You can think of how things started as baby steps or Tapas. (I suspect most or all of you understand what “baby steps” are.)
Tapas are these increasingly popular Spanish snacks, often consumed in Tapas “bars”.
When you and a partner start something with a potentially really big risk, a potentially really big investment of all kinds, and a potentially really big and positive upside/outcome, you must be kind to each other and oneself.
Part of that, looking back, is coming up with images that convey the significance, despite the smallness of what we accomplished.
Baby steps are small and hesitant, but an exciting and big deal, nonetheless. Since Lydia and I both have experienced watching such steps with our children, we’ve cultivated both patience and wonder around even the smallest “markers” along a potentially long journey.
Tapas involves sampling a lot of really good food, either with the outlook that these “bites” are appetizers, discounted on the way to a “meal”, potentially a meal itself (or themselves), or something in between. Since we’ve usually met for a meal to check in with each other, tapas makes a lot of sense as a way to describe how things have progressed.
Lydia and I consumed a lot of tapas and took a lot of baby steps between March 2010, with Lydia’s choosing one of my “text/stories” and the next “milestone” in our journey.
Along the way, of course, we pursued a lot of other stuff, poetry readings and plays for me, lots of composition and performance for Lydia.
Her email in late August of 2010 described her upcoming schedule, but then, ended with the optimistic note I’d been hoping for…”Want to play”?
Emboldened, like a kid invited out to recess after a lot of waiting in the classroom, I sent her the working title…”One Way In”…hate to tease, but more on that later.
Meanwhile, since I wasn’t as busy as Lydia, I started writing disparate stuff around the story, as varied as Gilbert and Sullivanesque to chant-like figures, all this to take full advantage of Lydia’s versatility.
She was kind enough to indulge me by entertaining my updates, one of which accused me of “composing more than I am”. Not possible, but I am fortunate to be a musician on my own, with a number of pre-conceptions for the pieces in our collaboration based on a really vivid (some would say, “wacky” imagination).
Finally, in fall 2010, almost six months after Lydia’s endorsement of a text, we met to talk about a few ground rules.
It wasn’t much, looking back, but looking forward, it was an amazing feeling!
How many people do we cast?
Well, maybe 15?
(Both nod, nosh, drink more coffee.)
How long do you think this should be? I like working in even acts.
How about four?
(More nod and nosh.)
Now came the $100,000 question.
Is this an opera or what?
I’m not sure. I am already writing and visualizing a lot of different styles.
So, you’re worried about labeling?
Yep. I don’t want to limit this in any way. All I know is that it’s big, that’s why four acts is really exciting. I have a sort of progressions in my head, at least for the main characters.
Okay. That’s fine.
This was huge.
Next time: Pre-Dawn.
Lars lost his battle with