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when all the conscripts go to bed


Author Comments

Today's prompt is "devotion."

This piece actually dates back to 2009, after I returned from conscription in the country of my birth. The 2009 version, which to my understanding, no longer exists, was one of the few examples of VGM attempts that I recorded in poor quality AMR on my phone and shared with people who were willing to give me a chance -- because most laughed off my ability to actually make music, let alone video game music.

I borrowed some influence from my surroundings at the time -- as a result, there is some use of pentatonic scales. Some of them have Chinese influence, others were influenced by gamelan scales.

Back then, my experience of conscription was traumatising and not long from then, I would experience a slew of nightmares of that experience over the years. But I only knew about musical tonality -- I didn't have an iota of knowledge about using a DAW; I certainly didn't know what a DAW was, and wouldn't know till a year and a half from then. I also knew very little about emotional literacy in music, and I didn't know the word "empathy," as it was not a concept really talked about where I grew up.

Fast forward to 2021: I reworked this piece, and did more than just the piano. I gave it some orchestration.

I drew from that time in 2009 when lights had to be out at 23:00 local time each night. A little bit of chatter would take place, but not much, since we had to be up at 04:00 or 05:00 in the morning to get ourselves showered and ready, since the morning report was at 06:30 and there would be moderate to severe repercussions for anyone who didn't turn up on time.

Lights out provided quality time for me to pray -- and so I prayed for my safety, I prayed for wisdom to see what was going on, I prayed for insight into what sort of corruption was rife and what indoctrination I and others received. By that time, I was the only practising Catholic left in my family -- the others had fallen away and had tried repeatedly to take me with them, so I also prayed for the strength to persevere.

Because, you see, I attended many parishes in that city where I grew up. One of them will forever remain in my memory as the home parish of the very first casualty of national service -- one of many peacetime casualties that resulted from abuse, food poisoning, and/or general neglect. I have not forgotten. I will not forget. The country of my birth is not about to be embroiled in a war anytime soon, and neither was it ever going to be embroiled in a war when national service ran. It was all about control and subjugation, and some teenagers -- mere teenagers! -- paid the ultimate price for the sake of other people's desire to control and subjugate. I prayed that I might not end up like one of them.

Evidently I didn't, because I live to tell the story.

This tender song was meant to express many emotions and many pleas through the simple whispers of a girl in a military base after lights out, who hoped that her prayer might rise to the heavens and be heard and answered. I hope this intention shines through now.

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Very calming. Has a lot of great atmosphere. I could imagine this taking place in some remote town somewhere.

Sad.... my conscription didn't sound or feel this nice and relaxing...

Troisnyx responds:

I hear you. Neither did mine, but I have a tendency to transform things like these into pieces that show moments of light.

Wonderful melody from front to back, beautifully orchestrated! The harp and piano create a really great texture together throughout.

Troisnyx responds:

Thank you, that is very kind of you to say. ❤️

Very sweet and evocative. Encapsulates the feeling of having faith and believing in something when all other hope is lost. Well done, I hope you're doing better after your experience

Troisnyx responds:

I am a bit better in that I am in better surroundings, but I'm not out of the woods yet.

Thank you for the thoughtful words; it heartens me to hear you picked up on those emotions in the piece. ❤️

Credits & Info


4.65 / 5.00

Mar 11, 2021
4:43 PM EST
File Info
4.5 MB
3 min 16 sec
  • VSCO 2
  • Flex
  • FL Studio 20
Misc. Kit
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover

Licensing Terms

You may not use this work for any purposes.