The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex
In a dark Toronto music venue, The Holy Gasp plays an encore. The song, A Daily Affirmation, riles the young crowd into dancing, stomping and shouting out the empowering lyrics: “My whole life is great and I can do anything good!” Benjamin Hackman, the band’s frontman, wrote this song about a different time in his life; at this point, he sings it by rote. The truth of Benjamin today is darker. His father passed away recently, his therapist died suddenly and he and his wife are in the middle of a divorce. With nowhere else to go, Benjamin moves to an artist residency on Toronto Island and sets out to compose and record a new concept album: The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex. Throughout his process, we encounter the personalities and pressures of recording an album with 26 parts for 18 musicians in 11 days. We delve into the lyrical poetry of the songs themselves, revealing insights and questions about love, family, loss and mental health. The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex is the story of a man in emotional free fall.
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