Friday, December 31, 2010

Review of the Past

We've done some great things, you know.
Personal achievements of mine have certainly not been scarce. At times, I posted the Apocalypse regularly. Darkness and Light (now removed for publishing attempts) was birthed here, and I still insist that it is my greatest work. Michael, Maria (however little I've written about her), Jacques, and so many others found their birth here. Darklight has set up what I hope to be an intriguing circumstance. My poetry flourishes here. I've even branched out into Song of the Week once or twice. I've grown, I think.
What a year it was for Met. After March came, the posts were regular and well-made. The Conversations were created since the last New Year. When I was gone, he filled in flawlessly. Not only that, but he began his two stories and Advent of the Mystics. He gives me leave to die, if I please, knowing the storied (heh) tradition of the blog can continue. And how many of our writers is he responsible for? Two? Three? More? Someone's been planning.
Qupar played with mediums and found his strength in not writing sprites. These he posted as regularly as I wrote. For the most part, his illustrations have been a beautiful compliment.
Elphaba kept writing like clockwork. She eased the load. I think she also wins the comment award, commenting on almost everything. I miss the comments.
Marim has worked with nigh-slavish devotion to bring a new dimension to Song of the Week beyond Met's link-filled overview and my madness. She always has done better than she gives herself credit for, and I look forward to her branching into other areas when she gets comfortable.
Xanthurian brought with him an unseen sort of blogging, both in story content and post variety. Beyond inspiring me to attempt Sloth through games, he's brought talent which has been sorely needed whenever creativity dropped.
MNTY frequented and brought joy. I do respect that blogger, you know.
Worlds beyond measure were birthed. Numerous projects were undertaken and, even if unsuccessful, improved the blog. New writers joined. One, sadly, left. I think Qupar did a dance between the two. Storms were weathered with ease. It was a good year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010, A Year in Review

Did we do

What were


It was a


was it

We have

This is





Where do we

Let's take some time,

forgo the lapses,

and concentrate.

2010, a year in review.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review of the Present

We ran out of juice, didn't we? As I see it, though we post consistently, the posts are skeleton posts. Mine are nearly all hollow, and far-between at that. The last Apocalypse was in September. That is unforgivable. Two sonnets, one Conversations, Felix, Zanoc, and a painfully transparent filler nearly constitute my month. But for the Art series (which I'm enjoying) and a Michael (I have plans for that particular Angel), I abandoned you. I'm sorry.
Met's stepped up to fill the gap, but I would be lying if I said I didn't sense some fraying. Though he doesn't post every day, he fills all the gaps, and orchestrates all our other work. He's the one who yells at me at ten at night to post. I thank him for that. But with all of that, coupled with everything else that the season brings, he's dropped his larger projects for some time. I blame myself.
Qupar's next, I suppose, in seniority. Nothing since November. But the last Apocalypse was September, so I blame myself.
Elphaba's gone. I want her back.
Marim (and Met) may have saved us all. Coupled with Met, she continues to churn out new reviews with the clockwork punctuality of something both clockwork and punctual. But for an unforeseeable and (presumably) unavoidable drought early in the month, she has returned with a tour de force of reviews I still really need to comment on.
Xanthurian left before we started to depend on him, but perhaps his absence is safely in the grave now? My joy at discovering his post yesterday was unparallelable.
A certain MNTY has taken her own hold on the blog, while remaining teasingly aloof in her own fortress of blogitude. Yet she saved me. Twice. Because I failed.
We don't comment enough. None of us do. Met and I have projects I think everyone wants to see more of. No one schedules anything in advance. The tags are getting messy. We lack for traffic. Things are fragile.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Game Review: Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100 is an in development RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, based after "The Collapse," a nuclear war that obliterated most of the population. You play as The Project, a group trying to rebuild humanity, but who is hampered by various enemies.

This is going to be a short review, because I haven't played the game much yet, but it'll be close enough.

The biggest gameplay difference is that you get to design your own vehicles. In fact, you need to design vehicles, or you only get a bunch of trucks, the basic building unit. There is also a huge tech tree, which allows for nearly infinite possibilities in design and construction. Some different construction options are: wheels, half-tracks, treads, and VTOL. There are a huge number of weapon types, including: rockets, machine guns, mortars, and AA guns. There are the campaign, offline skirmish, and online multiplayer modes. The offline skirmish and multiplayer have everything unlocked, not relating to the campaign, so if you want to just start playing, you can. The campaign is designed around time-sensitive missions, so you need to act fast, and think faster when playing through it. There are very few things unlocked at the beginning of the campaign, and your research is very limited.

I haven't really played this enough to give a truly complete review, but I hope this at least gives you some idea of the game.

Pros: Designable vehicles and interesting storyline.

Cons: It's still Alpha, so there are some bugs. The storyline is rather non-essential to gameplay, so much so, that the intro movie is an option on the main menu, instead of integrated at the beginning of a new campaign.

Overall: An excellent game for those who like RTS with an interesting, if unimportant storyline. The designable vehicles are definitely a plus, but it's a little confusing unless you look at the website guide first.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sonnet XXIV, "Expectation"

Sometimes it seems that the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there,
For though hope seems to beam, it is merely the gleam
Of a life merely fair, left without meaning's flair,
Since to reach to the goal, one endangers the soul,
And so driven insane, it returns to mundane.

Sometimes it seems that the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there.
And at once the mundane is discovered insane,
Truth releasing the soul forth to reach for its goal-
No, to try for love's flair, for it only is fair
That the hearts every gleam can, reflected, now beam.

Sometimes it seems the sum of our dreams
Can never compare to that which is there.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Karachay: Part 10

Monday, June 19th, 1967
Fret not for me, I have too much a professional's mien to panic. The women, however, are falling to hysteria, and the men to madness. More have died. I will not list a number, for it will surely have grown by the time this letter reaches you. Know only that this disease discriminates neither for age nor health.
Mikhail is, I'm sure, as trustworthy as always. So too are you. You must not let paranoia wedge itself between you. Disease is beyond our control, and poison would surely be from beyond, especially on such a scale. At this point, we can little afford to lose our friends. Without them, how can we continue?
I've become a grave robber. Please, do not be disgusted. Find what humor there is in the situation, for only that can continue us. You see, I'm certain that a clue can be found in the exhumed. Indeed, I've already discovered that in addition to a few similarities of the exterior (hair loss; spongy, loose, peeling flesh; tooth loss), there is a peculiarity of the interior. Many of the dead have suffered severe internal bleeding. They all show significant wear in the esophagus, indicating vomiting. Most curious of all, however, are the cysts I've found. A surprising number of the fallen have fleshy polyps throughout their bodies.
I continue my nightly examinations, and they exhaust me. Nonetheless, I may learn something significant. The villagers are no help. I was already an outsider before this divided us. Now I'm lucky to merely face the evil eye when I try to speak about anything but their health.
May health find you,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

So rather than let Marim throw up the next Song of the Day post today I'm going to give her a day break for Christmas. To be honest, Christmas crept up on me a bit this year. I did my shopping two days ago and now I realize why that's never a good idea. To me, Christmas is about spending time with family and being thankful. Personally speaking, I'll be going to church in the morning, spending time with family, and probably playing some new video games later (Steam's Holiday Sale runs until January 2nd). If you plan on listening to some Christmas music this year, check this out (you can also find it on iTunes). It's been a pretty decent year for RPS as a whole. Naturally the summer is less busy on this site as far as traffic and posts go, but around this time last year is when the whole posting every day when possible thing got started. As we continue to flood the site with more posts, we continue to gain more and more visitors, whether it be by google searches, or the plugs I've littered around sites I've visited. With this in mind, it's important that we make every post count going forward. Are we professionals in music? No. Are we professionals in writing? No. We have lives and jobs (or at least I do) and if we could make money this way there's a good chance we would quit our jobs and just do this. However, it's important to remember the power of individuals running non-profit ventures (such as OCR, which is the musical discovery I am most thankful for). I hate to make it sound like thanksgiving, but I think it's important to reflect on what we have and using it to the benefit of others. Anyway, Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Song of the Day 25: 'Shift (Interlude)' by Outspoken

This is probably going to be my shortest Song of the Day so far (unfortunately), considering that this next track is less than two minutes long. So here's a little review for Shift (Interlude).

The beginning starts off automatically with a synth as the melody. It's quite repetitive, and continues until a harmony comes in at 0:14. This harmony is a very low synth, and is a nice touch to add for melody support. There's a slight key change at 0:22, and the song continues. The key will soon change once again at 0:27, becoming what it previously was. There is another added synth that comes in though for added effect. Then once again there's another change back to what it was at 0:22. The whole thing seems very repetitive. It goes back again into the previous key at 0:41, although I can tell that the harmony is a little bit louder here. At 0:48, it changes into a different key that hasn't been heard yet, and then changes into yet another key at 0:55. The harmony can also be much clearly heard hear also. At 1:02 I can hear it much easier, and there's another key change also. At 1:09 it goes back into the original key (the one from the very beginning). At 1:15 there's a slight change: the high synth that has been playing has now disappeared, and leaving behind the lower melody, the harmonies, and the bass (each one is a synth). This continues and repeats itself until 1:36, and then the song is already over.

Pros: I would say the pros would have to be the different key changes. They keep the song interesting, and each one seems to work with the song.

Cons: It's too repetitive, and again it needs more. I couldn't really tell what the melody was, and it was pretty much the same thing over and over throughout the whole song. Plus the ending could have been better also.

Overall: There really isn't much to say about this song other than it needs more work on it. Sorry for such a short post today.

Rating: 6.9/10

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Song of the Day 24: 'Progress' by Outspoken

I'm back again. I really don't have much to say as far as an introduction, so I might as well just get to the actual song. The next one on the list is Progress.

The beginning starts out with some very light percussion, and then a soft synth can be heard at 0:05 to start it out. It pulses twice, and then the percussion kicks in to give me a better idea on speed at 0:10. The synth is a little soft here, can be considered too blended. It seems like there's some sort of melody coming out of it, but honestly I can't really tell. It all seems to be very percussion orientated at the moment. This continues until 0:37, where there's a slight transition into the next section using some light percussion hits. At 0:43 it starts back up again, pretty much repeating the sequence played at 0:10. There are some synths heard here that does add the elements needed to make it different than before though. At 0:54 the percussion drops, leaving some minor synth playing until it starts again at 0:58. The synth still sounded too blended for my liking however. Here at this new sequence I can finally hear a melody from a high synth. I find this melody to be quite catchy. The melody changes at about 1:10, having a much lower synth take control. This whole portion of the song continues until 1:31, where the majority of what was going on cuts off. There's light percussion that comes in occasionally, and more of a melody from the synths comes in at about 1:36. The percussion is still pretty light but it gets better at 1:42, and at a pretty good time also. The melody gets better as well, going back into a high synth. It goes back to low at 1:53, and in my opinion the low synth doesn't really grab my attention. The percussion does help though, so overall it's not that bad. Another synth comes in at 2:03, creating another melody. It's a rather repetitive melody, but it does change pitch at 2:14. At 2:29 the mood changes into something much calmer and much different than what I've heard thus far. Here there's a blend of synths used to create this mood, and I think for once that the blend here is a good thing. At 2:36 it gets even calmer, and at 2:40 there are some light hi-hat hits. It may be percussion, but it somehow maintains that calm mood. At 2:45 the synths get louder, and the percussion starts to become a little more complex. The song goes back into its previous mood at 2:51 with it's percussion and synth for a melody. The percussion unfortunately is getting a little too repetitive also now that I keep hearing the same thing with each section. At least there's some changes with the melody though, but not much of a difference rhythm-wise. The melody, as well as the entire sequence, continues and repeats itself until about 3:23 where the melody has a slight change in pitch and rhythm. At about 3:33 the melody being played drops, leaving no melody, until a new synth takes over the melody at 3:39. Harmonies consisting of more synth are added at 3:45 also. This harmony does drop out at 3:56 though. A different section starts up at 4:00 with a lower-pitched synth as the melody. This new section may have been better with a transition into it, since it automatically went right into this new section. Higher synth will come in a couple seconds later to control the melody. At 4:17 the synth will slow down to playing once every measure. This continues, and at 4:32 most of the percussion seems to exit also. At 4:38 there's one final note from the synth, and then the song will come to a conclusion.

Pros: The section from 2:29 to about 2:51 had to be my favorite part of the song, and during many parts of the song the synth would shift keys and pitches well.

Cons: There was lack of atmosphere and elements once again, unfortunately. Most of the sections were a little too repetitive (including the percussion). Sometimes the synths sounded too blended and messy also.

Overall: There were some parts of the song that were strong, but like the other songs, it still needs work. Atmosphere is a must, and some variety in the song would be helpful also. It's not that bad though, for I still enjoyed listening to it (although having Charlie Brown Christmas being played in my home was sort of a distraction :) ).

Rating: 6.8/10

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Song of the Day 23: 'Striking Chill' by Outspoken

Two weeks ago I was supposed to do Song of the Day, but because of my disappearance from this blog, I had to give up. Now, I'm back and ready to finish what I started. The last Song of the Day was about the track 'Urban Science', and the next track is called 'Striking Chill'. Now, let's get started now, shall we?

Okay, so the beginning starts out very simple, consisting of a very low beat. The beat is a little confusing at first, but it does straighten out though at 0:07. Here is where more of a melody is developed, and the light percussion as well as the beat give an idea of how fast this song is going to be. At 0:13 there's more added as backup for the melody, and at 0:20 I can hear the beat pulse a little more and grow louder. Even more sounds are added at 0:25, which really adds some more effect. At 0:32 the percussion is the main thing that draws my attention. The melody here has also dropped, leaving the added stuff from 0:25 as the main melody (or at least something like a melody). At 0:39 the percussion improves with some rapid hi-hat hits, which actually work quite well with the percussion that first appeared at 0:32. At 0:46 there's yet even more percussion added, making the song so far a very percussion-oriented piece. Unfortunately there really isn't much atmosphere, considering that the synths used are quite simple and I haven't heard any new changes in melody. At 0:58 the melody drops, only leaving that first synth used in the beginning. The percussion comes back at 1:04, but this time it's a little different. The beat at some points end up hitting on a spot that's not even on the beat, but right before it. Met says in his small summary of the song a while back that a lot of people don't like these "funky snare hits". I guess I'm in the minority, because I actually like it. The first spot where I heard it was at about 1:09 by the way. At about 1:10 there's a pretty good sequence from the synth, although simple. However, this sequence does flow, and goes well with the percussion. It gradually grows louder at about 1:18, and stays at the volume being developed until 1:34. Here the percussion drops, leaving just the synth. The synth here sounds a little too blended, and I'm not much of a fan of the way it sounds. The synth does calm down into what it was back at 1:10, with the pulsing beat to come with it. At 1:42, the percussion comes back in strong. This next sequence is pretty decent, as it consists of the percussion (with the cool snare hits), the synth from 1:10, and a new harmony that I first start to hear at around 1:50. At 1:56 there's a very low synth that takes the place of what was going on before (excluding the percussion). The beat simplifies at 2:08 into just some light hits on the hi-hat and the pulsing beat. There's a very small transition into the next section at 2:14, and the song continues. The transition could have been a little bit broader, as it lack certain elements to make it sound great. At this new section the simple synth from 1:10 changes into a much more minor key, with the low synth from 1:56 being added to make a pretty good harmony. This continues until about 2:34 where certain parts of the song (mainly the percussion section). The percussion is gone right now, leaving only the two synths and somewhat of a beat. This section lasts until 2:47. That section lacked some elements and atmosphere, and shouldn't have been so long. The percussion comes back in, although much simpler than before. It does increase in complexity at 2:54 however. More harmony is added at 3:00, but I still don't think that it's enough. At 3:12 the synths go into a new sequence similar to the one at 2:14. I would say that the only difference between the two would be the synth being stronger at this new section. Some synths start to back down at 3:24, leaving mainly the percussion, beat, and the lighter synths that were hardly heard in the song. At 3:39 even more is taken out, having only the synth at the very beginning be played as well as the percussion. At 3:50 the percussion starts to lose its complexity, and at 3:57 it's about as simple as it can get (only small and somewhat slow hi-hat is used). At 4:02, there was a slight pause and then the synth from 1:10 plays by itself to finish the job, and even pulsing a little bit at 4:11. That's the end.

Pros: There was a good amount of pros here. The beat and the speed was overall consistent, and I really like those funky hits on the snare drum. Despite the fact that it was quite simple, it did flow well with everything.

Cons: There was a lack of atmosphere, and a lack of the elements that would make me think "wow" after listening to it. The synths lacked complexity, and the majority of the sections were very repetitive. The small section at 1:34 I didn't really like, mainly because it sounded a little messy.

Overall: It's not bad, but it needs some work. Atmosphere and complexity are a huge factor in making this song better (although the percussion did a good job in terms of that). However, it's a good start (that's my opinion, mainly because I'm not very knowledgeable in composing music).

Rating: 7.2/10

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Okay, so this is sort of a filler post, but it's also a general announcement. I was browsing the blog today and noticed that posts tagged Reogan are at exactly 300. I dunno what's so attractive about nice round numbers, but there it is for you. He still does a lot more work than everyone else as far as this site goes, although as of late he's really been able to ease back and still achieve goals. This is nice, because he's got better things to do believe it or not. Regardless, here's to Reogan. The next few posts coming up, if all goes according to plan (which it rarely does) will be the continuation of Song of the Day by Marim. I've written a new track since her last post so she'll have to add that in as well. I'l also update my prelude post with the description of the new track. I'll get to that later though, because Steam is having a holiday sale and I've got some video games to play. Anyway, enjoy your Christmas!


Monday, December 20, 2010


Felix dashed down the alley, glancing anxiously behind himself. The smell of smoke was everywhere, and his eyes burned with the fumes. Nonetheless, he sprinted out of the alley and down Main Street towards the outskirts of town. Out here, the moaning was louder, and he could tell that time was short. Reaching the Gate of the town he stopped, horrified.

A legion stood, blocking his only escape.

Felix sighed,defeated. He fell to the ground, the fight gone from him. He had been prepared for many things. Werewolves wouldn't have been a problem. Vampires? Easy. He had had a dozen contingencies for zombies.

But it all went to hell when the zombies were on fire.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Sorrow comes, sooner or later.

There is a particular beauty in sadness. A lugubrious perfection in death. Glory in pain. Before long, every being on this earth learns of the utter emptiness life can bring. And so the translators must preserve this scarring beauty as well.

Out of blood come black paintings.

From tears spring the elegy.

Wails become fugues.

To do anything else would be to lie.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Song of the Week 25.5: 'A Day in the Life of a Gambler' by JJT (redo)

It's about time I posted something up here. I apologize for my sudden and long absence that lasted almost two weeks, but I'm back and ready for some song reviews. This one (like most .5 editions) is coming off of one of the early SotW's. My review is basically a redo of Song of the Week 1, which is the one post that started it all. So the song is from Final Fantasy VI (the Final Fantasy series has some great remixes, by the way), and is titled 'A Day in the Life of a Gambler'. For the direct link to the remix, you can click here.

The beginning starts out strong, and through the first couple of notes I knew that this solo piano piece was going to be a jazz piece. The first seventeen seconds acts as the introduction, and at about 0:18 I can start to get the feel of the tempo. It's actually rather slow, but there are numerous little runs to add some flair (especially at 0:24). At 0:36 there's a small break after a series of chords, and it starts up again at 0:39. At this new section the whole song breaks out into a swing, which makes me correct about it being a jazz song. The tempo increases in speed as well. It starts out with some low keys on the piano being played as a bass, creating the swing. At 0:47 a melody starts to appear, which totally fits with the bass being played. Some very quick and short triplets come with the melody, adding even more flair here. Some examples are at 0:51 and 0:54 (0:54 has a little more with this run though). The tiniest detail in the melody here is key, although the song in itself is awesome. At 0:58 I'm starting to hear a lot more runs, which really adds excitement here to the song. At 1:04 I heard some of the bass act as a harmony with the swinging melody. The melody switches into something I haven't heard thus far, with even more bass having the occasional run to back everything up. At 1:16 it's now a small section consisting of bass and treble chords switching off in a swing. This right here is a great example of the bass and melody working together perfectly, for if one part of the song was gone, the section would be chaos. This repeats at 1:20, although at a much quieter and lower pitch. It gets gradually louder at about 1:23 until there's an excellent transition into the next section at 0:25. At 0:28 is the spot where it really transitions, using only a brief pause. This is one of the few times I find a complete pause in a song a good thing since the pause here was in the perfect spot. The bass starts up again at 0:29, but much quieter this time. Having some complicated, jazzy chords increase in pitch, another transition is born until a new melody plays at 1:36. The bass is gone here, getting rid of some of the jazz. There is a nice, lower harmony here though, which really makes this section sound really cool. The entire harmony makes the melody sound complete; without it, this section wouldn't be very much. There is a bit of a very soft pulse heard to create a light beat, although my attention was drawn more to the piano. This section continues all the way until 2:07, where there's a slight pause in the music. At 2:10 the new section starts out strong, with fast treble notes and the occasional bass notes for support. The treble notes here aren't entirely boring; they do indeed play the same note, but there are frequent triplets played throughout. This section lasts for quite a while, repeating itself until some new chords create a transition into the next section at 2:41. Here it goes back into that same jazz feel that I had felt before, with everything swinging away. The melody displayed here is almost the exact same as the one back at 0:47, but this time it's in the form of chords. At 2:49 there are some very unique chords here that create a couple of triplets, which is probably added in there to add more impression to this section (this also happens again at 3:02). At 3:09 there's a small change in the melody to slightly change the feel as well as a change in the key. It gets quieter and lower once again at 3:17, making the melody drop in pitch as well. The melody in this new section is hard to pick out, but it's audible if listened closely. The treble create more of a bass now, which adds a small amount of uniqueness into the song in general. This last all the way until 3:48, where everything slows down into one last, peaceful chord at 3:51 (this is one of those chords where each note is played by itself into the chord, but I seriously have forgotten what that term in music is called). The ending is great, and the soothing chord has that jazz-like ending which always sounds cool in my opinion. The note is held until there is no more.

Pros: Everything that was a part of this song was excellent. There were just some sections such as at 0:47 where the song couldn't have been played any better than that. The entire song had outstanding melodies, and even those tiny little triplets made all the difference to me. Every transition was just about perfect also. I really haven't even begun to say everything cool about it. This song is just about flawless, and I would highly recommend listening to this mesmerizing piece.

Cons: Cons...what cons? There really isn't any that I can think of at all other than having the melody be a little more clear during that last section at 3:17.

Overall: This song is brilliant, excellent, and completely awesome. Everything that was played in this track worked together and flowed with perfection.

Rating: 9.9/10

Friday, December 17, 2010

August 20, 1890

Loathe though I am to follow up a day without me with a day without much from me, I feel compelled to tell you that upon the scanning two thousand words of my novel, I have been declared the reincarnation of H.P. Lovecraft. See the sidebar. This is awesome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

socks of yarn

floating through the cupboard

my thoughts rebound off jam--



strawberry preserves.

i wasn't even thinking of jam.

where did that come from?

i was thinking of yarn.

floating through the closet

my thoughts rebound off yarn--

yards and yards of



skeins of yarn.

making Christmas lists

and brainstorming--


dreaming of summer,

with the clouds and the sun

and the breeze and the grass

tickling my feet.

tickling my feet?

brothers tickling my feet.

socked feet

socks of yarn

skeins of yarn

jars of jam.

i palindrome i.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Song of the Week 25: 'One Girl in All The World' by The Wingless

I can't believe I haven't covered this track yet for Song of the Week, but I'm finally getting around to it now. This is the track that brought me to OCR back in 2005 (I lurked until '08) and it's had me hooked ever since. I found this track originally when doing a Google search for Super Metroid music or remixes, something like that. So I came up with One Girl In All The World by The Wingless and I loved it so much that I posted 5 OCR track links to my blog when I started it (that would be March of '06 I believe). The links are dead now after djp made some host changes and I never bothered to correct them because that blog is no longer public, but regardless OCR has made a significant impact on my life and it all started with this track. Speaking of the Wingless, I haven't seen him around OCR in quite a while. In fact I just checked his forum profile and it says no activity since 4/16/2010. From what I've seen, The Wingless makes fantastic works of art in the musical field and this goes all the way back to One Girl In All The World's posting date: 10/2/2003. Anyway, I should get down to the actual mix...

The ironic thing about this track is that when I first listened to it often, I couldn't figure out the source tune. Granted, I've never played Super Metroid, but I've heard the source tune in gameplay videos and through many other remixes; this is certainly unorthodox. The track slowly fades in with thunder and rain effects with a single piano note being tapped lightly (that's an E flat). The atmosphere is a good set up for the piano breakout at 0:14. This is an unorthodox sounding piece already to my ears and 0:25 expands the piano with a synth added this time that floats up and plays in tandem with the piano. At 0:36 you've got a subtle pulsing bass that gives the piece more feel. It's a very nice, repetitive groove that enthralls the listener (or at least me). At 0:59 the piece seems to "take off" (remember, I'm writing this from what I feel and think, this is by no means what your opinion should or will be). We've now an abundance of synths with some single note piano support. There's also a subtle synth like choir at 1:05 that took me a while to catch. A synth melody is established and it joins the piano rhythm/melody at 1:09 to form sort of counter melody/melody/harmony thing (I'm not a music expert). A second later (1:10) you've got some reinforcing synth acting as a two note bass. You can really see this track start to come together. 1:21 expands the track with a cymbal that introduces atmospheric effects really giving the track it's superb and flexible feel. Of course there's also the percussion stuff going on now, it sounds like hi-hat more than snare brushes; I wouldn't know, but it's a well employed sample. There's a brief pause at 1:31 when the piano comes down to continue the motif already established. This track really flows through everything, I mean a lot; there's a lot of transitions and changes among the seemingly repetitive motifs. 1:42 ends another cycle with the piano that comes down and now we're introduced to a slower part with a synth lead and piano bass. This is the part where I finally caught onto the "Oh this is Red Brinstar" (the piano bass gave it away). This is fantastic, it feels very loose, but it's held together by awesome atmosphere, superb piano interweaving with the synth, and a general feeling of peace. Also notice the subtle string introduction. It expands at 2:12 becoming more active with piano background, but still retaining the peaceful feel. It becomes more profound now especially starting at 2:18 like it wants to go somewhere, but it's having trouble despite its honest trying. It trails off with a held piano note and the string to near silence at 2:30. The piano pops back in a second later with the beginning of a now familiar motif. Now you can really hear it coming together and the piano gets all showy like it's realizing this track is going to work. 2:43 adds in the two note bass we've heard before that has great reinforcement. A whistle synth lead is added at 2:44 that seems to bring everything we've heard before together. This track seems to speak for itself in an innocent "Hey I figured this out." manner. It leaves us trailing off again at 2:52, but this time on a positive note that seems to say that this trick worked before. The low range string stuff really helps in this section (which is where I'd consider the most coherent and cohesive part is) and it seems to say "so now..." which starts a new story. This is incredibly well woven and it's mesmerizing. At 3:17 it changes keys and keeps the awesomeness going. Now you can hear the lead in the source tune played by the lead synth. I seriously didn't recognize this the first time I heard it and it probably had to do with the mesmerizing piano always going on. The final expansion is at 3:41 which adds the strings in a more prominent manner with cymbal crashes that really create more of a waves on the shore sort of sound. It trails off again at 4:03 and you can hear it start to dissolve now as it nears its end. It seems like the track found its place in this world, or a world for a place. It fades out to end. I fear I haven't really justified this piece's awesomeness in my little writeup hear, djp and the forum goers at OCR do it much better (so check that out here). This is the first song I ever heard from OCR, and I believe it's one of the best I've ever heard to date.

Pros: Mesmerizing flow, piano work, synth work, just about everything. I feel extremely under qualified to review this so just listen to it and decide for yourself.

Cons: None. I can't think of anything that could've made this better.

Overall: The Wingless is talented beyond belief. What else can I say? Awesome.

Rating: 9.9/10

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conversations: To Play

"So we have to coordinate our schedules?"


"And agree to lie about what we're doing?"


"And coerce an entire extra group into the mix just to secure the one person we need?"

"How else?"

"And then you want to use the time of Authority for recreation?"

"Of course."

"A recreation you admit will be spoiled if a certain undesirable gets into the mix?"


"An undesirable whose arrival is more likely than anyone else's?"

"Other than us."

"And atop that you expect us to pay?"

"The Cookie Fund is donations only, thank you."

"You're mad."

"So it would seem."

"Can we start tomorrow?"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Art II

There are those who can translate.

Though hailed as creators, they are merely finders. Menders. Guides. From the jumbled cacophony of perfection, each plucks but a thread at a time to weave into a tapestry of light. Each selects his own tools. Each her own voice. Each pulls a new thread.

Light becomes melody.

Weaving becomes story.

Voice becomes image.

Beauty is made again presentable.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Salem was nice this time of year. Even if the infamous trials had been held on its namesake on the opposite coast, the city held its own share of corruption and darkness. Herein one found thieves and murderers, mobsters and rapists, lawyers and car salesmen.

Michael fully intended to outdo them all.

Having left his car in a nearby lot, he wandered the dimming streets in search of a target. His options were many, from the young couples lost in each other's smiles to the crazies begging for their bread. In the end, though, Michael wasn't satisfied with the small game. He wanted a real target.

Six feet tall before her heels and lugging a large briefcase, the woman seemed more than capable of making any normal assailant think twice. Michael wasn't a normal assailant. He reached out carefully with his mind, and found the pain was much less noticeable this far north.

For now, whispered Gabriel's voice at the back of his mind.

Shaking his head, Michael nudged the woman towards an alley. Having lived in the city all her life, her every instinct fought him. Michael pressed harder. The woman stumbled and suddenly turned right. Michael followed her into the tiny corridor.

In the shadow, Michael was nearly invisible. There was no glint of cold steel in his hands. He hadn't had a hunt in a long time. He wasn't going to do it the easy way. Surrendering his hold on the victim's mind, he tapped her on the shoulder.

She turned around and saw no one there. Then, realizing where she was, she hurried back to the main street and hailed a taxi home.

Back at his car, Michael grimaced, disgusted with himself.

"Damn it, Gabe."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Filler Post: 12/11/2010

New track up at soundcould for me. I submitted this one to the Nanostudio group; hopefully I'll get some good feedback.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Karachay: Part 9

Wednesday, June 14th 1967
Dear Lyov,
I just got your letter, please do not panic. We are still men, and susceptible to the same ailments that befall those that we cure. No one in this village has died yet, but several people have gone insane. I’m doing my best to deal with them, but it is a great burden.
Mikhail’s drinks are no longer working; I’m not sure if I trust him anymore. He seemed very keen to ascertain the reason why I would send a letter to the government for assistance. Can he not see that we may very soon die in this plague? These farmers cannot bear the strain much longer and I fear that death is inevitable. This plague may be some sort of poison, the bodies you have must be examined; we must figure this out.
My letters to the surrounding villages were answered yesterday. This is most definitely a plague. Although they report no fatalities there is many a report of insanity. I had several villages who wanted to send me their sick so that I might treat them. Can’t they see my hands are full as is? I cannot work without sleep for too long; I must contact the government for assistance before the mail carrier contracts this disease. I know that your situation is more dire than mine, but perhaps my notes on this matter will assist you. Perhaps there is some difference, some link between the cases in these villages that can help us deduce the cause and neutralize it.
Never give up,

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Game Time

The roar


up in arms.

neither heavy,
nor light;

it just is.

We're waiting.

32 minutes

can make all the difference.

Does it really matter?

up to you.

There's only
one thing

left to do.

Get the lights.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Song of the Week 24: 'Waiting For The Sun' by Vitz

I'm going at it solo again. Today I'm going to be taking a look at one of the more unique artists I've discovered via Protagonist Records and now actively follow on soundcloud. We showcased some of Vitz's work in SotW 19 and 19.5 (ironically he took down his original Deadman's Lullaby a few days after the post) and now I'll be taking a look at probably my favorite track of his thus far. The track is Waiting For The Sun (download directly here) and while it isn't on his soundcloud page any longer, it still exists on Protagonist Records. This is probably my favorite for a reason, and a big part of that would be the unique sounds and genre (it was labelled Neo Trance on soundcloud, a rather apt description in my opinion). Anyway, this one is definitely worth listening to, so here goes my writeup.

Some very refined sounds start the track off; a very precise synth sound plays 2 different notes twice, allowing us to enjoy the pristine aspects of the synth in the attack and decay. The sound of water provides excellent atmosphere as it slowly fades in at 0:09 and let's us enjoy the simplicity and nature of the sounds employed. This is one of the reasons I love this track, the sounds no matter how repetitive, always captivate me. The "Neo Trance" bass drum (which is just the four on the floor trance beat) enters at 0:30 with a new subtle synth that works off of the original atmosphere (which the first synth could probably be considered as more so than a bassline). The new synth is also excellently designed just like the original atmosphere and its melody (which is played twice before the track moves on) is somewhat mournful, yet very relaxing: it's the beauty of nature from the perspective of a troubled human. The bass drum drops out as a less subtle synth is briefly added to back up the original atmosphere at 1:02 and add some new tones to the mix: a subtle harmony which continues to be expanded upon despite the fact that this synth is definitely less refined sounding and more recognizable underneath the layers that will soon be built. A piano-esque sound enters now at 1:17 and plays more rapidly then most of the synths in this track, although it's appearance is brief and it adds more atmosphere than melody with it's "ditty". Something that you probably won't notice first time through without me pointing it out is the fade out of the water atmosphere at 1:26. I only noticed it because I'm going in depth here, and I must say that the atmosphere to this point is spectacular; Vitz manipulates each sound exactly the way he wants and it works to perfection. What will soon become the lead synth slowly emerges at 1:32 and as it develops it lets us hear the fantastic sound design that will soon be explored more openly. This synth plays the "melody" of the track for all intensive purposes and it expands fully after the song is put through a filter modulation and a cymbal coming into the new section at 1:48. This section features the lead synth with its intended role, however, a lot of the atmosphere was dropped here to make room for the pulsing "Neo Trance" bass (I typed New Trance three times before I realized that Neo sounds much cooler). The bass drum is also back, this time accompanied by a hi-hat that I never grow tired of (notice the rhythm). I enjoy the hi-hat so much that I almost forget about the very subtle "snare" drum that simply plays on the 2 and 4 beats. The sound that entered at 0:30 is also back this time in a sort of supporting harmony role. There's also some brief atmosphere at 1:56 that really adds a lot as it's briefly played throughout the rest of the track. Now we're beginning to hear a lot of the atmosphere that was abruptly dropped at 1:48 slowly reenter the picture. The sound from 1:02 reenters at 2:04 albeit with a decreased volume allowing for more of a fading feel. 2:19 also adds some more atmosphere that will briefly appear to support certain notes and give them more depth and width throughout the track. The piano-esque sound from 1:17 is also back at 2:24 with its original "ditty" (this is preceded by the bass drum dropping a few beats allowing for more anticipation). Vitz now employs his atmosphere at will along with the already present elements that serve to support the same repetitive lead synth. You'll notice the lead synth slides to different notes and its sound is very mournful it seems. This continues until 3:05 at which time the bass drum drops out with a cymbal (I'd rather say transition sound from now on, cymbal is a word that doesn't bring to mind things of a refined nature). The track continues as usual just without the bass drum until 3:20 when the lead synth finally departs from its original melody. I love the atmosphere with the new melody which progresses until we have a filter mod transition at 3:36. Now we have two synth leads under the original bass drum and sounds that were added back at 1:48. This new melody is less constrained by the time signature, but still within normal bounds. I love to just listen to these two same synths play the same melody on different octaves, the pulse feeling is incredible and it really adds a mournful but accepting feel to the track. The atmosphere adds so much, this is just a general statement, I'm not pointing out specific instances, but it really completes the track and brings out the awesomeness of the lead synth. There's a transition sound at 4:07 which is preceded by the bass drum briefly dropping out (a good anticipation tactic that I incorporated into my current WIP trance-esque track). The transition adds the piano-esque "ditty" sound that's been seen twice before in this track. Right now the track is at its finest, with all elements working together: atmosphere, bass, synths, everything. This dissipates at 4:38 leaving the piano-esque "ditty" without bass, lead or percussion. The rest of the track is fed by atmosphere and the piano-esque melody that leaves us hanging with a delay effect. Wow; good stuff.

Pros: Sound design... I don't think I've ever heard sound design this well done incorporated into an electronic track before. The original atmosphere at the beginning gives you an excellent feel for where the track is headed: mournful, refined, but determined and accepting. The overall atmosphere for this track is just spectacular and the idea of "Neo Trance" is conveyed perfectly (and I don't say perfectly lightly). The hi-hat is also another one of the extremely strong points and it's one of those things, along with the atmosphere, that makes listening to the same lead for a near 2 minutes straight very enjoyable. There's just so many refined and well placed atmospheric sounds in this track to pick apart; I absolutely love it.

Cons: Not much hear. Perhaps the transition at 1:48 is too abrupt, but I can't imagine any other way to do it.

Overall: Vitz has completely blown me away. I've never heard anything like this track before and I doubt I'll hear anything like it again coming from someone other than the man himself. Needless to say, I am very impressed. This track truly is "Waiting For The Sun".

Rating: 9.8/10

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Art I

It starts with a breath.

As blurry vision gradually sharpens and deaf ears learn to hear, the world reveals itself. From the beauty inherent in nature, to the beautiful sorrows of pain, everything speaks. But the true beauty speaks its own tongue, and it can only be felt, not truly seen, not truly heard, not truly understood.

The perfect note falls flat.

The picture blurs.

The words run together.

Truth stops at the wall.

Monday, December 06, 2010

uninspired works

so I was trying to write a poem during work, as I am wont to do, and I decided that I didn't really want to try anymore. so I wrote a few lines that just slid from nowhere into my pen.

Honestly, I'm not listening
and my mind scattered like dust
I'm not feeling inspired
I'm just filled with sleeplust.

The words that you're saying
don't connect in my brain.
It's just a jumble of phrases--
so crashed the thought train.

(i don't know if this is related... i don't even know what I was doing.)

You're still speak, speak, speaking
Your voice's creak, creak, creaking
The time's leak, leak, leaking
And home I am seeking.

and I wrote this in a matter of seconds:

had your own heart broken
after hearing my voice
I wouldn't have spoken
but you gave me no choice.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sonnet XXII "Eternity"

The terror first, the futile flight
To find escape. Then hopelessness
Precedes the demon's whispered kiss
Before he, sated, leaves with night.
And then through pain, a darker fright
Of certain pèrverse endlessness
In dead undying soulessness
And hunger too severe to fight.
But then - the might! The untold strenghth!
The vigor - power - deity
In flesh enshrined! The thought of length
Of blessèd immortality!
In flesh enslaved! The painful length
Of damning immortality.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Karachay: Part 8

Sunday, June 11th, 1967
Three are dead. I do not know which is the worst, the old woman, the boy, or the farmer. The boy was the first. His death had been what the bell tolled for when I last wrote. He had been swimming in the lake with a friend, and he apparently had some sort of seizure; he tensed and spasmed for a minute before drowning. There was nothing of this vein in his family. I don't believe it's genetic.
The farmer was next. The first to contract the illness was the first to die. It was to be expected, of course. Without any sustenance, anyone would wither. By the end, it almost seemed a mercy, for he had clawed at his face and hair so that it was torn and furrowed. In many ways, I am glad for him that he is gone. I worry for his wife, though. And his child.
Now, understand that our village here has had a wise woman by the name of Mother Yeva. She lives alternatively in the village or wilderness. Whenever she is present, she is fed and sheltered by the townsfolk, who believe her ramblings to be prophetic. Though I never believed in such things, I always welcomed her when it was my turn to house her, for the things she said, well! They were vivid as dreams. I found her dead on my doorstep yesterday.
She had been away from the town for a good while, and due to come back any day. Whenever she arrived in the past, she always seemed older and more withered, but her youth was restored with company. The body I found was a frail, shriveled thing unlike I had ever seen her. Upon her neck was some sort of swelling, similar to a goiter. I feel that examination would have borne knowledge, but it is against custom to desecrate a body here, and for a woman of such standing, I would be risking my life.
It is still light out and I already feel need for rest. I hope your investigation bears fruit. I'm certain now that this must be a plague. No mere fatigue, no mere drought could cause this. All shall be well soon enough, though. Whether it be by death or health, I doubt anyone will remain ill by next month.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Zanoc watched her raise the glass to her lips and take a small sip.

"How is it?" he asked, a smile creeping over his face.

"Warm," she replied, smiling.

"Anything else?"

"Um... good? Where did you get the recipe?"

"The NECRONOMICON, you fool!"

"Ah." She took another sip.

"It's Hot Chocolate of Doom."

He watched her look down into the glass before somehow daring to sip some more.

"Stop that! It's full of portent and omens and-and... doom!"

"Delicious doom."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fix It


you hope

to preserve?

Not only is your defense

it is also


What have you left

to defend?

It's not you,
it never was you.


what you've been


You've got
a lot of work

to do.

fix it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Why Does This Always Happen?

Song of the Day is suspended indefinitely.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Song of the Day 22: 'Urban Science' by Outspoken

It's day two of this Song of the Day series so as I follow Met's track list, the next one to be reviewed is Urban Science. What Met had said in his prologue gives people a general idea of what to expect, but I'll give my opinion on it as well as the details here.

The first eight seconds starts out very simple, where the song starts out with snapping. From about 0:09 to about 0:15, more is added such as clapping and slapping noises. Lower sounds are added at about 0:16, and altogether it's a pretty decent percussion section (without actual percussion instruments). However sometimes the beat that it produces sounds a little bit off, like when more sounds are added at 0:08 for instance. At 0:24 even more sounds are added which make the entire thing seem rather catchy. At 0:33 another thing is added in there; some very quick notes that try to create more to the rhythm for which the song is playing. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to match up very well with the beat, but it's close. At 0:48 everything cuts off, leading to a transition at 0:51. I really don't think that was a very good way to transition to the next section; it would have been better if there was at least something there instead of complete silence. At 0:52 a steady snapping is the beat which is by itself until 0:56. Here, there's bass that produces a melody. The bass could have been just a little bit louder, but generally it's fine since there was nothing else to really back it up other than the snapping. Speaking of which, this section seems empty. At 1:21 there's more clapping to help add to the beat. At 1:30 the beat is lightened a little bit. There really isn't much to this section, and it kind of irks me. At 1:40 there is somewhat of a harmony created by the bass, although I would say that the harmony sounds a little too low in pitch. At 1:53 the song steps it up a little bit by having the melody get higher and pitch as well as crescendo. The harmony at 2:01 is pretty nice; it really adds more despite the fact that it's still very simple. At 2:15 the melody continues, and more sounds from the beginning are playing once again. At 2:24 some synth is added which really creates more atmosphere in the song. That then takes over the melody, with the bass as a backup. However at 2:40 that sound ends up dropping, and it's just the beat and the bass again. At 2:47 it becomes a bass solo. Altogether it's pretty simple, but at 2:54 it the bass does this really good slide up in pitch. Oh, and the beat comes back at 2:56 also. That slide comes back at 3:03 and 3:10 as well. At 3:12 the bass goes back into a solo, and pretty much repeats itself from back when it played at 2:47. The beat comes back at 3:20, and it becomes what it was back at 1:21. It does have some differences though, such as the combination of the solos the bass would play and the main melody being played. The slides are there also, which make the song sound much cooler. More is added at 3:36, where more of a higher pitched melody is put in and played. There is a much more unique melody here and it doesn't repeat itself as often as the bass, which repeats itself frequently. The harmonies for the melody with the bass didn't sound all that good though; it basically sounded like a mesh of sounds that didn't really work. The high melody drops all the way at 4:24, leaving the bass and beat again. Fortunately, the bass melody is slightly different here. The beat lessens once again at 4:49, leaving only the snaps left to play with the bass. At 5:04 the entire beat is gone by then, and it's just the bass that finishes the song.

Pros: There was a really unique percussion section, with its variety of sounds. The bass also did a good job of playing the melody role, and the occasional synth that came in really put a lot into the song. The bass slides during the solos at 2:47 and 3:12 were pretty cool also.

Cons: This song was a little too simple. Sometimes the sounds at the very beginning didn't quite match up with the beat. The bass was quiet when it first came in, and the transition at 0:48 could use a lot of work. There was a huge lack of instrumentation here, and altogether it was rather empty.

Overall: The song could have gone much better. There were some good things about it, but it does need some work with filling in those gaps.

Rating: 6.9/10

Monday, November 29, 2010

Song of the Day 21: 'Retrospective' by Outspoken

Wait a minute...something's not right. There's a "Day" replacing the "Week" in the title. That only means one thing: Song of the Day is back. This isn't like the stuff Reogan wrote for Song of the Day back in the past; I guess it's "Marim's edition". This is only going on until this week is over though. Anyway, this is pretty much like the normal Song of the Week reviews that I do each week. However, there are some quirks. 1) I'm posting everyday this week (that ought to be interesting), and 2) I'm reviewing songs that Met composed himself. So now that you have the information of what the heck is going on, let's get started. So yeah, the song I'll be reviewing is Retrospective (the second song from the top).

Okay, so the beginning (the first seven seconds) starts out with a decent introduction, consisting of a simple melody to begin everything. At 0:08 that beginning melody drops out, and it's now an electronic pattern lasting until 0:16, where the beat comes in. There could have been more at 0:08; it seemed sort of empty there. This is a good reason why the beat comes in since it helps fill in the gaps. At 0:23 the melody at the very beginning comes, which goes along rather nicely with the beat. It quiets down at 0:32, although perhaps a little too quiet. It does get louder though, and the harmonies with that electronic pattern really help bring out the melody. At 0:48 the melody melts into more of a background section then the melody. At 1:04 the beat changes into more of a clapping rhythm here, although the parts where the beat is accented is a little too loud that it drowns away everything else. At 1:13 more is added into the song with some synth. At 1:28 it transitions into mainly a beat with somewhat of a melody. The transition into this section was a bit choppy; it directly goes into there without much in between. There definitely could have been more here as well, and the melody that is the same as what it was at 0:23 could have been way louder. It even took me a while to hear and recognize the melody that was being played. At 2:00 minutes some symbol helps create more of a beat, which really helps with keeping up with how fast the song is at this part. There's also some high notes being played here which leads to the transition of a section somewhat similar when the synth was being played at 1:13, but with more percussion. At 2:18 there is a low melody being played, although not much is being played. It still makes a difference though, so at least it's there. This continues until 2:42 where there's a low and muffled melody (the exact same as the previous ones). This section is pretty decent, where the beat and synth work well with the melody to make it sound good. The melody drops at 2:56 and goes back to mainly the percussion and the electronic stuff that Met knows more about than I. This entire section lasts until 3:26 where the song becomes much calmer. Again, the transition could have been better here. However, I like the section. It's much more relaxing than the rest of the song. At 3:45 there's more of an upbeat electronic section here, but it still has that relaxing mood to it. The electronic section also acts as a harmony that works well with the song also. The beat sounded a little off at 4:17, but that's mainly because it changed. However, it still didn't really fit with the rest of the song. It sounds much better at 4:25 though. At 4:32 the song goes back into what it was at 3:45, with that nice mix of upbeat and relaxing music. At 4:58 that melody comes back again, which replaces the synth that was there before. At 5:04 the beat goes back into that clapping rhythm as well. Once again, the melody could have been louder. At 5:14 it transitions into a section mainly consisting of a semi-catchy beat that leads to a small cymbal crash, thus ending the song.

Pros: I liked the melody, and the way it was displayed through many different sounds was unique. There was a nice mix of calm and upbeat music near the end, especially around 3:45 and 4:32. The song really isn't all that bad.

Cons: Okay, the transitions to each section could have been better, especially at 1:28. The dynamics should be worked on, especially with the melody. Sometimes the beat didn't fit, mainly at 4:17.

Overall: This song isn't bad, but it does need some work. It does have some good melodies and harmonies though, but there were a lot of things that need some work.

Rating: 7.1/10

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Song of the Week 23.5: 'Every Story Begins With a Name' by zircon, Big Giant Circles (redo)

Okay, so this week I'm redoing one of Met's previous SotW's, and this one in particular is Song of the Week 7. The song is entitled Every Story Begins With a Name, and it's a remix from Final Fantasy VII. Now this is going to be the first review in a long week of posts (see the latest post from Met). So if you want to directly listen to the track, click here. Redoing this SotW will make this longer, and I mean a lot longer. Met wrote a pretty short Song of the Week at the time, so I shall provide pretty much all of the details about what's in the song, just like I normally do.

Okay, so the beginning starts off rather quiet, but eventually gets louder and clearer at about 0:08. The entire thing starts out so eerie. By the time 0:14 comes, there's so many effects being heard, yet it sounds insanely awesome. Strings start playing at 0:16, which really adds more to the song. At 0:22 everything starts to crescendo until it reaches 0:32, where at this point the strings are the main focus of the song. At 0:35 there's some high notes by the bells which create a simple melody that completely stands out volume wise. At 0:41 the strings start to die down a little bit, and then at 0:48 low strings begin to act more as a bass, and a melody starts to play. The melody consists of high notes being played in a semi-major key, which clashes with the somewhat minor strings quite nicely. At 0:55 a lot of percussion is being played, which really adds more visuals and effects into the song. At 1:04 more of the strings take over, although with more of a medium pitch than the low strings which was the bass. The amount of instruments here is awesome; there's everything from wind chimes to strings. More of a beat comes in at about 1:11, which adds yet even more to the track. So far this song has a great introduction, and yet I haven't even been through a minute and a half of it yet. At 1:17 the strings gradually increase in volume, and then at 1:19 most of the sounds heard dropped. This leads to a transition into the most the song has shown us thus far at 1:23. The components in this song are numerous, and there's an excellent mix of orchestral and electronic music here. There's piano supporting the melody, a wide variety of percussion instruments to provide for the beat, and the electronic melody stands out above all the rest. At 1:34 though, the melody switches from electronic to orchestral without any transition required. I didn't even notice the change until I heard brass instruments playing the melody at 1:41. The entire section is very theatrical and epic overall. When it does make the switch, there's a soft pattern of high notes being played to create a minor tone with the mainly major melody. This pattern could have been louder though. The melody does switch to minor at around 1:44, so that pattern makes everything sound even better. Strings dominate everything at 1:47, which makes the song sound all the more awesome. At 1:57 though, there's another transition in which the majority of the instruments drop out. At 2:00 that has to be the strangest transition I've ever heard. It gives off a high pitched screech, eventually transitioning into a new section at 2:08. This section has a lot of unique sounds, mainly an alarm going off throughout. This new section sounds even more theatrical than the last. Consisting of piano controlling the melody, driving percussion to add some intensity, and the alarm for an awesome effect, this section has greatly impressed me. The piano also acts a bass with the melody, and at 2:17 even more intense percussion is added in to create a more rock-like beat. At 2:26 there's a soft electronic effect added in the background. This entire sequence continues, giving off great visuals and outstanding effects. At 2:45 there's even more added, and this time it's something we haven't heard so far: a choir. The choir really makes the song more dramatic, and works well with the driving piano and percussion. Despite the fact that the piano and the percussion mainly just repeat themselves, it's still interesting to listen to. At 3:04 the choir gets faster, creating even more intensity. Mainly around 3:12 there's a good electronic bass that is easily heard to help support and boost the melody created by the choir. At 3:21 there's another transition created by a percussion solo. At 3:23 it changes into yet another new section with more insane percussion for a beat and also strings taking control of the melody. The beat is especially intense at around 3:30, which is of course awesome. At 3:39 there is a slight transition, but it stays at the same section. Like Met said in his brief overview of the song back when his was posted, this part of the song is great when everything expands and comes together into one epic and incredible section. At 4:00 the song becomes a little more electronic, which really adds more variety to this section (although a lot of the stuff being played had dropped here). This entire part from 4:00 to 4:18 is all out electronic music that sounds amazing. At 4:19 there's a small and quiet transition into a much calmer section with guitar (or harpsichord) playing the melody role. The strings and the percussion do a great job supporting the guitar, and it really gives off an exotic feeling. This sequence continues until it gets louder at 4:45. At 4:46 there's even more added to this section: bass which does an excellent job at supporting the melody, strings that create both the melody along with some harmonies, and some percussion that keep things moving along. At 5:04 there was a pretty cool sequence from woodwind instruments that really give off an eerie mood to the section (this same pattern appears again at 5:13). There's another transition at 5:21, and at 5:21 the guitar/harpsichord is played again. This new section is great in terms of melody, backup, and percussion which has been excellent all throughout this piece. This continues until 5:40, where there's another transition into another section mainly consisting of more awesome percussion and intense choir. The guitar/harpsichord continue to do its thing, and the melody from the choir gradually gets louder and louder until 5:59. This is where the choir, some electronic effects for a bass, and the insane percussion mesh into a sequence of complete greatness. At 6:17 most sounds heard eventually dropped, mainly leaving the electronic stuff behind. However, the alarm is back and better than ever. The alarm even matches up with the beat, making everything work together perfectly. At 6:30, the intensity dies, and everything fades away. What I thought was cool was the alarm getting lower at 6:33, which leads to the end of the song. All I can say is "wow".

Pros: Amazing, completely amazing. The instrumentation in this entire piece was incredible, and even with electronic stuff playing, it works out perfectly. All the transitions were excellent and altogether flawless. Each of the numerous sections brought something new and no matter what I was hearing, it always had some intensity to it. The percussion was great, the effects were great, and pretty much everything was great. Wow, what a great song. :)

Cons: There were some parts of the song that may have needed more attention, such as at 1:41 with that pattern that supported the melody. There were hardly any cons to this song other than that, but that's mainly because this song is so well done.

Overall: This song is almost perfect. It has so much variety, so much presented, and so many awesome visuals. Everything would come together in each section, especially at 3:40. Despite the song being a bit lengthy, listening to this song was definitely worth it.

Rating: 9.8/10

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Song of the Day, Series 2, Prologue

Just dropping in for an announcement here. With our addition of Marim as a blog author and her particular focus on music we thought it fitting to re-introduce Song of the Day. I know this won't be the same as what Reogan did with The Three Realms. He has his own spectacular style and it really made McVaffe's music come to life. Marim will probably be taking more of an analytical approach, and she better, because it's going to be 5 days of music I wrote myself using Nanostudio, a program for iOS (so yes, all of the posted tracks were composed on my iPod Touch). With this in mind I would definitely appreciate critical comments as long as they're within my knowledge and the program's potential (for instance, don't tell me to sidechain dance music because that's not available on Nanostudio, however, if I ever did need to sidechain on something like FL studio, I'd watch this video). We'll be posting the tracks I made in order of when I made them, so here's the track list with a brief description of each track.

Retrospective - My first attempt with Nanostudio at making electronic music. This was composed over the summer and features all preset synths that came with the program. The major issues that plague it are a simple beat, an irritating snare, and lack of atmosphere. It's strong point would probably be the breakdown at 1:28.

Urban Science - This one was completed after Striking Chill, but the majority of it was finished by the time I decided to experiment with DnB. The drum computer is all samples recorded with the iPod mic and because of this the percussion lacks bass, but it is made up for by three very bassy synths. The main issues are lack of more than one melody structure, and too easy of a feel. The strong points would probably be the percussive rhythms with their sounds, the basslines, and the initial melody introduced at 1:36.

Striking Chill - After composing one electronic, almost dance piece and one electronic chill piece (Urban Science was actually inspired by the Pyrite Town theme from Pokemon Colosseum) I decided to tackle DnB. This sounds surprisingly fast despite the fact that it runs at only 150 bpm. I would attribute that to the hi-hat and the rapid repetitive melodies that modulate. The primary issues with this track would be lack of atmosphere (something all my tracks suffer form in my opinion), lack of elements (there are only 3 synths used), and repetitiveness. The strong points would probably be the funky snare hits (some people hate them, but zircon inspired me to try and do something "new school"), the modulation, and the initial sequence at 1:10.

Progress - I liked the results with my first DnB track so much that I decided to take another crack at it this time with more elements. While I still don't capture the atmosphere I'm always seeking, I did find that music writes itself more often then not and the best part (in my opinion) ended up being the most un-DnB part. Cons are repetitiveness, semi-uninteresting synth sounds, drum loops, and the atmosphere (or lack thereof). Pros are mostly found in the calm section starting at 2:39. Overall I would argue this has the best production quality despite the fact that there isn't any real good element about it that stands out.

Shift (Interlude) - I put this together in around an hour because I had "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones stuck in my head. It's repetitive and plays the same harmony over and over through different key changes, but it accomplishes its goal of being an interlude. The "lead" for all intensive purposes is a very basic triangle pulse wave that uses the LFO to ascend to the note. If you want cons then I guess they would be weak synth lead and notes and a prolonged ending. Pros would probably be harmony and the "shifting" between keys. Overall there isn't really much that can be said about this track.

So that's all I've completed so far. I can tell you right now that I've been working on a Progressive Trance/House mix that will probably be done by the end of the year. I'm trying to use all samples and synths that aren't built into Nanostudio. The other track that is still at its very beginning is a sort of synth rock. It's much harder to compose because I'm not sure how to nail the style, electronic is so much easier. Nanostudio is the first music synthesis program I've ever worked with, so give me a break and help me out. There are people much more talented then I who work with Nanostudio. Checking their stuff out is definitely recommended so you can tell me how pathetic my beginnings are :) All comments are much appreciated.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Missive From a Friend

I find this letter from Lemony Snicket to all WriMos (I've lost, by the way. I'm weak) very fitting for inclusion here.

Dear Cohort,
Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it's nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.
For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies - what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.
Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.
Besides, there are already plenty of novels. There is no need for a new one. One could devote one's entire life to reading the work of Henry James, for instance, and never touch another novel by any other author, and never be hungry for anything else, the way one could live on nothing but multivitamin tablets and pureed root vegetables and never find oneself craving wild mushroom soup or linguini with clam sauce or a plain roasted chicken with lemon-zested dandelion greens or strong black coffee or a perfectly ripe peach or chips and salsa or caramel ice cream on top of poppyseed cake or smoked salmon with capers or aged goat cheese or a gin gimlet or some other startling item sprung from the imagination of some unknown cook. In fact, think of the world of literature as an enormous meal, and your novel as some small piddling ingredient - the drawn butter, for example, served next to a large, boiled lobster. Who wants that? If it were brought to the table, surely most people would ask that it be removed post-haste.
Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down. Even your friends and associates will never appreciate your novel the way you want them to. In fact, there are likely just a handful of readers out in the world who are perfect for your book, who will take it to heart and feel its mighty ripples throughout their lives, and you will likely never meet them, at least under the proper circumstances. So who cares? Think of that secret favorite book of yours - not the one you tell people you like best, but that book so good that you refuse to share it with people because they'd never understand it. Perhaps it's not even a whole book, just a tiny portion that you'll never forget as long as you live. Nobody knows you feel this way about that tiny portion of literature, so what does it matter? The author of that small bright thing, that treasured whisper deep in your heart, never should have bothered.
Of course, it may well be that you are writing not for some perfect reader someplace, but for yourself, and that is the biggest folly of them all, because it will not work. You will not be happy all of the time. Unlike most things that most people make, your novel will not be perfect. It may well be considerably less than one-fourth perfect, and this will frustrate you and sadden you. This is why you should stop. Most people are not writing novels which is why there is so little frustration and sadness in the world, particularly as we zoom on past the novel in our smoky jet packs soon to be equipped with pureed food. The next time you find yourself in a group of people, stop and think to yourself, probably no one here is writing a novel. This is why everyone is so content, here at this bus stop or in line at the supermarket or standing around this baggage carousel or sitting around in this doctor's waiting room or in seventh grade or in Johannesburg. Give up your novel, and join the crowd. Think of all the things you could do with your time instead of participating in a noble and storied art form. There are things in your cupboards that likely need to be moved around.
In short, quit. Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep. I plan to quit writing novels myself, sometime in the next hundred years.
--Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket is the author of  A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Last Thursday of November in the United States of America


the thoughts

don't flow.

We don't


stop us.

We should

by now.



Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Song of the Week 23: 'The Dark Side of Phobos' by Daniel Baranowsky

Alright, here's Song of the Week 23, and were looking at a song from the people at OCR once again. The song is called "The Dark Side of Phobos" and is from the game "Doom". For the direct link, you can click here once again. I really need to find a better way to introduce these reviews. If anyone has an idea, just tell me. Anyway, I better get started.

The song starts out with an extremely low and pulsing pitch of sound. It's probably some low string instruments (or something of the sort). This entire beginning sounds completely eerie, and at 0:17, some violin is added into the background to make the song sound even creepier. At 0:24 there is a transition to a string-dominating melody. The notes that the strings make from 0:27 to about 0:36 adds a ton of suspense to the song, as the pitches gradually get higher. At 0:37 it transitions again into a different melody from the strings, as well as some percussion that occasionally comes in to add emphasis. The suspended symbol at 0:44 is a nice touch also. The string section has different parts to it, and you can clearly hear a difference from 0:50 to 1:03. At 1:04 a lot more percussion is played here, and, like the other added effects in this song, really add suspense. The percussion here gradually gets louder and even draws my attention more than the melody the strings are playing. This continues until 1:17, where there's a percussion solo lasting until 1:23. This solo transitions to a section similar to the one at 0:37, this time with some piano in the background. The bass in this section is great, and the piano does a great job to keep the suspense in the song. The piano can be louder though, especially since there isn't very much playing other than that. Everything decrescendos at 1:52, but then suddenly transitions into exactly what it was before at 1:56. The piano here does get louder and louder until 2:10, where the strings once again take over. Once again the strings here split into separate sections (depending on the sound they make respectively), and create a harmony which can easily be heard at 2:15. At 2:26 things really start to die down. At 2:29 it transitions into a dark tone equipped with low instrumentation, and low percussion. However, at 2:41 the mood calms down a little bit. At 2:48 the piano takes over everything. This entire piano section lasting from 2:48 all the way to 3:50 is awesome. The notes would switch from major to minor keys without making it sound to transitional. Everything seemed to flow here, and the strings starting at 3:00 that harmonized the melody worked out perfectly to add to the calmer mood of the song. The dynamics are also perfect; people can definitely tell the volume difference when listening to this solo, especially at around 2:59. At 3:32 the piano could have been much louder. The interlude still goes on, so the piano should finish the job by having the listener actually hear the piano being played. At 3:50, some loud percussion comes in to create the last beat of the song. It may be the end, but it completely disintegrated that calm mood with some loud percussion that nearly made me jump when it came out of no where. Then everything is quiet, and the song comes to an end.

Pros: There was a great feeling of suspense in this song, and the instrumentation was amazing. I'm glad it wasn't just strings and percussion dominating when the huge piano section kicked in at 2:48, but none the less, the strings and percussion were pretty awesome. Everything flowed perfectly, and none of the transitions were choppy. This is really a job well done.

Cons: Okay, there were unfortunately a couple of cons to go with this song. The piano could have been much louder during numerous sections, mainly at 0:37 and at 3:32 during that piano section near the ending. The ending at 3:50 I didn't like at all. That really was a bad way to end the song, especially when everything was so calm from 2:48 to 3:49. That really could have gone better.

Overall: This piece is impressive, but it could be better. For example, the ending. Beside those details though, this is definitely a piece worth listening to if a person is in the mood for something suspenseful and dark.

Rating: 9.4/10

Hello, my lycanthropic arthropods and otherwise inextricable pseudonyms. I, Reogan, have arrived to give a more Reogan-y review, as no one else here is as capable of being Reogan as I am. Odd.

A stirring from deep within the earth brushes the edge of human consciousness. Again it pulses, and a faint energy, neither electric nor chemical, grips the soul. Again it surges, stronger than before, and now a grating of the opening hell-gate begins. As infernal power ebbs and flows, the heartbeat of Man begins to speed, and the skies turn grey with terror. Across the world, not a star shines, and the sun and moon have both fled. A horrible Power, long dead, long sleeping, long damned, swells with strength, straining at Its decaying fetters.

With a terrible roar, the chains snap free from the rock, and He is free. Up from the Pit It flies, accompanied by the winged forms of creatures neither Angelic nor Human. The tunnel is long, and lit by a thousand guardian angels, whose swords glint for a moment before a fire beyond their ken quenches them. The bodies are consumed by the hoard, and only a few feathers drift, forgotten, to the ground. Above, the earth waits becalmed, unable to do anything. A faint scream grows louder as a hope never recognized fades.

Then all Hell breaks loose. The ground shatters and Legion leads his legions across the earth. Beelzebub and Asmodeus emerge nearly at once to herald the way of their Lord and Master. And then He is come. For a second, everything falls to silence, all beings immobilized by His presence. Then, with a roar beyond comprehension, he flaps his tattered wings and takes to the sky. Chaos flows from Him, and Nature herself dies. The weapons of man fail as spirits fly through their defenses and devour their souls.

A light builds beyond the clouds. Slowly, it gains strength and a single beam pierces the veil. Out of the sky stream the Host of a Lord long blasphemed by those he comes to save. Man is helpless to do aught but watch as light meets darkness above. The Lord of Shadow watches as His minions fall in hordes, while the angels lose but a handful. Above him, the two blessed generals of their Lords army direct the battle.

Suddenly, their light falls to nothing as He grabs them both from the air and devours them. A wave of Darkness floats out from him, and each angel turns black and withers beneath its oppression. He strides through the land, knocking them all from the sky, leaving his minions to devour them. The land shatters beneath his step, and nation after nation falls. Families die and their souls are snatched by darkness before salvation can be.

An arrow of silver pierces the brow of the Prince. He looks on, and out of the darkness rides a King with a blazing sword. Steel meets claw and lightning flies as the two Titans battle for the last time. First one claw-gouge, then another appears on the Savior's face, and his Foe throws him outward into the Swarm. The cloud closes about its victim, and from between the writhing bodies flows light. It grows and dims, pulsing for a minute. Mankind holds his breath.

The Light dies, and a new, maniacal fear, a hopelessness beyond thought ensnares the world. Some run screaming, others pray vainly, but their spirit is one, prostrated in the mud. Most of the demons are perished, like the Host, and the Fiend cares little for prolonging his work. All are undone by night. And the long-silent clouds above rain their tears down in mourning for their Creator. A wind blows through the broken limbs of trees, and leaves fall onto the blasted ground where Hope died.

Then, from their place of hiding, the Two chosen by the First to rebuild rise. They look about in sorrow, at what has become of their world. A glow builds behind them, and they turn to face their fate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is a post.

There will be more, but GLEE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Darklight, Chapter Three

Light is unnatural. Darkness is truth. - The Gospel of Darkness

The Luminators who fetched me from my cell were clothed in the stainless white of the Capitol. As they bundled me down the hall, I felt as though my uneven blue dress was in itself an offense against the State. Only that and my dark hair stood out from the blameless white that suffused the hallway. So perfect was the light that I couldn't tell whence it came, nor in fact where the floor ended and the wall began. It was a perfect eternity of nothing. It was a heaven.
It was my prison.
After an eternity of walking-how long were those halls?-we finally came to a door. Concealed entirely within the wall, the perfect rectangle swung out at a touch from the Luminator on my right. The room beyond was far brighter than the rest of the building, and I had to shield my eyes. Blinded, I was led to the center of the floor and left to stand.
No sound was made, but the guards were gone when I could see. In their place, a host of men and women robed in the same flawless white could be seen at the edges of the room. So intense was the color that i couldn't bear look at anything for long. Then, ahead of me, I saw him.
A shimmering Brilliance stood not twelve spans from me. A long silence passed before he spoke.
"Welcome, Glint, to the Forge of Hearth. You are charged with the crimes of murder and Darking."

Sunday, November 21, 2010


She was like a comet in the night. Blazing across the sky, she darted to and fro, dazzling sparks drifting from her like snow. To most, she would be nothing more than a blur. To the lucky, a goddess of beauty could be seen within the fire.

But even her brilliance paled next to the flaming behemoth beside her. Despite its terrifying downward velocity, the plane seemed to hang in the air, ominous and omenesque. She darted through the gash in its side into the cabin and back to the ground time and again, pulling screaming passengers to safety before they knew what happened. She was that good.

Michael was better.

His wings beat effortlessly as he darted towards her. Black against black, he was nearly invisible in the night sky. Without a sound, he drew up alongside her as she ascended. It was a half a second before she noticed him.

"What are-"

Michael smirked as the beacon plummeted to earth. He leisurely climbed up to where he would have a better view of the crash. It looked as though it might even land on the other Angel.

Then a brilliant golden flash lit the night, and Michael found himself spinning out of control.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Song of the Week 22.5: 'Black Wing Metamorphosis' by Fishy, Jillian Aversa, Sixto Sounds, Steffan Andrews, Suzumebachi, bLiNd, tefnek (redo)

Like the last .5 edition I did last week, this review is a redo of one of Met's older SotW's. This one was part of a two song edition, although I will only be looking at the second one. This is Met's SotW 5, which is called Black Wing Metamorphosis. Here's the direct link to the song also.

The beginning of the song is very electronic, and reminds me of a telephone. It's not really something I hear everyday (unless I hear a telephone ring, of course). At 0:15 more of a beat comes in with the soft sounds from before, which makes it all the better. You can clearly hear some strings at 0:26 as well. The strings here pretty much take over the melody until a brass section has possession of it at 0:31. The song sounds more orchestral than electronic now. At 0:45 the song is so intense; there's great percussion, and the choir here is absolutely awesome. At about 1:01, it almost sounds like more of a mix of electronic and orchestra. Mixes like this are amazing, by the way. At 1:11 it goes back into what it was at 0:45 however. At 1:16 there is even a small percussion solo. At 1:18 the vocal and the background sounds just make the song so eerie sounding. At 1:26 things kick back into gear with a huge amount of choir. The choir does an excellent job of keeping the intensity of this track. This section continues until around 2:07, where the brass maintains the melody. At 2:18 a bass line comes to support the brass also. At 3:00 something appears that I never would have excepted in this song: the electric guitar? Now that's what I call intensity. The guitar absolutely goes crazy here; I never would have known that would happen. At 3:16 things die down into the song's ending.

Pros: Excellent use of choir, guitar, and pretty much everything in the song. There were great transitions into each section as well.

Cons: Parts of the song weren't as interesting as others, and some of the sounds could have been louder. That's pretty much it.

Overall: This is one cool song. It could have gone better in some areas, but other than that it was a job well done.

Rating: 9.1/10

Friday, November 19, 2010

Karachay: Part 7

Tuesday, June 6th, 1967
Dear Lyov,
The condition of the farmers is slowly deteriorating here as well. I may soon be in your position, but for now I have a little time. I’ve made far too many house calls over the past few days. This is clearly not just fatigue; there is a connection here, I know it. I’ve just sent word out to the surrounding villages. If they face the same troubles that we do, then these things must be connected. In that case, we must contact the government for assistance. I do not know what this is yet, but no disease is incurable. The human race has made it thus far and I believe it will continue to weather these storms.
Mikhail sends his regards; he too is hard pressed in these troubling times. The farmers are constantly at work, trying to meet quotas while staying healthy. It doesn’t do them any good. If not for my own drinks and requests for cures I fear Mikhail would be out of business. I’ve yet to see a drink Mikhail cannot mix; his skills are invaluable to my job more than ever as of late.
Your dire situation demands some respite; I would visit you if I could. Do not take stock in superstition. These are trying times, but just because there is a question for every answer doesn’t mean it cannot be explained. Marya was a brilliant assistant, but do not make her one mistake. I miss her dearly, but even I acknowledge that she would accept the supernatural all too soon. There is a logical explanation for this; we will find it, and then we will call for help.
Take heart,