Skypaint Logo

A Cyber Rock Opera

Song Playing: Merge as One

The Story

Skypaint is a Cyber Rock Opera which tells a futuristic version of the Garden of Eden tale. It follows one man’s journey from his tranquil home in the hills, into a synthetic, virtual world of cyber-reality.

The hero, Sky, feels isolated, alienated, and confused by the new ways of this modern world. When his wife, Laila, is plagued by a mysterious illness, Sky connects with a cutting edge doctor, Riley J Jones, who convinces Sky and Laila to "take a bite to unite with the cyber nation’s hallucination" and transfer their souls into his newly created digital world.

It is here that they can escape the strange illness plaguing Laila and live in a self-constructed heavenly bliss. Eventually, their bond begins to loosen as one accepts and one rejects this newfound, pain-free world.

"Terrific: immediately infectious, hard-rocking, and heartfelt. Skypaint may just be the best rock [or pop] opera by a small-scale band the breadth of material - sampled techno bits, helicopter-ish synth flutters a la Pink Floyd, rousing anthemic pop/rock, and country make for a powerful experience."

Jim Sullivan The Boston Globe

News

In 2016, SKYPAINT composer Russell Chudnofsky teamed up with playwright and librettist Elizabeth Searle (TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA). Elizabeth wrote a BOOK for the new version of SKYPAINT, which will be performed SOON!!

Writers

RUSSELL CHUDNOFSKY — Composer and Lyricist

At age 14, Russell Chudnofsky wrote his first musical story, a rap opera entitled "Gordy" about his high school bus driver. In between stints at college he ran away to join the circus as a clown/musician/MC, riding a tricycle and playing guitar simultaneously. He soon honed his chops and joined several bands, establishing a reputation as a top-notch guitarist.

These days, Chudnofsky is a first-call guitarist on the Boston music scene. He has recorded and toured the world playing guitar for a number of talented artists including multiple Grammy Award winning songwriter Lori McKenna, Grammy nominated singer Tanya Donelly, Sarah Borges, Kris Delmhorst, and Catie Curtis.

He has toured as an opening act for Frank Black of the Pixies, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, Throwing Muses, Laura Veirs, and has opened for Gillian Welch, Hot Tuna, Steve Earle, Ellis Paul, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band, and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revivial.

He has played Fenway Park, The Boston Garden, and arenas all over the over the world. He has also played small cafes as large as a closet from Italy to Ireland, and from Oregon to Maine.

www.russellchud.com


ELIZABETH SEARLE — Librettist

Elizabeth Searle is the librettist and original creator of TONYA & NANCY: THE ROCK OPERA Music by Michael Teoli ,which has drawn national media coverage.

The rock opera was produced in Chicago in 2016, where New City named it one of the Top Five Musicals of the Year, and it had a sold-out extended run at New York Musical Theater Festival in NYC. It has been reviewed as ‘brilliant and touching’ and has also had runs in Boston at the ART’s Oberon Theater and in Portland, OR as well as club dates in LA at the King King Club.

Her earlier show, TONYA & NANCY: THE OPERA Music by Abigail Al-Doory ran in Boston and has had two productions in St Paul/Minneapolis. It was selected by Opera Vista as one of the Top Three new operas of the year in 2006.

Her one-act play STOLEN GIRL SONG, has been performed in MA at Poet’s Theater and in Maine at the Northern Writes New Play Festival.

Elizabeth co-wrote the film script forCELEBRITIES IN DISGRACE , a short film that has been screened at festivals around the country. She is the author of five books of fiction, including her new novel WE GOT HIM . Her previous books are: GIRL HELD IN HOME; CELEBRITIES IN DISGRACE; A FOUR-SIDED BED, a novel nominated for an American Library Association Book Award and released in 2011 in a new paperback edition, and MY BODY TO YOU , a story collection that won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. A FOUR-SIDED BED is now in development as a feature film. A Staged Reading of Elizabeth’s script was performed at Zephyr Theater in LA in 2016, starring Evan Ross (THE HUNGER GAMES) and Gia Mantegna (UNDER THE DOME).

Elizabeth's theater works have been featured in stories on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, CBS, CNN, NPR, the AP and more. Elizabeth lives in Arlington, MA with her husband and son.

www.elizabethsearle.net
www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com


Video

Songs

Sky: And I look to the clouds as much as my time allows Clouds don’t laugh when I fall don’t make me feel dumb at all

Today I lay my weary head by the mighty riverbed Closed my eyes and danced with you maybe be back tomorrow too

Chorus: Oh I believe I saw a pinwheel fade into horizon peeled away the sky Or was it I

With a brush in hand I smudge the sky for all to see or maybe me inside my eye I’m the Painter of Sky

Laila: And I look to the sky dreaming that one day I would fly Away so far from it all with you to catch me if I fall

Laila and Sky: Beyond the bend we took our rest, the sun descending towards the west, Closed my eyes and danced with you Maybe be back tomorrow too.

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Laila: I remember as a child running off into the wild Momma coming after me she never learned to set me free

I never followed mother down and I am not inclined to stick around in this defunct, ship sunk sad old town And I say “I’m never gonna go back home”

Now Momma’s disapproved of Sky ever since I brought him by “Just like your father” she would say guys like that they never stay

I’ve never cared what Momma said she warned Sky would not get ahead find another man instead So I said “We’re never gonna go back home”

But lately something’s going wrong I feel like I just can’t hang on There’s something deep inside that hurts and everyday it’s getting worse I need to leave here right now and find some one to help somehow And though I know what Momma’d say I’ll die if I don’t get away

I don’t want to see mother down but I’m not inclined to stick around soon one day we’ll leave this town then I’d say “We’re never gonna go back home”

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Nighttime, Sky and Laila lie by a moonlit pond

Sky: It’s so good to be back in your arms by the stars tonight Gazing beyond the pond’s mirrored light

Reflecting the glow far below of a moonlit sky By the lagoon hear my tune a lullabye

Just remember what I say, when I seem so far away Your home is in my heart

Laila: When I was young I would run so very far away, I’d never known a true home where people stay

And if dreams could come true I’d be you so I could crawl inside There I would find in your mind a place to hide

Sky: When you’re feeling all alone, remember that you have a home Your home is in my heart

Sky and Laila: So Welcome Home To My Heart

Laila: Sky I sense that something’s wrong it won’t let me be So hold me near and I wont’ fear as long as you’re with me always stay with me

Sky and Laila: Welcome Home to my Heart

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Location: Hank’s family’s healing center, a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere.

Sky: As long as I’ve been round I’ve had this one friend that I know I can count on A bit of a wise man- was always there to lend a hand when all had gone

So don’t you worry Laila, Hank he’ll fix you right, he’s the best here around

Like it was in the good old days- We helped each other hang on In the good old days- That’s right now the good old days are gone,

Hank it’s good to see you- it’s been way too long life can get out of hand Well I need to introduce you this is Laila- the fairest in the land

So I was wondering as Laila’s feeling down she tells me something’s wrong I figured you could see her would you have a look and we’ll be moving on

Hank: Yes Sky it’s been years so glad to see you man, I’d thought you’d cut and run It’s good to meet you Laila I’m so pleased to see that Sky has found someone

Now let me clarify for you and Sky cuz what he’s saying’s slightly off Though I may be no magician I can treat a cold, a headache or your cough

Like it was in the good old days…

I know it seems a pity but I’m going to the city anyday I’m splitting with the family business no one needs a healer anyway- least not today

So I’m gonna be a doctor- found a mentor Riley J Jones is his name you should meet me in the city- I’m sure he could cure Laila from her pain

But let me warn you now Sky that the doctor’s fees are more than you can pay find a way to make some money quick, before your lady fades away

like it was in the good old days…

Hank gives Laila an amulet to wear around her neck:

Take this chain for luck to wear it was my dad’s he passed it down to me Even though we just met Laila you are now one of the family

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Several months later, Sky and Laila are off to the city, looking dressed up. Sky has been landscaping in order to pay for Laila’s treatment in the city.

Sky: So I’m working 7 days a week I’m saving all my money for the day We’re going to the city cuz my lady Laila’s got to get away

She’s feeling pretty ill and I want her to get the best help all around we’re going to the city by tomorrow night we’re gonna leave this town

Gonna go to the city my baby’s she’s a got to get away Gonna go to the city I’ve been saving all my money for the day

I got myself some new clothes in the city I’d be looking kind of square I just bought me a new suit black and blue and I cut off my ratty hair

Gonna go to the city looking all sharp like they do Gonna go to the city If they’re looking like that then we will too Gonna go to the city my baby’s she’s a got to get away Gonna go to the city I’ve been saving all my money for the day

We’re gonna see this doctor, Riley J Jones, Hank he says he’s all the rage He best be as I’m working every day and barely make a slave’s wage yes I may be skeptical about the modern medical routine So what if we’re living longer when our lives are run by a machine

Gonna go to the city- the good old days were then and this is now Gonna go to the city- I don’t seem to have a choice anyhow Gonna go to the city my baby’s she’s a got to get away Gonna go to the city I’ve been saving all my money for the day

Dr. Riley J Jones: Let me introduce myself- My name is Dr. Riley J Jones, the Sci- Fi Pimp, leader of the new revolution in human evolution.

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Dr. Riley J Jones , looking a bit cyborg, with dancing robo femmes, robopets and Hank (who is now Dr. Riley J Jones’s protégé/robopet walker). He’s teaching a class: His notes appear on a screen / electronic chalkboard.

Chorus: Hide Your pain, Hide Your pain cuz there’s a new revolution changing human evolution. Hide Your pain, Hide Your pain

One day we’re gonna say how could we ever have lived that way Humanity so down in every way and I say- I’ve found the cure

Chorus:

“Here’s what they’ll be saying” Long ago to soothe our soul we hid in a haze of sex and drugs and rock n roll tried to hide from our pain and sorrow but it’d grow more tomorrow but this is no longer the case I’m singing

Man is the victim of an evolutionary mistake, Nature has let us down. It is up to us to take the next step in the evolutionary process. Ever since man covered his frail body in the hide of the wooly mammoth, he has been artificially manipulating the natural world.. We do not need to be controlled by evolution. We can control it ourselves now. We need to merge as one. Death will be but a memory, a relic of a bygone era. We no longer need to depend upon these faulty bodies for survival. No more suffering.

I will scan your brain, and then I will redesign your brain. My nanodots, miniature wireless computers, will be sent into your old brain, and connect you into your new brain, a computerized replica of your old brain. Escape into my E-scape. We will eliminate the bladder-human waste, we will do away with the toes- true freedom from the body and all that keeps us from accomplishing our dreams inside my nanoscopic machine.

I understand the girl is a bit ill. Make you sure you set up an appointment for a PHYSICAL.

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Robospot Hank has gone off to study with Dr. Riley J Jones, but get’s stuck walking robopets for extra money. Robopets © are one of Riley J’s new inventions in which one may transfer the soul of a dying pet into a new and improved robotic pet.

Hank: Everyone around me has these little robot pets they call them Spot And someone needs to walk them that is me at least for now it’s all I’ve got

These robopets have been designed to be so much more than your man’s best friend And if they do annoy you shut them off the switch is under it’s rear end

Sky: Here here boy….. I Love you Robospot

Hank: You can own a mixture of a cat, a dog, a squirrel, a cockatoo And you’ll never have to deal again with scooping up your pet’s poo poo

Riley J: These robopets have been designed to be so much more than your man’s best friend I’ve transferred their souls from their bodies through a process that will now extend With Hank Their lives which have been saved so now your pet may live forever what a feat

Riley J: And next I will achieve this step with humans as soon as my work’s complete

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Laila undergoes an examination with the doctor. Animation follows nanobots which are sent into her body.

Dr. Riley J Jones: I understand the girl is a bit ill. Make you sure you set up an appointment for a PHYSICAL.

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Hank (sings to Laila and Sky): Let me see first an apology as I’m not sure where to begin, the doctor’s detained- but he’ll soon explain, what’s gotten under your skin

Riley J: The results are back there’s not much time to act - If we move now you could pull though But this much is certain that the final curtain is closing with or without you

Laila grasps her chain

Sky, Laila, Hank and Riley J: aah, aah, aah, aah-

Riley J: Follow me down- down into your new home It’s time to go- Welcome to your new home

Riley J (to Laila): Since you’ve been inspected now we have detected a sickness that’s spreading throughout Killing your self, destroying your health, there’s no time left to lie about

Hank (sings to Sky): Sky I’d advise, you be somewhat wise, as Laila may soon not be here Hank and Riley J: So go to your girley go now while it’s early the end for her is drawing near

Chorus Riley J (to Laila): You’ll be the first- in this new universe- my bold and brave pioneer, you can be saved now so don’t be afraid, I promise there’s nothing to fear You need to trust me my dear, I promise there’s nothing to fear

Chorus

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Laila: Sky- I – don’t want to die so now I can shed my skin and be enterin’ this new found world

Sky- I don’t want to say goodbye I gave my love to you So come on into this new found world - with me

Sky- I -don’t want to die Now I need to decide I want you by my side Take this ride with me

Sky: I, don’t -don’t want you to die but this world’s not for me, I know that you can see, can’t you see me

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Dr. Riley J Jones, accompanied by his Sci fi robo-femmes and robo pets, works on tempting Laila into entering into his new virtual world, the E-scape.He’s the Sci-fi pimp Dr. Riley Jones

Chorus:

Dr. Riley J Jones: Step right up climb through my looking glass In this new dream world where are we you may ask Understand my child we’ll all soon be displaced There is nowhere else to go except for inner space.

Chorus

The fruit in front of us now it is my new invention. With nanodots that link you to this new dimension Take a bite to unite with the cybernation’s hallucination Downloaded from the network to your imagination A sensation of the mental transcendental medication Take a bite, take a bite. it’s my new creation. Download your brain to the cyberstation.

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Laila: Sky- I’ve got an inkling a new world’s just begun, I can’t let you leave when we can actually merge as one, Merge as one
Sky- I know what you’re thinking and I understand
You’re feeling uneasy this is not what we planned
Maybe it’s the next step one more wild frontier
a new world for the painter, the poet, the pioneer

Chorus

You’ll create the skies with only your mind’s eye and I will set the sun when we merge as one, when we merge as one
Sky- over the yonder into this brand new land
We can create a new garden away from the Things of Man

Chorus

My eyes open now I see I need you right here with me So come join with me and let us run download our souls and merge as one Welcome Home Merge as One

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Riley J Jones: Comets in mid flight illuminate the night As Laila takes a bite slips out of our sight

The inner frontier is where she’ll disappear Stars will pierce the sky as Laila says goodbye

Riley J now turns to Sky: Sky now is the time for you to get in line Don’t be left behind as we transfer your mind

This world I did create for a man and his mate As Skypaint takes a bite slips out of our sight

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Laila (singing from inside the E-scape)

And I look to the clouds - as much as my time allows Clouds don’t laugh when I fall -don’t make me feel wrong at all Today I lay my head and spent- a whole day dancing with my head Closed my eyes and danced with you- maybe be back tomorrow too Oh I believe I saw a pinwheel fade into horizon peeled away the sky- Or was it I With a brush in hand I smudge the sky for all to see or maybe me inside my eye I’m the Painter of Sky

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Sky: I remember clear glass skies Reflecting waters rolling

Chorus: I’m Living Sci-fi goodbye to all that’s real
I’m living Sci-fi goodbye

Flung ourselves into a stream
Was it all inside a dream?

Chorus

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Hank delivers a piece of terrible news to Sky- their old home has been wiped out by a virus, the one which Laila had been infected with.

Hank: Sky let me apologize this isn’t easy to say A sickness has spread throughout our old homestead our folks and friends all passed away

Sky: aahs

Hank: What Laila was stricken with went on to sicken - all of the people we know But just keep in mind- if you’re so inclined that you will die if you go You can't leave here

Chorus

Sky: Aah, aah, aah, aah I've got to get out and get back to my home I’ve got to leave now And get back where I’m from

No this can’t be true, I don’t believe you, I see through all of your lies Like how you said that Laila’d be dead unless we left our hills and skies

Hank: That was all true -You must believe when I say you can’t leave Like our folks- you’ll meet the same fate

Sky: This can’t be real

Hank: So stay with your girley, cuz it’s way too early to end your life trust me and wait so these wounds can heal

Chorus

Sky: I've got to get out and get back to my home This never was never will be my home

I’ve got to go now and get back somehow how, But Laila seems right at home here As she paints the sky I wonder how I Ever could take her from here I might as well disappear, There’s nothing left for me here

Chorus

Sky: Aah, aah, aah, aah I've got to get out and get back to my home I’ve got to leave now And get back where I’m from I’ve got to get back get on back to what’s real Let me out now

Hank: You just need to heal

Sky: No

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Laila: I could creates skies for hours- paint inside my eyes Needs are all taken care for me while I fantasize And laze around my made up world inside my made up scenes

Chorus: Machines they now could dream our dreams Machines they dream our dreams And no more will I be alone cuz my old world was not my own I was lost but now I’ve found my home

Like a solid suit of armor a shell to shield my mind I jack into the new universe leave my skin behind Laze around my world of dreams made up blues and greens

Chorus

How did humans live for eons Crying all the time We’ve evolved from faulty bodies and live inside one mind And laze around my made up world inside my made up scenes

Chorus

My true home

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Sky returns home to the hills, aware of the fatal consequences of his choice.

Sky: By tomorrow I’ll be moving on To where I belong back to the hills By tomorrow I’ll sing this here song it won’t be too long back to the hills

I could see the hollow look in your eyes, no longer mine, was it the absence of skies, that’s changed your mind You used to gaze up and dream of the day that we could wake up somewhere so far away, but I can’t stay.

By Tomorrow…

I was born where the wind blew free- gazing out as far as my eye could see-just you and me There I will go back so I must say goodbye under the shelter of my own painted sky- there I will die

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Sky returns home to the hills, aware of the fatal consequences of his choice.

I found my way back to the Garden the garden - I’m never goin’ back
Away from the man back to where it all began- I said I’m never goin’ back back to the things of man

Once upon my mind I could tell the time by how the stars aligned by where the sun would shine
Away from the man back to where it all began- I’m never goin back back to the things of man

Now I’m dancing with the wind and I try to hold her closely by the trees by the trees yeah I’m tumbling through the forest- away from the man back to where it all began- I say I’m never goin back back to the things of man

As long as I have the stars around me I will be alright As long as Big, Big Skies surround- surround me I will be alright Lowdown Big Sky Sounds

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Reviews

A rock opera - or "pop opera" as Arlington-based guitarist/keyboardist/singer Russell Chudnofsky calls "Skypaint" - almost by definition has a sense of bigness about it. Big in sound, big in theme, big in staging.

By Jim Sullivan, Globe Correspondent The Boston Globe

Best solo albums by important band sidemen or sidewomen? I have had this debate on a number of occasions, notably with Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian. I like All Things Must Pass, Who Came First, Last Splash, Talk Is Cheap, Weed Forestin’, Star (by Belly), etc. In this context, let it be said that Russell Chudnofsky is a very highly regarded guitar player and session musician in the Boston scene, who has played with some of the very best songwriters there. (I met him at a Tanya Donelly gig.) He has that capacity that is so admirable in the very best guitar players: he has no particular methodology, but can apparently do anything. He serves the song, which is really the ultimate in talent.

Rick MoodyThe Rumpus

Visionary. That's what I call this conceptual, modern pop (rock) opera. If you're unfamiliar with the territory, start with The Who's Tommy. I'm sure Russell Chudnofsky, the main brain behind Skypaint, would agree.

CD Review by Mike Loce YourSound.com

My god, why are women so beautiful? Why are women's voices so beautiful? Russell Chudnofsky creates a brave new world with his pop opera project

CD ReviewThe Noise

Visionary. That's what I call this conceptual, modern pop (rock) opera. If you're unfamiliar with the territory, start with The Who's Tommy. I'm sure Russell Chudnofsky, the main brain behind Skypaint, would agree.

CD Review by Mike Loce YourSound.com

The Lizard Lounge is packed for SkyPaint, the audience full of BRO luminaries and local rockstahs. Scott Janovitz opens the night with a set of lyrical acoustic songs, accompanied by Dragstrip Courage bandmate Mike Quinn on keyboards.

Live Review by Laura Slapikoff The Noise

Pop opera explores technology. The fear that humans' reliance on computers and robots may lead to perdition has been examined in both written fiction and film. Now a former Western Massachusetts musician has taken on this theme in a combination of stage and song.

Review by GEORGE LENKER The Rebublican Weekend Edition

Best solo albums by important band sidemen or sidewomen? I have had this debate on a number of occasions, notably with Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian.

Review by Rick Moody The Rumpus

Man vs. Machine COURTESY OF SKYPAINT When I think rock opera -- for instance Tommy, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch -- I think one thing: What a great multimedia, sensory-overloaded extravaganza! Why aren't there even more of them?

Review by Shireen Deen The Valley Advocate

In just over a decade, the estimable Boston Rock Opera has revived -- and practically exhausted -- the rock-opera/concept-album canon, from Jesus Christ Superstar and Tommy to lesser-known works like the Pretty Things' SF Sorrow and Harry Nilsson's The Point.

Boston Phoenix

A pop opera? Hmmmm. This is crazy! It is literally a poppy version of an opera with a consistent story and cast. How cool is that?

Review by Samantha Soundcheck Magazine

Contact

For all information and enquiries please contact Russell Chudnofsky
russellchud@hotmail.com
www.russellchud.com