A WALL STREET ODYSSEY
Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 - 8:00 pm, $15.00
In the grand tradition of the English Rock opera, a la Tommy, Quadrophenia, The Wall and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Epigene presents a new rock opera for the 21st century: A Wall StreetOdyssey. Yossarian, (from Joseph Heller's seminal book, Catch 22) is reborn as a burned out stockbroker on a path of self-destruction, rebirth and transcendence. Our show includes live music, costumes, narration and videos on our giant screen. Join us for a modern hero's journey in what Vanity Fair called "The Catchiest Economic-Crisis Rock Opera This Side of Wall Street."
A hazy Manhattan sunrise pokes through the penthouse windows of an
investment banker, who¹s really a regular human being like you or me. Meet Yossarian. With only three hours of sleep after another exhaustive workday, he reflects on his brutal work schedule and lack of freedom working on Wall Street. Thus begins "A Wall Street Odyssey: The City, the Country and Back Again" the stunning new rock opera from NY band Epigene.
Never before has a musical work reflected the profound economic, social and political events of the last 4 years more than Epigene¹s new album. A Wall Street Odyssey is a culmination of songwriter Sean Bigler¹s 3+ years of research and musical inspiration. The 25 songs cover a wide range of styles within the progressive pop/rock genre and are packed with exceptionally strong songwriting and vocal melodies. Rock, electro-clash, psychedelic folk, afro-pop, new wave and even IDM are used to advance the plot and create the many moods of the album. Similar artists currently mining the same vein of adventurous, intelligent art-pop include: Super Furry Animals, Damon Albarn, Midlake, Ben Folds, Deerhoof, David Byrne and Muse.
The hero, is named Yossarian and is inspired by the main character in
Joseph Keller¹s seminal book Catch 22. Yossarian starts off as an overworked investment banker who suffers an existential crisis in his work and lifestyle. He turns to drugs and becomes homeless on the streets in an effort to escape society and his identity. He is later reborn living in a country eco-village where he bonds with nature and connects with a deeper,earthly spiritual presence. Finally, as shaman and prophet, he returns to the city to preach a return to nature and escape from creeping government tyranny.
Seattle artist Tom Swanson helped create a 56 page graphic novel for the
story and Sean and wife Bonnie artfully colored the images. The complete
novel, along with lyrics, photos and essay can be found in the 95 page
deluxe version of A Wall Street Odyssey.
In early 2011, Sean began creating music videos for the rock opera with the idea that they could be shown on stage as a part of a performance piece. 20 videos later, Sean and Bonnie have created a visually stunning live show, which includes narration, costumes and videos projected on a giant screen synced to live music. Each song video is a creative collection of film footage, still images, lyrics, with music and cartoon animation. Using "Crazy Talk' software, Sean was able to take many Tom Swanson¹s cartoon images and bring them to life in the music videos
Songwriter Sean Bigler and wife Bonnie Lykes live in the Woodstock area of upstate NY but were originally from Seattle where they formed Epigene in 2000. Their first album, 2002's One Bright Sign, garnered the band a 4-star review in the All Music Guide as well as significant National radio
exposure. The song ³Troubled Man² was a finalist in the 2002 USA Songwriting Contest.
Epigene reconvened in 2004 working with new bassist James Burkman and drummer Steven Harris to release Popular Dissent. The album was full of sharp, provocative & catchy songs that showcased Sean¹s knack for combiningan irresistible hook with a message of social or political awareness. Several songs from Popular Dissent received significant radio exposure and the album garnered rave reviews.
In 2005 Sean and Bonnie moved to the east coast, eventually settling in
upstate NY where they built a recording studio, and Sean began writing songs for the new album. A Wall Street Odyssey is truly a tale of our times. It is a commentary on Wall Street and it¹s corrupting effects on the
individual. It reflects the resurging "back to the land" movement and the
growing unrest & distrust of the government in this post 9/11 era. Above
all, it is a hero¹s journey; a transformation through the darkness in these
uncertain and often troubling times.
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