Whisper House, from Duncan SheikWe don’t write about music enough here on IoM, which is why I thought I’d bring your attention to a unique CD that came out recently that may interest you guys!

Set in 1942 at the height of WWII, Whisper House centers around eleven-year-old Christopher, an imaginative but melancholy child whose father recently died in the war.  while his mother copes with her grief, Christopher is sent to live with an aunt he’s never met: Lilly, the reculsive woman who serves as the keeper of a remote lighthouse.

It doesn’t take long for Christopher to realize his aunt has little experience with or patience for children.  To make matters worse, the lighthouse is also home to Yasujiro, a Japanese immigrant who works for Lilly and whom Christopher suspects may be a spy.

Soon after his arrival, Christopher worries that his new home may be haunted and, in fact, the story is presided over by a band of ghosts (appearing in the costumes they died in) that only Christopher can see.  They serve as a spectral Greek chorus; only singing, never speaking.  The ghosts represent Christopher’s subconcious thoughts, articulating his fears and doubts with a cheerfully macabre wit.  Their songs give the show a uniquely Brechlian structure in which the music stands separate from and as commentary on the action.

There’s more to be read on the official site and after the jump!

Art from the Whispering House book
Art from the Whispering House book

Duncan Sheik is a pretty talented songwriter and singer, and, since he won all sorts of crazy cool awards (Grammy and Tony) for Spring Awakening on Broadway, he seems to enjoy dabbling in some of these more stage-oriented experiences.  Apparently this album is a collaboration with Keith Powell (30 Rock) and Kyle Jarrow (who’s working on the book & lyrics), and will eventually end up as a Broadway show in 2010, though the album is out right now.  For those that think that’s a little weird, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita started the same way.

The art on the website is pretty striking and the play/concept album almost sounds a bit like a musical Pan’s Labyrinth.  I’m actually a pretty big fan of Duncan Sheik and loved what he did with Spring Awakening.  My copy of the album is on its way and I’ll write up a full review when it comes in!

Find out more at the following links: