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Star light, Star bright...A discussion of STARDUST by Lyra's Adventure
~ Dr. Dawn Karima

Lauren Kleeman is a dynamic filmmaker. Her talent for visual composition appears in her films, experimental pieces and music videos. Recently, releasing her musical journey has expanded her resume. We enjoyed a conversation about STARDUST by Lyra's Adventure.

Q:STARDUST elicits images of the night sky, space travel or a certain sense of glamour. What does STARDUST mean in your world?
A: STARDUST is a sci-fi concept album about Lyra, a curious girl who goes who goes walking in the woods and discovers a cat. As she chases the cat through the trees they finally meet on a fallen tree branch above a lake. When she approaches the cat it opens a third eye, startling Lyra and causing her to fall in the lake and drown. This is where the story begins. 

Q:WOW! A beginning born out of an event that usually is an ending! What happens next?
A: We follow Lyra on an intergalactic afterlife experience where she travels through psychedelic universes, meets an anthropomorphic jellyfish, sings a duet with her living best friend on earth, has tea with herself, meets mysterious women on Jupiter and eventually falls into a black hole and releases her molecules into the universe.

Q: Quite an adventure! You've created a musical journey! Please share some your sources of inspiration?
A: I wrote this album because I have always been deeply in love with science, astrophysics, psychedelic imagery, and interpretation of death. 

Q: Sounds like sci-fi or futurism might be the only genres extensive enough to explore all of those experiences?
A: Growing up I was never a big fan of the sci-fi genre, but as I've gotten older I've discovered that part of the reason is the genre is so male-centric. 

Q: Is a perspective like yours a remedy for that narrow lens? Maybe diversity is the antidote that allows inclusiveness?
A: I wanted to create a sci-fi story that centers on a girl without it being about finding love or proving herself in a male dominated world, but just existing for herself.

Q: How did such an innovative approach increase your expression of your creativity?

A: This story brings in some of my favorite topics in astronomy including black holes and the fibonacci sequence, combined with creative freedoms like melting universes and anthropomorphized jellyfish. My hope for this album is that it inspires more women to get into space fields.

Q: How does such bold storytelling blend with musicality?
A: Aurally, I wanted to combine some of my favorite genres including classical, trap, space rock, and musicals and highlight some of my favorite instruments including the sitar and panflute.

Q: You definitely have a unique style! How did you make sure your music matched your vision?
A: In putting the project together, it was very important to me to hire women on the project and from all different backgrounds because death is universal. I wanted to incorporate different walks of life through language and culture. 

Q: Expand on that idea, please?
A: For example, the album begins with a poem by you, Dawn Karima, spoken in Echota, another song is called "Shavasana," which is yogic Sanskrit, another song is called "Saudade" which is a Portguese word for nostalgic longing. All of the amazing women I hired on the project came from different parts of the country and world and that is what makes it so beautiful. 

Q: How was this project transformative for you? 
A: As a shy filmmaker who is used to being behind the camera, I was nervous about releasing such a personal project, but so glad that I fought through the fear because I am very proud! 

Q: Congratulations! Now, since you pressed past the personal emotions and ended up achieving outside of your comfort do you feel about STARDUST?
A: I'm thankful for everything I learned through the process and all of the amazing people I got to work with to make this project a reality! 

 "STARDUST" by Lyra's Adventure is available on all streaming platforms and animated and live action music videos are available on YouTube.