Monday, January 26, 2009

Whisper House

Musician Duncan Sheik has written a new rock opera called Whisper House. Interviewed recently on NPR's All Things Considered, Sheik will release the musical as a solo album tomorrow, January 27th.

Whisper House follows a young boy during WWII whose father has been shot down by a Japanese pilot. The boy is sent to live with his spinster aunt in a haunted lighthouse in Maine.

Throughout the musical, ghosts sing to the "living" characters and the audience and function as a sort of Greek chorus, according to Sheik. In Greek theater, the chorus would often help narrate the play, but also speak the feelings and thoughts that the characters themselves were afraid to name. Making ghosts into the chorus seems to fit the Western idea that ghosts are more connected to the spiritual and somehow more know about emotions and about the unfolding of events than the rest of us do.

The video for one of the songs, "Earthbound Starlight," is at this link (embedding is disabled.) It's a pretty cool video.

And here's a bad-quality video of another song, "It's Better To Be Dead":

Sheik also wrote the hit musical Spring Awakening.

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