The original idea for Beyond the Universe was to write the story in Anchorage, Alaska.
I always loved Alaska ( I also love Shadow Gallery‘s song named Alaska, and Between the buried and me album as well), despite I never actually visited the place. But sometimes not visiting a place also means that our fantasy can roam free and make up things the way we want. So yeah, Alaska for me was always some kind of Magical Place.
I had in mind a raw idea of the story and many details were unclear but I know that I needed to find a cold snowy city, perhaps near the ocean, with harsh weather.
I studied Alaska for several nights (and by studying I mean spending hours on Google Earth moving virtually in the streets trying to find something catchy enough) before figuring out that it was lacking the “super-urban-capitalistic” context I also demanded for some story sections.
I tried London, too Londonish, no ocean.
Ireland also was good, but it was too green. I needed grey.
Chicago, Denver, Some cities in the northern part of the US, but nothing really was matching the place I had in mind.
So I followed the Occam Razor principle and ended up in Montauk, that little town in Long Island, New York (Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind, I’m pointing at you!).
I figured that Montauk would have been a perfect place as “home” for the two characters and I also thought that New York City was not that far, so it would be believable to create this loop between the City and the Coastline. There we go. I found the place. Now I needed to fill the gaps in the story and perhaps find a name.
The first Name I thought was “The Fallout” (note: in my computer some initial demo projects are still saved under c:\works\thefallout), but I realized that the only real reason for me to pick that name was cause in those days I was literally abusing “Fallout 4” (the game from Bethesda). So instead of using the name of the game I picked my character’s in-game name as Main character of the whole story: Emily, and dropped the Fallout idea.
I was also watching for the 5948th time the series “Fringe” and since the idea of multiverses and alternate realities was part of the original idea anyway, I decided I wanted to have the word “UNIVERSE” in the title.
Then once again I went on internet to do some research of some potential locations and for no reason my attention was caught by a store in Manhattan called : “Bed Bath & Beyond“. Yes. I know. It’s ridiculous. But that’s how I actually had the knowledge that the perfect title for the album and my story HAD TO BE: BEYOND THE UNIVERSE.
Near that place I found the Irish Hunger Memorial, which is a very interesting monument found on the North End Avenue, and I thought: “Uhmmm, North end Avenue, I like how it sounds!” – Bang, that’s the first song title.
And so on and on and on.
These pictures are taken from the trip I took to NY to check if the locations were actually what I had in my mind.
Yes I know, It may sound crazy, but imagination wasn’t enough anymore. I had to feel that cold on my skin and imagine how my “Emily” would have felt walking in those streets.