Music and Lyrics by multiple composers across Wisconsin
Co-Directed by Adam Qutaishat and Nathan Fosbinder
Staggered release begins May 14
Album purchase information will be available soon!
An American Mythology is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
What are America's myths?
Many cultures have mythology in their long histories: Stories of gods and goddesses, mortals and monsters, good and evil. America does not have such mythology. Or does it?
We believe Americans have a contemporary mythology, with stories centering on real or imagined individuals in our society who are deemed to exemplify success and failure, beauty and ugliness, right and wrong. These stories allegedly tell us how to live. Myths also present a dualism. They are stories that shape our beliefs about the world, but they are also typically one-dimensional fallacies that do not mesh with reality.
MTM’s album will explore the idea of American role models, tropes, expectations, stereotypes and experiences using the framework from the myths of old. Using a stock character like “The Billionaire,” “The Rioter,” “The Outcast,” and others, each writing team of BBIPOC composers will tell stories of America through the lens of their experiences, addressing the myths and looking past simplistic ideas. In its final form, this album, designed to eventually be adapted to the stage, will ask us explore the implications and consequences of myths.
The stories on this album:
A powerful element of nature connects to the need for change.
A man looks to a mystical being for advice on his future.
In order to reach his potential, a man uses a magical substance to change himself to fit in.
Faced with an epic struggle, a young hero finds their true strength inside themselves.
A woman speaks to a star-reader about her destiny and receives unexpected advice.
A person travels to a new land and achieves her dreams at a considerable cost.
A grandmother tells a story about a mythical creature her family was tasked with protecting.
What is a concept album?
The concept album is an album that follows a narrative story. Examples are Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy. The concept album has frequently spread into the musical theatre realm, as a beginning stage for writers who want to commit their ideas to a recording before it becomes a full production. This is more and more common as new writers emerge. Shows you may know well like Jesus Christ Superstar, American Idiot, and Hadestown began as concept albums; a way to put the music together and imagine what it could be like if brought to the stage. Rather than follow a traditional scripted version of a piece, concept albums allow audiences and artists to imagine the possibilities, draw on the music, and create work that explores complex ideas in a variety of ways. When brought to the stage, they become a template for wide-ranging innovation and interpretation.
Stay tuned for more information on this project, and updates on the songs and themes the artists create!