I began writing The Burden of Eden on February 17, 2004. The 31st revision of this musical was completed on July 7, 2008. However, there was a gross discrepancy in that version between the opening number in the script and the opening number in the score. Because I had completely burned out on the project by that time, I used the grim fact of that single faux-pas as a rationale never to try to produce the show. It sat on a shelf in my interior psychic closet until very, very recently. Then a remarkable thing happened.
I happened to dredge out the 28th revision, in which there was no conflict between the script and the score. Leafing through it briefly, I found that it actually seemed superior in many ways to the 31st version. I then quickly submitted it to a local producer who had mentioned that he was only interested in producing small-cast shows. Since The Burden of Eden has a cast of only seven (plus Offstage Chorus), it is logical that I continue to submit it to companies that are committed to producing small-cast, low-budget, original musicals.
Briefly, The Burden of Eden plays with the idea that all of us are to some extent delusional and out of touch with reality. Balancing this out is the more transcendent idea that within each of us is a core of health and authenticity in which there is nothing but complete sanity and wellness. It is the task of the main character, Dr. Lance Rutherford, to draw out this Higher Self from his clients. He does so by bringing out what he calls the Music of the Heart, which manifests in the form of unique songs each character brings into play, songs which reflect the Truth and Beauty that is hidden beneath layers of deception and illusion. For those of you who have studied Hinduism, this is largely a Hindu principle. However, it also finds its life in Christianity and other religions. The piece is not at all a religious work, however — more of a hymn to the spirit of greater human understanding of self.
On the following page are three songs from the score that were recorded at Live Oak Studio in Berkeley, California.
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