MUSIC AND LYRICS
ENERGIE - A ROCK OPERA
Energie is the story of Nikolai, a theoretical physicist who has discovered a way to create energy with virtually no cost or damage to the environment. Nikolai’s companion Larkin is also a theoretical physicist who is doing work on String Theory and the idea of multiple dimensions that we can’t see, but Larkin has an impediment where she can only seem to communicate using one part of her brain, using formulas as language instead of words. In fact, Larkin is living in two dimensions at once.
Humphrey Repton is the media-savvy head of the newly created Boston University Center for Advanced Physics and Humphrey recruits Nikolai, Larkin and others to do cutting edge scientific work under his auspices. When Repton learns of Nikolai’s discovery, he presents Nikolai to the world as his protege, and claims some of the credit along with it. While Humphrey is setting up the testing to prove Nikolai’s discovery is real, Nikolai gets tricked by a reporter into calling out Humphrey as a phony media-hound.
Hurt and betrayed, Humphrey falls into the arms of a group of oil, gas, utility, and green energy leaders who know that Nikolai’s discovery will mean the end of their industries and wealth. Humphrey becomes their agent, carefully working to sabotage the testing of Nikolai’s discovery. But Larkin, who is generally ignored because of her peculiar social skills, has realized that the test that will prove Nikolai’s theory can also bring her fully to one dimension.
The big test was set up to fail, but in a climatic scene Larkin is able to hijack the machinery and both bring herself to our dimension and prove Nikolai’s discovery.
99 - A ROCK OPERA
Pete, a bureaucrat from the Cleveland Department of the Environment, is tasked with managing a group of protestors (the “99-ers”) who have taken over a downtown park. The leader of the 99-ers turns out to be Sarah, his college flame, and while he is thrilled to see Sarah again she crushes him with a rebuke that he is a sell-out. Pete’s reaction to the 99-ers featured speaker, “The Gardner” makes Pete wonder if Sarah’s right. Meanwhile Henry, who was living in the park, is now made homeless by the very protesters who purport to defend him from the bureaucracy. Opposition Leader, media savvy Captain America, sees an opportunity in Henry’s plight and a square off ensues.
RELEASE - A ROCK OPERA
Release is the story of three individuals isolated form the world immediately around them - an army medic with PTSD, a wealthy neer-do-well who got busted for drugs and an autistic teenager. They all meet at a mental health hospital in Wyoming and soon find that they can be the key to helping each other join the rest of the world.
Release has been produced as a musical and is in further theatrical and concert development.
SHE DREAMS OF THE GHOST
Mark Baughman’s songs continue to show their breadth and depth in musicality and lyrics. She Dreams of the Ghost moves easily between straight-ahead rock to southern jazz-rock to acoustic ballad to metal to pop. Baughman uses the genres to support the diverse songs as the lyrics dive deep in exploring relationships with a refreshingly clear and critical eye.
Charmed Life is another project that defies genre definition as it explores contemporary identity and faith. Starting with the Motown-inspired Survivor Instinct the album takes a quick turn to the haunting Army of One and then rips into the blues-rock I Can Stand a Little Pain. As the album goes it becomes more engrossing, hitting its emotional depth with Baughman’s guitar work on Charmed Life, and ultimately finding resolution with The Kindness of Strangers.