Yes, I am a drummer. But, I am also ‘God’ – in the Rock Opera “Playing God”.
The origin of the idea of a Rock Opera came from Matti Häyry, Professor of Philosophy at Aalto University Helsinki, and fellow Philosopher Tuija Takala. In short, they wanted to put together a rock opera on the ethics of genetics, something that they both had research history and interest in. By the end of 2011 much of the story had been developed and it was time to add the music. Häyry and Takala wanted to create an authentic 1970s classic rock atmosphere and they decided to contact someone with actual experience of creating music in that era, Laurence “Corky” Laing, drummer of the pioneering hard rock band Mountain and holder of two gold records from Woodstock. For the next year and a half 25 songs were created to tell the story of “Playing God”. Altogether 11 musicians participated in the studio work and recordings of these songs, including two guest performances by Erik Schenkman on guitar, courtesy of his band Spin Doctors. The cd, Playing God: Corky Laing and the Perfct Child (yes, this mis-spelling is intentional) was released internationally in July 2013.
And how did I become ‘God’? After performing together with guitarist Phil Baker in Helsinki in 2016 I was asked to join in as one of the gods. Phil Baker had been working together with Corky Laing, and was also involved in the production. There was a need for one more actor and vocalist and before I knew it, I was up on stage acting and singing. I had just returned from a couple of months of travelling in California, I was in a life-changing mode and it was perfect timing for something different.
And what a learning curve and experience this was. To jump into something totally new – to act, sing and dance. Rehearsals, cast bonding, experimenting before opening night. Stage acting, theatre, is quite a nurturing – and challenging – art form. I’m still a musician, and will be for the rest of my life. But I am very happy to have received acting experience.
I am performing songs from the Rock Opera Playing God, among others, this upcoming weekend, May 5th and 6th, at the Rockin’ May Fest, Golden Classic Café Helsinki, Finland.
Come and rock with us!