Transmedia Storytelling in The Continual Return of Dr. Ordinaire
Music and sound design, words and narrative, a growing set of visual assets, and ultimately a live performance: these are the components of the “postmodern rock opera” The Continual Return of Dr. Ordinaire.
This is a non-linear narrative spanning multiple historical eras and geographical locales. The story follows the cyclic and karmic adventures of the alchemist Dr. Pierre Ordinaire and the archetypal figures (forces) that help, hinder and complicate his life (lives).
The six players (four in the “core band” plus two special guests) who are responsible for the music and vocals also represent the main characters/archetypes that drive the narrative.
(photos by Vern Evans)
Referencing the tradition of the “concept album” of the late 20th century, The Continual Return is a continuous, thematic auditory experience. Music and sound design are only part of the portfolio: photography, video and (ultimately) digital/interactive and other media elements are planned to support and extend the story.
As the primary writer, as well as producing and mixing the record, one of my primary concerns was maintaining the flow over the narrative arc in the full hour of continuous audio program — as the material ranges from dark synthpop through a number of additional “traditional” styles (including a little cabaret number performed by local legend Tequila Mockingbird and her band), cinematic sound design and orchestral arrangements (including strings, brass and percussion recorded here in Los Angeles).
One more final mix/master pass, then off to duplication and digital distro — and so the release process has begun, with a Fall 2023 target for the album being available everywhere.