Science fiction author Suhail Rafidi’s organic, free range novel, TJ & Tosc, has caught the imagination of L.A. notables, composer Ryan Hurtgen and producer Johannes Luley.
June 16, 2012, Los Angeles — In recent years, the science fiction genre has built up full steam. It is becoming typical for moving science fiction stories to be converted to film as soon as possible. This gateway was opened by 2001 (1968), Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s visionary endeavor, and thoroughly popularized by Blade Runner (1982), Ridley Scott’s classic adaptation of Philip K. Dick, beautified by Vangelis’s memorable soundscape. Now, for the first time in entertainment history, a groundbreaking science fiction novel is making waves in the world of rock and roll before courting the silver screen.
Suhail Rafidi’s TJ & Tosc: A Field Guide For Life After Western Culture, is a science fiction adventure centered around the story Salvador Tosc, of an artificial intelligence who used to be a live man. Quickly becoming a cult sensation, this story is now being converted into a prog rock opera by the powerhouse L.A. duo of composer Ryan Hurtgen and guitarist/producer Johannes Luley. Both men, veterans of the music industry, were looking for a challenge, a chance to raise the musical bar, to innovate in their field. Luley is a founding member of prog rock band Moth Vellum. His latest solo release is the lauded Tales From Sheepfather’s Grove. Hurtgen is the creative mind behind L.A. band Rene Breton. He wrote the powerful Asleep In Green, with the breakout single “Botswana.”
“I have been wanting to write a rock opera for years,” explains composer Ryan Hurtgen, “a concept album built on the skeleton of a very strong story. Rafidi’s TJ & Tosc provided that story, and the songs followed easily.”
“I instigated the idea of doing a concept album with my previous band, Moth Vellum,” notes producer Johannes Luley, “based on the big, ambitious, 70s prog rock bands. The idea had been attractive to me for a long time, but I needed quality writing, like Ryan’s.”
“I’ve heard the demos and it’s still hard for me to believe it’s actually happening,” comments Suhail Rafidi. “There’s nothing like it out there. Who’s ever heard of a science fiction novel with a companion prog rock opera? It’s unprecedented.”
The project coalesced when Hurtgen brought four songs to Luley’s studio and pitched the idea that they were part of a larger story arc, based on a layered, fast paced, science fiction adventure, TJ & Tosc. For Luley, the songs spoke for themselves. As of this writing, Hurtgen has completed writing the 11 song album and the two have also recorded a full length demo of the opera. The project has been named Perfect Beings. Hurtgen and Luley are currently selecting musicians to fill out the rest of the band, with plans to record the prog rock opus by Spring of 2013.