Question: As in your other works, the music is allied with the domain of higher powers, in this case Tongue.
Rich Shapero: I expect this is why I’m obsessed with the intersection of words and music. Words do a fine job on their own when we’re talking about earthly things. But when we’re trying to communicate with—or from—the ideal realm, music becomes important. Maybe necessary. The domain of Tongue, and the way she thinks— It’s there on the page. But when I listen to the music, I feel her presence in a different, more visceral way.
Q: For the music of Rin, Tongue and Dorner, you turned to the Montreal-based band Elsiane, which features the otherworldly vocals of Elsieanne Caplette as Tongue. She’s a mean Tongue.
RS: That’s what I thought the first time I heard her. I had the idea for RTAD in my head for many years. I wrote the first drafts of the story in 1982 and 1983. When Elsiane’s first CD came out in 2007, I thought, “My god, it’s Tongue.” It’s a small miracle that this all worked out the way it did. Who else could bring what she brings to that character?