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:
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!