream of Motion." I hope you will come along for the ride. After all, I need someone to sing loudly in my ear and keep me from drifting back to sleep. (If you can melodically belt Neutral Milk Hotel's, "Holland 1945," I will promise to never sleep again and just put you on repeat.)


© 2020 Edie Marshall, All Rights Reserved.