Monday, July 02, 2012

Song of the Day 34: 'Sagetellah -The One Who Waits for the Life to Come'

Sagetellah starts out by having low, complex chords play the bass and medium-low notes play the melody. So far the melody is in the warm key of A flat major. At 0:25 the bass notes smooth out into steady eighth notes, and the melody goes up an octave. At 0:36 the melody remains the same, but now a lower octave is added to the treble notes. The bass rhythm quickens into sixteenth notes as well. At 0:50 a sequence of arpeggiated chords are played. They are played in a pattern; the left chord plays, then the right, and so on. Each chord gradually builds up and becomes higher until a high, arpeggiated chord is played at 1:00. After this is heard, the high notes freely go down the scale while the bass fades out. When the notes are back in a medium pitch, there is a brief pause at 1:07. A new section will start at 1:08. What has been heard so far was the introduction to the song; the beginning of the final track of Espers. This semi-cheerful melody at the beginning of the track will actually make a person feel depressed; it is as if the album is saying, "I know that this has been a lot of fun, but all good things must come to an end and this situation is no exception." The new section at 1:08 is a little faster than the last, and it changes into the key of D flat major. It starts with a four-note pattern from the bass clef; before the melody comes in, the pattern plays by itself for two measures. The melody, consisting of very high notes, comes in at 1:15. This section here almost feels like a lullaby; that feeling is especially felt at around 1:24. At 1:35 the bass and treble rhythms drop an octave and become more complex; the bass has added notes and established deeper harmonies while the treble notes turn into chords. This same pattern continues until roughly 1:53 when the last bass note is played and held. After an intentional pause, the melody will come back in and bring back the same four-note pattern from the beginning of this section (1:08). That pattern plays alone for a while until 2:06. Here the pattern will remain the same, but this time around it plays different notes. These new notes play until a new section at 2:18 begins to play. The section just heard (1:08-2:18) is filled with happy, cheery, major notes, but I have to say that it is one of the most depressing sections of the song. Going into this section once the introduction is finished creates a melancholy mood when the notes create the opposite feeling than the type of mood that key usually makes. Speeding up the song and using those happy notes in such a way make the fact that the album is about to end sink deep inside of a person. The new section at 2:18 has the same bass line that has been playing; it is the melody that is different. The melody is a little lower than it was in the last section, and it is a little broader because of its chord complexity. It has a note range similar to that of 1:35. As the melody continues to play, the bass line will change notes to fit with the notes being played; it creates a much deeper and bolder effect on the listener. At 2:33 the melody is emphasized through it being played in very high octaves. At 2:36 the song will purposely slow down, then quickly start up again at 2:39. This part of the section here reminds me of Nick Lammertyn's 'Super Metroid Ending'; it has extended, yet simple, basslines, and a melody without any chords. There are moments in music where simplicity wins. This is one of those moments because not only is it simple and easy to learn (currently I am in the process of learning this entire song by ear), but it gives a complex appearance since it is blended together so nicely. After his part of the section, which was a quicker, simpler version of this section's melody, the bass goes back into that pattern from 1:08 at 3:00. However, in order to transition into the next section, the pattern goes minor. The new section will start at 3:10. This section (2:18-3:10) is one of the warmest sections. A person listening to this could think at this section, "Wow, hearing this album was totally worth it!" This section could lessen a person's depression. This new section at 3:10 goes into a completely different mood. The bass starts out with one notes leading into a jazzy chord. The treble notes play a simple melody followed by small, high runs. This continues, and eventually it will just be the bass with only the quick runs. This section doesn't last long though; a new section starts at 3:37. That section was one of the more unique sections of the song, and the one that is the most out of place. However, I do feel that it is a representation of a person's emotions cooling down; it (the song) seems to feel less emotional and more relaxing with its smooth jazz-like sound. The next section goes back into the similar mood (that wasn't depressing) from 2:18 at 3:37. Here the bass line does a simple, three-notes pattern while the melody plays in the middle octave. There's a slight ritardando at 3:57, but soon afterwards it picks back up again. At 4:07 the climb will halt with a very minor-sounding chord. After this chord there is a brief pause, which concludes that section. The section gives you peace and makes a person want to enjoy the album while it is still playing. The following section at 4:12 is very similar to the last in terms of the notes being played. The melody is exactly the same, but the notes are now bigger, louder, and more complex chords. The same goes for the bass line; instead of the three-note pattern being freely played, all three of those notes are placed together in even chords. This gives this part of the song a more even and intense structure. At 4:32 it slows down dramatically. The same melody and bass continues, but there are two arpeggiated chords added in to conclude the section. I believe that the purpose of this particular section was to emphasize that melody a little more than the last section did. In fact, that melody will make a return later in the song, so watch out for that. It is one of the main parts of the song, that melody is. While it is not one of my favorite sections, it does have a quasi-important role in the song as a whole. The next section of the song is one of my favorite parts of the track, mainly because it is minor. The melody, starting the section off at 4:48 is low and occasionally becomes high. The bass does a cool pattern where it plays an eighth note in the beginning of the measure and plays the other notes during the offbeats. At 5:12 the melody consists now of chords, and the bass plays even eighth notes. At 5:14 the melody goes up really high for a brief moment; I love that part. Starting at 5:24, the bass goes up the scale in eighth notes, and once it gets high enough the melody takes over. This continues to play, getting more free and less "on the beat" each time. Once the last high note is played and held at 5:46, it slowly fades, leading into the next part of the song. I believe that this is the only section with completely minor content. Because of that contrast between 4:48-5:48 and the rest of the song, I find that this section stands out fairly well. Also, I liked where this section was placed; having this minor part in the very middle of the song helped transition the song into the second half while giving something that hadn't been heard yet. This upcoming section will fro from 5:48-6:25. It starts out with two semi-high notes followed by a high note paired with a lower grace note. The same sequence will continue until about 5:58 when it slows down a little bit. At 6:00 the sequence picks up again, but the two high notes become a three-note arpeggiated chord. So far it sounds very happy and cheerful until 6:12. Here the arpeggiated chords turn into regular chords, the sequence changes its rhythm, and it goes minor. This part of the section becomes bolder at 6:18 when everything drops down an octave. At 6:25 the next section will start after a couple rounds of that minor sequence. 5:48-6:25 is the most delicate section in the song. The dynamic levels throughout it worked pretty well, especially when everything became lower. I liked how the minor part had the notes turn into straight chords; it intensified the section a lot more after all of the fluffy, ballerina-like delicateness heard previously. Remember how I said that the melody from 3:37 and 4:12 was going to return? Well here at 6:25 it appears again, this time in the key a A major. There isn't much to say about this section other than the bass plays straight eighth notes, making it different than the other basslines from previous sections with the same melody. The section will transition into the next at 6:55. This relatively short section from 6:25 to 6:55 is mainly used as a transition for what is to come. Bringing back that melody in this calm fashion really helps prepare for similar sections like this in the future. Starting at 6:55, one of the most, if not the most, intense sections of the song occurs. It starts with a crazy buildup; the treble notes go everywhere with sixteenth note runs that eventually turn into outrageously fast thirty-second note runs that lead into the melody. The bass plays a fast, low, octave trill. At 7:01, everything comes together to create the climax point of the song. The melody from 3:37, 4:12, and 6:25 is played again, but this time in loud octaves. The bass is playing fast, sixteenth note runs that go up and down the scale. The key signature remains at A major. While this is going on, I notice that the treble octaves aren't always on the exact place that they should be, even though there are sections during this part that are supposed to be slightly syncopated. Starting at 7:24, the bass makes a slower run up the scale, but instead of going down it continues to get higher and higher until 7:35. This is right before the next section is going to be played. That section (6:55-7:36) is clearly the most intense and the most difficult par of the song to play, and it's actually the only section with a buildup before it was heard. It puts even greater emphasis on that melody than the sections that had previously played that melody. This section through its climatic mesh of notes lets the listener know that it won't be long now until the song and the album are completed. The dynamics and the runs release the song's full potential and glory instead of the other sections that are not quite as dramatic. The next section at 7:36 has a similar, delicate feeling as the section at 5:48. It is the same pattern as 6:18, but it is slower and in a different minor key. At 7:54 it starts to fade out a little bit after a chord is played and held for a while. At 7:56 the song comes back, but it plays a different, higher, and more majorish melody. It plays the same thing a couple times, going down an octave and then up again after each round. After that plays four times, a couple mall, major chords transition into the next section at 8:20. This section brings a person back into that state of mental depression; the listener is suspecting that the album is almost done, which it almost is. They are correct, and they should feel sad about it. However, there is still a little more left to listen to. This next part of the song starting at 8:20 is the beginning of the end. It's warm melody, which has some pretty loud dynamics, let the listener know that this is going to be a bold and obvious conclusion. While the melody is playing, the bass plays even, jazzy chords in quarter note form. Starting at 8:33, the melody simplifies and becomes single notes (instead of chords) playing it. At 8:51 the bass plays the same rhythm as the melody and harmonizes with it until the next section begins at 8:59. This section have a sense of unexplainable nostalgia. Seriously, after listening to the song a couple times I could not find that melody anywhere before 8:20 even though I thought that I had heard it before. The conclusion is upon us now. The next section at 8:59 to 9:27 has the exact same melody filled with nostalgia as 8:20, but it is played differently. This interpretation of that melody is played more freely, and it doesn't have an exact tempo. The bass is also now playing quick runs while the melody (now in simple octaves) plays. The melody is especially interpreted differently at 9:13 when both hands briefly play the melody in triplets. Starting at 9:20, the song will slow down even further and prepares itself for the next and final section of the song. This section was used as a way to get from point A to point B: Point A is the last nine minutes of music that sort of represent a long goodbye, while point B is the last thirty seconds of the song that make the ending of the song official. At 9:27, the end of the song arrives. To finish it, the song brings back the bass pattern all the way back from 1:08. However, it is much slower this time, and it is one octave lower. It brings back some nostalgia of the beginning of the song, which hadn't been heard since then. This slow rhythm will get slower and slower until 9:43. Here one grand, arpeggiated chord is played and held. The song is now complete, and Espers comes to a close.

Pros: The sections of this song had something new to offer every single time. Even if there were the same melodies, they were played in different styles. There was a good balance of major and minor content, enough to have the majority of listeners feel satisfied no matter which they prefer. Meteo Xavier presented his conclusion to Espers in such a way that made the listener feel and understand a plethora of emotions. Brilliant.

Cons: There weren't too many problems I had with the piece. I did notice some uncleanliness when it came to those massive chords, especially at the section starting at 4:12. Some of the transitions seemed slightly out of place, like the transition from the section at 3:10 to the one at 3:37 for example. Honestly those were the only negative comments I have about the track.

Overall: This is a fantastic conclusion to Espers. The change of sound to a solo piano piece after the previous tracks creates a great and heartwarming ending. All the content in the song was unique. Michael Huang did a beautiful job playing this, and the song had almost everything that a conclusion to an album should have. Everything worked out perfectly in the end.

Rating: 10/10 (This is the first song that has ever received a perfect score. It deserves it.)

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