During the summer of 2000, as I approached my first semester in college, I made the very deliberate decision to read Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Aside from a very few school assigned readings I actually completed (The Chocolate War being the biggest standout) throwing myself into any book with intention that I had no previous experience with was as foreign to me as gay love is to Rick Santorum.
That all changed with 2001, however as diving into the Clarke's catalog became an obsession for his books so I could soak in his imagination - the diamond standard of hard science fiction. Childhood's End, Tales from Planet Earth, the remainder of the Odyssey series all turned my imagination inside out with new concepts often based somewhat on hard science and the edge of possibility.
All of his works teemed with delightful imaginations of the future that seems always on the horizon - but none of it floored me like the epic Rendezvous with Rama. The tale of a derelict spaceship on a scale that humans have never imagined sweeps into the solar system giving man just enough time to rendezvous with the craft only to deepen it's alien mysteries and magnificence before disappearing back into the abyss of interstellar space.
With the inspiration of this book, I wrote the concept pieces known collectively as "RAMA" for February Album Writing Month 2012. While I'm really proud of some of the work I did with "RAMA" (and some was a little phoned in due to the time constraints of FAWM), it felt a little cheap because I was just retelling someone else's amazing story and using it as a strong crutch to hang my own sounds on. I had always wanted to write my own hard science fiction story, but the incredible amount of technical depth required is intimidating as hell for someone that's neither an engineer or astrophysicist.
The most consistent type of comment I received during FAWM had to do with the enjoyment people were having reading my descriptions of the story to go along with listening of the track itself. Why not try to write my 'firm' science fiction using music accompanied by story snippets? Let some of the details be inferred by the music and let the reader/listener draw conclusions from there.
I have a story that I want to tell. I have an outline and I know with certainty where the story is going and how it will end. No stringing you along with filler like LOST, but a purposely paced, episodic story told with a paragraph describing setting and scene with the music meant to invoke story aurally.
Hopefully in the next few days I will post the prelude text along with the first 'episode' of music, which is titled "The Saganites of Hypatia and the second Renaissance."
Yeah... I seem to be going for broke right from the get go... ;)