Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sound of No Music

Jefferson sent me an email: "we have a problem."

While sketching the rough layouts, Jefferson drew up to a scene where Mr. Steam comes into possession of a certain music box.  The music from this box is important to the story, and is played at several key moments.  This is not a problem if you are staging a musical.  It is a problem if you're drawing a graphic novel, since you can't just draw random notes floating in the air around the characters' heads and say it's significant.  Actually, you could, if you were hoping to create something shitty.  Since we're trying to avoid that, Jeff said he needed real music.

I could have easily found a melody in the public domain, like a waltz from 1789, but somehow that felt wrong, using someone else's music to bind my story together.  Then it occurred to me: I knew a musician, a real one, a man in a band called The Little Heroes.

I called James Lombardo, at an odd hour, and asked him to meet me.  Since I don't normally call him at odd hours, he of course said he would be happy to.  But he was on his way somewhere else, so I had ten minutes to give him the ten-peso version of Arcane Sally.

I ended with, "I need you to create an original piece of music for me."  He shook his head, grinned, and said he'd do it.  Ten days later, he sent me a message telling me that he was in a studio in L.A., working with another talented musician, Sean Price.  He added that not only were they writing a piece of music for the book, they were recording a track so people could hear it.

Musicians, man.  They make life worth living.

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