Week 5, When Words Fail, Lizzie’s Fugue

 Lizzie’s Fugue, words & music by James McGee. Additional vocals by Jennifer Noble

Had a tough time with this  week’s challenge. The theme and the music came eay but the words really never showed up.  I’ve written about crazy and obsessed before.  Does it still qualify if I only came up with a tone poem?

The challenge,  from Jordan Howard of CCS Rights Management “ I am looking for songs to pitch for a new series on Lifetime that stars Christina Ricci. The series can be best described as a 19th Century “Dexter.” Series centers around a female anti-hero, lots of emotions. Love, Lust, Hate, Danger.

The series “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” takes off from last year’s “Lizzie Borden Takes an Axe” that was on Lifetime. The show “delivers an intense and fictionalized account of actual events and people surrounding Lizzie’s life after her controversial acquittal of the horrific double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, when the exonerated figure lives a life awash in new found celebrity filled with scandalous love affairs” It would appear that Lizzie is cleaning up some outstanding loose ends as people around her start mysteriously dying.

The Details, from Jordan
“Musically I am looking for songs in the vain of: Black Keys, Bon Iver, Band of Skulls, Carolina Chocolate Drops, James Vincent McMorrow. For one episode, I am looking for a replacement for Hozier’s “To Be Alone.” As long as the song is in a similar wheelhouse and is lyrically similar, that is what is most important.”

Working it out
Gave it the old college try.  Listened to the samples, was moved  by Hozier singing “To Be Alone”.  Not sure what he was getting at, but there was a tremendous  feeling of passion and pain and someone crying out in vain. A feeling of loss and anger.

The Research
Did mlizzie_400wlry resath and b) the image of her father earch on Lizzie Borden. And what jumped out at me was a) she was a sociopkilling her pet pigeons in the barn. With an axe! Uh oh. I have the image of a crazed sociopath who was allegedly in the fugue state when she committed her killings.

The Results:
I heard, like most a brooding  minor key, I heard pigeons, I heard a woman’s lament in the night.* And most of all I heard voices. I even contemplated using the children’s nursery rhyme in the mix

“Lizzie Borden took an ax,
Gave her mother 40 whacks.
After she had seen what she had done,
She gave her father 41.”

But thought it would be overkill. See, I know restraint.

Alas, the words didn’t come, and after a while I didn’t feel any need to pursue them. So here’s what I came up with it. A musical mash up of sound, voices, and music. Theme music for a Lizzie Borden killing spree.

I call it Lizzie’s Fugue.

*Special thanks to Jennifer Noble for providing the female vocals

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