Tag Archives: crowdfunding

The Songs of Duo Ex Machina

The five novellas of the Duo Ex Machina series are full of song lyrics I wrote to go with the stories.

Some are by the two-man band Duo Ex Machina (comprising the two lead characters, Frank Capriano and Milo Bertolone, who are also boyfriends). Others are by their friend, Gabriella Valli, and yet others are songs on the radio or that are played during Milo’s time as a contestant on an ice dancing show (in DeM 4: Kiss and Cry).

Now, in partnership with Joshua King of Golden Hour Studios, some of those lyrics are becoming actual songs, released on Apple Music, Spotify and other services!

Listen to our first single – Hymn/Him, from Duo Ex Machina 4: Kiss and Cry on:

You can help us make more music by buying or streaming the Duo Ex Machina songs from Apple, Spotify or Amazon Music: sales proceeds go towards new music.

You can also support the project by:

Or subscribe to the Duo Ex Machina YouTube channel for songs as they’re released.

Crowdfunding for a Song: The Music of Duo Ex Machina

Can you help me fill my Ko-Fi cup?

I grew up influenced by musicals, and that may be why I now write so many stories with music in them.

As a child I learned piano and though that fell by the wayside – partly because my family kept moving house and moving the cheap old piano along with us was a bit of a palaver – I’ve always enjoyed playing around with lyrics and songwriting.

In the 80s, when I discovered fandom and film music, I ended up collaborating with Fiona Thompson (nee Undy) on a Blake’s 7 filktape called Voices from the Past.

Decades have passed since then. I still can’t play the piano, or really sing, but fandom led me back to songwriting once more. I wrote lyrics for an alternative universe Sherlock Holmes series and then started writing lyrics into other stories.

I wrote lyrics for songs relating to the Witches of Tyne series. Then I wrote them for the first Duo Ex Machina novella, Fly By Night, to go alongside the lyrics of songs by About Six Feet (used with their permission)

Then a few years ago, spurred on by those fan-inspired lyrics on AO3 and how much people liked them, I wrote more and more music. (I’ve since dragged both Blake’s 7 and Holmes filk into the worlds of Kitty and Cadaver and Duo Ex Machina.)

Further novellas in the Duo Ex Machina series – Sacrifice, Number One Fan, Kiss and Cry and the current (and final) story, Little Star, all contain songs that I wrote, because it’s easier to do that yourself than get permission to use other lyrics. Also because I love it!

It’s been my delight in recent years to work with Jess Harris of Bronze to bring Kitty songs to life in their performances and recordings.

I’m now aiming to work with another musician – music producer Joshua King – to transform the Duo Ex Machina songs from lyrics on a page to songs in your ear!

To this end, I’ve set up as Ko-Fi account to raise funds to pay for studio time, singers and musicians. I’ll be updating the site each week with lyrics, my a cappella versions of the melodies and examples of words-to-music that have come out of previous collaborations!

If you have a few dollars to spare and would like to support new music in Melbourne, you can donate below!

Fundraising through Dangerous Charm

If you prefer to wear your support, I’m also putting the proceeds of any jewellery sales from Dangerous Charm (which includes jewellery inspired by Kitty and Cadaver and Duo Ex Machina) directly into the song-making bank!

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: Lee Zachariah

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

Lee Zachariah

who is a Night Terrace writer and infrequent email replier for Night Terrace Season 1, Season 2 and the current Season 3 Kickstarter.

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

John, Ben, Petra and David wanted to capitalise on the roaring success of Splendid Chaps, and create an audio science fiction series. They asked me to come along and help create it, which was pretty flattering.

Why did you get involved?

Writing an audio comedy science fiction series with your friends, featuring many of Australia’s best actors and comedians, and everybody gets paid? Why wouldn’t I get involved?

What do you love about the show?

So many things. I love the mythology it’s built up, even if I find it tricky to keep track of sometimes and end up having to text John when I forget a back story or key piece of continuity. But being able to put a comedic twist on classic science fiction tropes is a heap of fun, and I think the show provides the perfect structure in which to do that.

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

Right at this moment, purely by virtue of it being the line I’ve thought most about the past few weeks, is a line from the beginning of one of my season three episodes. And it’s not from any of the main characters, either. I probably shouldn’t pick one of my own bits, but teasing the next season feels like a savvy use of this answer.

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

A friend of mine described in great detail an embarrassing outburst of laughter on public transport at a joke in the first season. The purity of that reaction can’t really be beat, although certified famous person Neil Gaiman praising us on Twitter comes awfully close.

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

Being killed off early, thus increasing the odds of everyone else making it out alive

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

Sure.

Really?

Hm. When you put it that way…

Today, 15 November, the Kickstarter has cracked the $18,000 mark. Can we kick it up to $19K today?

Be part of the next season of Night Terrace! Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: Petra Elliott

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

Petra Elliott

portrait photo of Petra Elliot

who is a Night Terrace co-creator and actor (playing Sue Denholm) in Night Terrace Season 1, Season 2 and the current Season 3 Kickstarter.

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

I met Ben when I first moved to Melbourne, and we’d worked together before on Museum Comedy. He invited me to co-host the very first episode of Splendid Chaps, which is when I met John, David and Lee. It was only supposed to be a one off gig, but I must’ve done okay, coz they asked me back for every future trillion episodes.

By the end of a year of Splendid Chaps, we knew that project had to end but wanted to keep working together, highlighting each of our individual set of creative skills, and … TA DA!! Night Terrace was born. 

Why did you get involved?

I’d enjoyed bringing the comedic scripts written by John and Ben to life for each Splendid Chaps episode, and by the end I was comfortable enough to riff along with them – and even insert gags to surprise them! It was a dynamic I loved, and I honestly would’ve signed up to continue doing anything with them.

When John announced the Night Terrace concept to the Splendid Chaps Christmas episode live audience, and they responded with SUCH a big cheer, I knew then and there it was a project worth making. 

What do you love about the show?

Our recording days are such a big hoot, so it’s undeniable that I love the process of making the show. How the hell did we convince such amazing humans to share their talent with our little project? 
But also, I’ve listened to these episodes A LOT! Not just for dramaturgy and promo purposes, but because I legitimately enjoy them. And I still enjoy them, after all the re-listens. The jokes, concepts and story arc conceived by John, Ben, David and Lee are simply delightful. I can’t believe I not only get to add my 2 cents to these adventures, but also get to speak the lines as Sue. I’m a lucky girl.

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

This is from the live episode, written by all of the lads (see how I don’t pick favourites?!). We got together to do a table read of this episode: it’s always fun when the whole cast can get together ahead of recording days to bond, discover our characters, explain the scifi gags to each other and watch the script come to life. Also, I’ve always loved the Schrödinger dilemma. 

ANASTASIA: No, that was Schrödinger. And also wasn’t Schrödinger. Long story. 

Bloody Ben. Copy cat. Scratch that. My favourite is.. 

SUE: How much do you know about the Uncertainty Principle? 

EDDIE: I’m not sure. 

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

Being broadcast by BBC Radio 4 Extra was amazing, and helped me realise we’d truly made a high quality product worthy of recognition by industry peers we’ve admired for a very long time. 

The ultimate feedback, though, is the number of Splendid Chaps fans who not only believed in this project enough to back us the first time, but then jumped straight back in for another season, and another. That tells me we’re getting it right! 

I really hope we reach our crowd-funding target as I want to continue sharing the stories of Anastasia, Eddie and Sue for everyone who’s shown us such magnificent support. 

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

More ginger. 

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

I think I would. Being stuck in one time and place means you can lose perspective, so taking a look at things on a different planet or alternate point in history might give me the insight I need to make sense of what’s happening in our own hectic world right now.

Really?

I dunno. Ask me tomorrow. 

Would you like to be part of the next season of Night Terrace? Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!