Epic: The Musical review

Epic: The Musical Review - Broadway musical

he Troy Saga captivates with a preview of the narratives and melodies that await in future chronicles. This five-track collection kicks off the story by presenting a lineup of characters, including the protagonist Odysseus, his lieutenant Eurylochus, his companion Polites, the thunder deity Zeus, and the wisdom goddess Athena. The first song, “The Horse and the Infant,” performs perfectly as a Broadway introduction by setting up the stage, showcasing characters, and stirring interest in Odysseus as the main hero. The final piece, “Warrior of the Mind,” which landed at ninth place in Spotify’s Top Songs Debut USA Chart and became a hit on TikTok, concludes the saga with a much-anticipated encounter between Athena and Odysseus, leaving the audience craving more.

Jorge Rivera-Herrans, the creator, has dedicated over three years to crafting this musical. During a Q&A in the “EPIC” Discord server, Rivera-Herrans disclosed, “I always dreamt of creating a musical that was massive in scope, featuring a plethora of characters, combat scenes, mythical creatures, enchantments, maritime adventures, and epic themes. As I shared my thoughts, many suggested The Odyssey and The Iliad. Initially, I was unsure, but as I pondered more, it transformed into a universe that I was eager to explore through music.” His vision splendidly came to life.

This concept album is seemingly spawned from the digital age, with Rivera-Herrans refining tunes, plots, and lyrics while his followers on Discord and later, TikTok, witnessed his creative journey. This process mirrors the creation of “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” by Barlow & Bear, who composed their music during live streams. However, “EPIC” stands apart in the volume and depth of its development process, as shared by Rivera-Herrans. His openness is distinct, offering fans a glimpse into the normally concealed aspects of artistic creation.

Rivera-Herrans, a musical theater student from Notre Dame, evidently puts considerable effort into every musical choice for “EPIC.” Surprisingly, he shares a lot of these musical decisions and insights with his listeners. In certain videos, he details why he chose specific instruments to represent particular characters; for example, the guitar serves as the primary instrument for Odysseus, its form varying with the song's tone and plot context.

Rivera-Herrans expressed his gratitude for the support from TikTok on Discord.
“I recall uploading my inaugural video on TikTok and receiving comments praising it, alongside some … less encouraging feedback … Publishing your work to the world for the first time is daunting,” wrote Rivera-Herrans. “That night, and the subsequent nights, and practically that entire week, I barely slept. It was only weeks later that things began to normalize. This community is incredibly meaningful to me, they might not realize how deeply I consider them my friends.”

The creation of this musical in the view and with the support of the social media community underscores an incredible aspect of the process — the community actively participates and contributes to it.

Moreover, Rivera-Herrans’s approach to casting the concept album through social media cements “EPIC” as a novel musical for the digital era. He voices Odysseus himself, and his university mate, the talented Teagan Earley, brings Athena to life. An open casting call on TikTok enabled anyone interested to audition by performing duets with his posts and singing lines for various characters. This method not only offers an innovative and contemporary way to discover talent but also dismantles barriers that might prevent aspiring singers from being discovered.

This approach taken by Rivera-Herrans serves the music industry by lowering the entry barriers. TikTok has already started this trend by enabling users to expand their following, achieve virality, and be recognized, but Rivera-Herrans enhances this by selecting voices for his musical directly from the boundless pool of talent on TikTok.

It’s clear Rivera-Herrans is pioneering with “EPIC”, and the anticipation for what’s next is high. While waiting for the future sagas, I’ll continue to enjoy the current tracks and maybe revisit some Greek mythology tales.
Last Update:February, 08th 2024

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