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The Dying of the Light

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Music from the game "Pause Ahead" by askiisoft.

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So gentle and soothing. Thing song has some beautiful melodies that create a heavenly aura. There are also numerous repeating motifs, which kind of make it sound like a canon. (Canon in C?)

Musical analysis time!

The song is in 4/4 and possibly in the key of C.

The piece begins with electronic drums and a dreamy bell instrument(s). There may actually be two dreamy bell instruments though. They play at slightly different pitches. One bell carries the lead melody while the other seems to provide a sort of counter-melody. The counter-melody dreamy bell is less prominent and plays at a slightly lower pitch.
The electronic drums have a constant rhythm for each bar with the bass hitting at beat number 1 and snare at beat number 3. It only stays in the piece for 5 bars.

At bar 4 an atmospheric instrument which sounds like electronic strings fades in and plays sustained chords in semibreves or minims (e.g. bar 8).

At bar 5 electronic bass could be heard. Additionally the motif has undergone a variation and the lead bells are now playing arpeggios for each bar beginning with two repetitions of an ascending C chord arpeggio, then moving down to two repetitions of an ascending Bb chord arpeggio, followed by two repetitions of a descending F chord arpeggio (however it seems that it starts at A instead of F such that the descending arpeggio is A-F-C-A), and then finishing with two repetitions of a descending Fm chord arpeggio (this one starts at Ab such that the descending arpeggio is Ab-F-C-Ab).

At bar 6 the electronic drum has become softer and at bar 7 it completely disappears.

At bar 9 another instrument is introduced, this time a rougher-sounding instrument, which despite that fact is not abrasive or disruptive to the melodic harmony. It actually complements the motif of the dreamy bells. It recreates the lead melody played by the lead bells in bars 1-8.

At bar 13, the same arpeggios as the ones present in bar 5 start playing. However it seems that the note lengths are now shorter. The arpeggios now use semiquavers instead of quavers and it appears that there are now 4 repetitions in each bar.

At bar 15 the tempo gradually slows down and the piece ends after the last note is hit at the end of bar 16.

I noticed that your piece was kind of split into two segments. The first segment was from bars 1-8 where the dreamy bells took the lead. The introduction of the new synth instrument in bar 9 marked the beginning of a new segment, although the new segment was just a reimagining of the first segment, so it's more of a resegment than a new segment.
You structured this piece really well, I like how you reintroduce ideas and made them grow. This might sound weird but your song sounds like a flower!
I guess the structure of this piece just reflects the themes of the music well. "The Dying of the Light" could be symbolic of a transition from death to life. Not talking about afterlife here or anything of that sort. It is a well known fact that energy cannot be created nor destroyed and in the death of one being, another is given life (e.g. plants from dead things). Likewise, from the "dying of the light" comes the possibility of new light being born. This musical piece is a rather nice rendition of that concept. The resegmenting of the first musical segment in this piece is representative of transition from one form of being to another. Just like how atoms reconstitute themselves into another thing after something has died so does this piece of music reconstitute the original motif into something a little bit different.
This music fits Pause Ahead really well. The main character struggled with problems involving freewill and whatnot, but after they have defeated the boss and kicked the boss' lights out they were able to birth their own light both metaphorically and literally. Even at the end of the game there was a crack of light representing the player's freedom. It's probably not a coincidence.
Anyway, I hope this review was helpful!

Sorry if I kind of exposed the secrets of your music (or if I got anything incorrect and you're annoyed that I did). It's just a really nice piece so I just had to do analyse it. I just really had to find out how it worked and how it fitted conceptually with the game. :p

tl;dr: the music is awesome!

Billtron209 responds:

Oh man! This is the most in-depth thing ever!

I'm really glad you like it! It was one of my favorites from this soundtrack, and I always hoped it would be a nice little treat for people who stuck it out and beat that insane boss.

I think you understand this song far more than I ever did.


this is a really good song and it fits great to play end. keep it up!

Billtron209 responds:

Thanks man!

Credits & Info


3.32 / 5.00

Nov 22, 2013
5:14 PM EST
Video Game
File Info
2.8 MB
1 min 13 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.