Following up on hints dropped last November, Gorillaz duo Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have finally shared a few details with Vulture on their upcoming opera with Alan Moore, which is shaping up to be one of the most geek-tastic projects of all time. Albarn confirms that the story will concern the life of famed alchemist John Dee, the 16th-century thinker who blurred the line between science and mysticism with his equal devotion to mathematics and stuff like trying to talk to angels in their own language. But in addition to his dabbling in the occult, Dee was also a pioneer in navigation, a noted astronomer, served as a political advisor to Elizabeth I, and amassed the largest library in England—in short, he’s a real nerd’s nerd, right down to his fascination with the supernatural. Here’s what Albarn had to say:
“It's based on the life of John Dee, who was a very influential force in Elizabethan Europe, especially England. He was responsible for creating the concept of the British Empire. So he affects all our lives in one way or another… I've just been reading about Hermetic magic and catalysts and philosophy, which is what all of his stuff is based on—Euclid and Pythagoras and all of that stuff. It's a lot. And it's been brilliant.”
Albarn claims this will be an “opera opera,” as opposed to the “popera” (or “flopera,” as he says) that was his Monkey: Journey To The West experiment. But that’s all hypothetical: He admits he hasn’t written any music yet, so this project is apparently still deep in the planning stages. And considering the million different places it could go (and all the research involved), it sounds like it will stay there for at least a little while.