Page 8 - ION Indie Magazine November December 2019 Issue
P. 8

Kiki Plesha: I am talking with Peter Orullian,           KP: You trained vocally with David Kyle, aka
          musician,  author,  composer,  and  lover  of            "The  Maestro,"  who  has  helped  to  cultivate
          Christmas.  Thank  you,  Peter,  for  taking  the        the  magnificent  voices  of  such  greats  as
          time. I know how busy you are as you prepare             Geoff  Tate  (Queensryche),  Ann  Wilson
          to  take  your  Holiday  rock  opera  The  Bell          (Heart),  and  Layne  Staley  (Alice  in  Chains).
          Ringer out on tour. My first question is…what            What sort of tips did David give you?
          was Christmas like growing up in the Orullian
          household?                                               PO: I think all singers have different goals and
                                                                   have  different  biological  makeups  which
          Peter Orullian: Christmas was a big deal. We had         influence  the  sound  of  their  voice.  For  me,  I
          traditions about where and when we went to get           wanted the ability hit those high notes like a Geoff
          our  Christmas  tree,  the  day  we  decorated  the      Tate or James Labrie, with power and sustain. I
          house, clipping the TV Christmas specials so we          wanted the endurance to sing a vocally athletic
          could sit down as family and watch them together.        show. That made David the perfect vocal trainer
          We also signed up for a program known as Sub-            for me. He taught me to sing into the mask of the
          for-Santa.  Basically,  you  provide  food,  clothes,    face, but it was the non-technique mentoring that
          and gifts for a family who doesn’t have the means        helped  me  the  most.  He  would  pause  the
          to  do  it  for  themselves,  all  anonymous.  The       exercises and tell me stories. At first, they’d seem
          holidays were filled with traditions and I fell in love   completely  unrelated  to  my  life  and  my  voice.
          with  both  their  trappings  and  the  gentler,  more   Then,  he  would  finish  and  it  would  all  make
          decent ideas of giving to those who need help.           sense.  There  are  countless  aphorisms  he’d
                                                                   share,  but  one  I  return  to  often  is:  “Always
          My mom read us Christmas stories every year.             satisfied, but never content.” He found a way to
          Music  was  an  essential  part  of  Christmas           help  me  feel  good  about  my  progress,  while
          storytelling. We had music playing in the house          leaving  me  room  and  the  belief  that  there  was
          all through the holidays. What I realized as I got       achievable improvement -- that it was okay to feel
          older  is  that  there  are  common  themes  in  the     good  now  with  the  promise  and  plan  to  keep
          music  and  stories  we  hear  at  Christmastime.        working. David, through teaching voice, he taught
          They have to do with selflessness and hope. I dig        life.  I  spent  four  amazing  years  with  him.  I
          that for one short month of the year, people seem        wouldn’t trade those for the world.
          to make a little extra effort to be kind and to look
          past any differences they might have.                    KP: You have served as front man for various
                                                                   international  touring  bands,  including  Heir
          KP: You are both an accomplished author and              Apparent and Fifth Angel. You had the honor
          a musician. Which came first?                            to share the roster with such bands as Dream
                                                                   Theater,  Symphony  X,  Sonata  Arctica.
          PO: I was singing songs in front of crowds before        Compare that experience with performing in a
          I wrote my first story. But in truth, I was making       live rock opera.
          up stories at bedtime to tell my little sister to help
          her  go  to  sleep.  I’d  make  up  songs  that  told    PO:  Other  than  when  Dream  Theater  did  their
          stories as I weeded the flowerbeds or watered the        Astonishing  Tour,  which  was  a  theater-style
          garden. Since the day I was old enough to make           experience, these shows were more typical of a
          noise, I was doing both. When I graduated high           progressive  rock  or  metal  show.  For  the  most
          school,  I  got  more  serious  about  fiction  and      part, there  was  no  intent  on  storytelling.  These
          music. I joined a band and wrote my first actual         shows  were  electric  and  filled  with  top-flight
          short story. That same year, I first had the idea to     musicianship.  By  contrast,  a  rock  opera  has  a
          bring  my  love  of  music,  storytelling,  and          narrative through-line. Sometimes they’re like a
          Christmas together in one artistic endeavor -- a         pastiche of the past or a frame story in which you
          rock opera. I kept on writing and studying the craft     can do what you please in terms of the songs and
          of storytelling. I landed in more than a few bands       sequence. What I tried to do was ground The Bell
          as the years rolled along. Throughout, I liked best      Ringer in storytelling principles of character and
          when  I  was  able  to  merge  these  two  things  in    the interactions of that character with others and
          some way, whether it was a single song telling a         how  those  interactions  create  opposition  and
          story,  or  a  book  or  story  I  wrote  in  which  I   change. The hope is to create a connection with
          integrated music in some meaningful way.                 the  character  and  their  desires  so  that  you’re
                                                                   invested in what happens.
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13