In his living concept album “LifeWork: Passage One – The Question”, L.HUNT explores the relationships between music, written word, theatre production and art in a non-traditional and personally unique way. It is evident that he has worked tirelessly to craft his own distinct style and approach. Showcasing an entirely new sound that marries the drama of theatre with the more traditional songwriting styles of Rock, L.HUNT has contributed to the “Rock Opera” genre in a way that sounds entirely fresh and new.
Check out “Shadows in the Mind’s Eye”:
We were so impressed by the creativity and thoughtfulness showcased within the concept album, that we just had to learn more about this incredible artist. L.HUNT was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions.
I love the first few singles from your upcoming album “LifeWork: Passage One – The Question.” Tell me a little more about your process in producing L.HUNT songs. Does the melody come first, the lyrics, or do you focus on a beat you want it to have?
Answer: I am primarily the lyricist and producer on all of my songs. I also mix them. The only exception on the current project where I’ve composed the melodies myself, are the songs “Shadows in the Mind’s Eye,” “The Mind/Body Interface (Two Parts Transposing at Intervals)” and one that combines my melody with one that Chris Davidson wrote. That song is “Mountains and Valleys (A Sharp Focus on the Mental Environment).”
That said, my method of producing an L.HUNT song generally works like this: Based on the project storyline, I begin conceiving titles for the songs according to subject matter of speech or situation. After the lyrics for the song have been worked out, I send them to the composer that I’ve chosen for the melody. He or she creates the melody along with a basic piano or guitar line. They deliver 2 MP3’s – one of vocal only, the other a mix of vocal and instrument. I should add here that I have not gone into a studio to produce a single song, but everything has been commissioned, discussed and received via the internet. As I develop further in the music field I’m sure I will have opportunity to work in that way, and I look forward to it. Until then it’s just me, my MacBook Pro and Logic Pro X. Now I have a great melody on MP3 and I decide how the song will be approached. Sometimes it comes immediately on the first listen, others take repeating the song over and over again over time. An example of immediacy is a LifeWork song I’m working on titled “Land Mass.” An awesome melody by Chris Davidson that excited me when I thought about it being “A Rocking Mozart Approach With a Johnny Otis Hand Jive Spin.” That is the direction to begin the process.
As it’s developed it will become something very original and maybe not anything like the initial drive that started it. It’s very important that an album full of L.HUNT songs is not the same 4 instruments being played by the same 4 people in just a different way. What new instruments can be used here? What creative composition can be achieved? What does this song demand of itself? Banjo? Harp? French horns? All three together? This is a benefit of being the manager of the process that I can pick and choose anything I want, instead of being in a band where everyone wants their instrument to be heard on every song. So I usually start by getting a more focused piano track. I communicate some colorful direction and breakdown how I want the music spaced in relation to the lyrics. The first MP3 was the melody straight through, no breaks. So I determine whether there should be a 30 second intro, a 1 minute musical section somewhere inside it, a lingering exit, etc. Sometimes I may want the entire song to change into something else – like how the chaos of “Death: A Jagged Shadow” suddenly became a funeral song for MINER in Desert Rose.
Excerpt as example: The pianist sends 2 files back. One, a Wave file, with piano only. The other, an MP3 of a mix of the piano and the vocal-only track that I sent to him/her. That MP3 will be a guide for other musicians I hire and the vocalist(s). I then build on that depending on the direction I’ve chosen. Much of the time, drums and percussion come next.
Behind the scenes:
Can you discuss the concept and what we can expect from your upcoming rock opera “LifeWork: Passage One – The Question”?
Answer: Madness within an intricate puzzle; an analyzation of the main character’s mind and a fantastical journey that he will take the listeners on as he works through his confusion and clears the way to correct thinking and mental health. But it is not a cliche, expected rock craziness like Diary of a Madman. It is an intellectual and experimental treatment that would be more in the arena of The Wall or Deloused in the Comatorium – but on steroids. The storyline holds within it an unfolding puzzle that may take only a university professor to interpret it, we’ll have to see. The lyrics are not haphazard filler, they are well-crafted and purposeful. Passage One is laying the groundwork for the next 3 albums which will take this story to a realm that could never be expected at this early stage. This sounds like a monumental promise that can’t be delivered, but I’ve been developing the concept, the lyrics and libretto for the stage production since 1985. I’m very passionate about this project and I’m excited to see others enter the sonic labyrinth and enjoy the musical ride through – and out the other side.
Any further clues to help us decipher this puzzle you are devising?
Answer: There will also be videos titled “Additional Passages” that will be released. They will reveal new content related to the project. These videos give background in order to understand the breadth of the story, outside of the material on the album. The first one has already been released here: https://youtu.be/u5nDfpss_yY
Anywhere online where curious fans can listen to your music and find out more about you?
Answer: All releases, whether audio, visual or otherwise will be announced on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLHUNT My record label is NoteSmith Studio. Here’s the website where you can find the track list, lyric sheets and more for LifeWork: http://www.notesmithstudio.com/music/ lifework-1-music.html
Discovering the rock opera “LifeWork: Passage One – The Question” by L.HUNT was truly an engaging and worthwhile experience. This differs from most recent indie releases in that it is fearlessly ambitious and unapologetically unique and difficult to label. Not only is it polished and meticulously crafted, but it is sequenced to perfection, leaving the listener wanting more. We can definitely see this artist climbing the ranks and becoming a household name and inspiring a new generation of independent artists. L.HUNT is a remarkable act and an amazing breath of fresh air within an industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. This ever-evolving rock opera is a MUST LISTEN!
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