The Human Equation: An Autograph Quest
“The Human Equation” by Ayreon has easily became my favorite album in a very short span of time. Without forsaking his trademark synthy, progressive sound, mastermind Arjen Lucassen leaves his usual domain of fantasy and sci-fi inspired albums and instead brings it down to a real personal level, all the way down to emotions. Then at the last second, it’s revealed that the entire story plays an important role in the larger picture of the Ayreon Universe. Regardless of the ties to the other albums, the ensemble cast weaves a story of mystery, love, betrayal, confrontation, inner struggles, and most importantly, catharsis. Aside from enjoying the amazing music and perfectly selected cast, I immediately picked up on the parallels between the main character, Me, and what I was going through in my life. During December 2011, I used the album as a framework to explore the themes and parallels, and as an opportunity to clear my mind of the things I had buried deep below. I blogged my journey through the 20 day process here.
Needless to say, the personalized copy of “The Human Equation” I received from Aryen is probably my favorite musical piece of memorabilia. Inside the booklet, there’s a great page that has pictures of all the vocalists who sang on the album. Somehow, I got a crazy idea that I would fill that up with as many autographs as I could as a way to remember the impact that they had on the story. Of the four autographs so far, I have been fortunate enough to meet three of them, shake their hand, and thank them. When I told each of them about my little quest, I received such a positive reaction and lots of encouragement. I realize it’s an quite a lofty goal as some of the others are rather elusive artists, but I intend on seeing it through; it will make completing it that much more satisfying!
- Arjen Lucassen as “Best Friend”: January 19th, 2011
- Devin Townsend as “Rage”: June 25th, 2011
- James LaBrie as “Me”: September 24th, 2011
- Mikael Akerfeldt as “Fear”: October 18th, 2011