(Via the Daily Swarm) NPR had a recent post about the Lexington High School band transforming Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea into a musical, with the help of Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls:
She proposed to Bogart that they work with his students to write a play inspired by In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, but most of his students had never heard of it.
“I was sort of taken aback by how open it was and sort of thrown off, but I kept listening to it and I found I just couldn’t stop. It’s so beautiful because every time you listen to this music you hear something different,” says sophomore Lindsay Kosos. “And I listen to it all the time — I fall asleep listening to it.”
The students spent several weeks with the music, creating sculptures and drawings inspired by the lyrics, and then began improvising scenes.
Here’s a pic of Amanda Palmer as she pretends to place a flower into a vase as Alex Parrish pretends to look at a restaurant menu:
The students came out this experience transformed:
The students at Lexington High School say they haven’t just written a play based on this album, or a play about Anne Frank. It’s about art and music coming out of terrible things. And it’s about being transformed by that process of creation. A junior, whose parents did not want her identified, found herself transformed.
“There was one rehearsal where we were using the music a lot, and I just remembered this thing that I had forgotten, which is that there were two Nazis in my family,” one Lexington student says. “And I just had this realization that I had to make reparations, I had this just huge debt all of a sudden, which I had forgotten I had. And after that day everything’s been heavier and also lighter at the same time and I feel like the music just like draws things out of weird places that you didn’t know were there.”
Students say their play doesn’t necessarily have a message. They do want the audience to come away feeling something, even if viewers can’t quite explain what it is — especially if they can’t explain what it is.
Neutral Milk Hotel – “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
Neutral Milk Hotel – “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Live @ the Side Door)”
Dresden Dolls “Two-Headed Boy”