BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Local composer Jim Territo’s newest creation “The Daedalus 2 Mission: A Space Opera” premieres at The Crofoot in Pontiac on Aug. 10.
“It came together just out of some conversations with my nephew, Joe Territo,” shared Jim, a 1997 Clarkston High School graduate.
“We are both science lovers and sci-fi fans. It was just speculation about the end of the universe. Scientists believe instead of the universe coming together like a huge crunch instead matters are just going to dissipate, stars are going to burn out, and it’s just going to be one icy void. We thought what if space probes sent out during the time of mankind survived all the way into the depth of the distance cold future. We thought that could be messed up. We could tell a story about it.”
They went without a name for awhile about a team of robot probes sent into space by NASA. They just called it space opera before calling it “The Daedalus 2 Mission: A Space Opera.”
The title came the story of Icarus, the infamous Greek character who flew too close to the sun with his wax wings despite warnings from his father, Daedalus.
“A tale about the dangers of technology and man’s hubris for discovery,” Jim explained. “Daedalus being the father of Icarus, we thought it would be cool to name our team of ill-fated space travelers the Daedalus 2 Mission, a reference to Icarus himself.”
Jim composed the music and both wrote the lyrics for the science fiction show which features 12 songs spanning different genres including hard rock, punk rock, classic rock, reggae, opera, electronica and hip hop including rap.
“Imagine a David Bowie show like Ziggy Stardust for a modern era,” he said.
They wrote one song four years ago and put it aside. The next song came two years ago and was also put away. Then, this past January they sat down and wrote out ten more songs.
“I am a composer so my brain is into my music most of the time,” Jim said about producing ten songs so quickly. “It was a highly productive two months for both of us. We knew we were onto something. We had a story already laid out in our minds. Then, putting the songs in place just filled in the blanks to the vision we had for the show. It was a quick process. I was surprised I liked the songs as much as I did after writing them that fast. This one has a conceptual core behind it. We are examining life and death at the far reaches of space and time. Having something with that much gravitas to chew on gave us some exciting material to write songs on.”
He added they knew they had an exciting product and couldn’t wait to show it to the world.
“I got pretty aggressive right away about trying to get a team together and finding us the right venue,” he said.
Jim and Joe found their team in local musicians Jim has worked with on other projects.
“My friend Amy Blevins is a highly trained opera singer,” he shared. “Takashi Iio is one of the hottest bass players in Michigan right now plus a handful of other folks who have always impressed me with their talent. They were excited to hear about this.”
For venue, Jim called around and came to the Crofoot in Pontiac, a venue he had been to for concerts and always dreamed of performing in one day.
“Every time I go back I think how fun it would be to rock it out,” he smiled. “It’s a great big ballroom venue with room for multimedia on the screens. We have a lot of artwork we will be projecting. Some trippy space artwork. Being able to put on a big loud show like this in a big, bad space in the Crofoot – it’s the right fit for a big, bold production.”
This is Jim’s third musical. His first was a “Justice in Dusty Junction” a western comedy which premiered in Clarkston in 2012. His second was “The Other Direction” about a boy band’s rise and fall in 2013.
“I like to write music which tells stories,” Jim shared, adding he began writing music at 12-years-old and found inspiration with things which caught his attention. “It sparks your imagination and the way it can make you feel the feels. When you write a piece with a story behind it you go on a journey feeling the feels. It’s why I wanted to write musical – the feelings are on display. I hope people get the feels from this one. It will range from excitement to tear your heart out in a couple of spots and exciting again. A good piece of music takes you on a ride. Even though these are robots you get to know their personalities and you come to understand their hopes and desires for what they may discover in the far reaches of space. It’s family friendly. It’s bold and exciting.”
“The Daedalus 2 Mission: A Space Opera” is at the Crofoot Ball Room in Pontiac, Thursday, Aug.10, 9 p.m.. Doors open at 7 p.m., with Paco Higdon Band opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, please visit www.thecrofoot.com or www.daedalus2misson.com.