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longing (or, wedding song to a broken soul)

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This is my submission to the inaugural Newgrounds Video Game Music Challenge, under the "Virtual Bond" prompt by @Mutty99 -- a prompt which I chose because it felt like home territory for me.


This is also a song that is very special to me for a plethora of reasons.


This song -- these chords, this full melody, and certainly the first couple lines of the chorus -- were in my head since I was 15 years old, but I never was able to fully realise what I was imagining in my head, until this very day. I couldn't settle on a style, and I couldn't settle on lyrics.


2015 came, and the full lyrics to the chorus came to me, but that was it. I put down a fragment, which you can access on the sidebar to your left (or below if you're on mobile). But no verses. At the time, it was meant to be a demonstration of a lyrical theme song for a game developer friend, @CartoonCoffee, who had planned a video game called Eden. I don't know what has become of the project, but it appears that he is doing well with a recent Steam release.


I figured that if the lyrics did finally come to me, they would be for something special.


Then @Everratic announced the very first NGVGMC in November 2020, and I was swamped with this, and that, and the other. Between game jams, funerals, Christmas Masses, and carol services, I was up to here *points at forehead* with things. I was also very depressed and I struggled to get some words down. In the beginning stages of my participation in the NGVGMC, words were all I had.


But then the words began to take form as part of a song I never thought I'd hear again. This is the result. I felt heartened to hear that previous unfinished ideas could be brought to completion for the purposes of this challenge, so I figured that the time had indeed finally come.


The lyrics were written from the point of view of my beloved Seán, whom I am happily engaged to. I imagined that these would be the feelings he would express to me after our years-long ordeal fighting off institutional racism and xenophobia from the Home Office, should it ever come to an end. So many years of enduring this, after enduring all sorts of abuse in the land of my birth, have led me to this feeling of desperation, bleakness, and I imagine him singing these words to me.


So I sang these words with every bit of emotion I could muster. Pitch be damned. I felt myself quivering.


Incidentally, if a game should ever be made about these matters of which I speak, I would love for this to be the credits theme to that game, just as the prompt asks.


Also incidentally, January 2011 (date unknown) was roundabout the time I picked up demo FL Studio 9 for the first time and got into music production; I now celebrate ten years of music production and FL usage.


--------


LYRICS


Hide nothing from me:

have the years of constant pain and silent tears

made this flower fade?

Are you pushing me away?

 

Hide nothing from me:

are you screaming out my name in the night-time?

Are you running from the storm?

Are you pushing me away?


CHORUS:

How many times do I have to say that I love you,

how many times do I have to say

that I don't want you to go away?

Can you read me?

Can you hear me calling?

How many times do I have to say that I need you to stay—

 

Hide nothing from me:

do you feel your life being taken from beneath your feet;

and when you see my face,

do you see your stolen days? (C)

 

Let me break down the walls

that stand guard for your heart,

that I may be yours till my life is o'er...

Let me dry every tear

that should roll down your face;

let me carry you home. (C)


-------


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Newgrounds VGM Challenge - Virtual Bond: Review

500TH Audio Review!

I was looking forward to the take you'd take on this prompt, and golly, the wait paid off!
First of all, I'm a big fan of ambient beginnings; wind at the beginning, instruments starting to play in the background, feels everywhere. That kind of setting, practically; nice start.

The piano pattern you chose in the first minute is a bit strange on its own without the lower notes that come later on to back it up, but it's still a well-concepted "structural" melody which captures the listener's attention in a good way.

I love 1:48 - 2:14. Outstanding build-up, for me the section that has the strongest connection to what I was looking for when I wrote the script for the challenge: the feelings are all there, and the section passed by leaving a smile on me :)

Lyrics are built carefully as well, since they resonate with the piece pretty well; did you take some inspirational drive by Dearly Beloved? Because I can sense some emotional resemblance here and there. Either way, very solid structure.
The context behind them, as well... Only respect for your man, nothing else to say.

If someone is concerned about the lack of "battling" and action in this track: Virtual Bond can be interpreted in more ways than one. Not all bonds are built equal; there may have been a struggle not described by this piece, or there may have not. Only the composer can tell, me and you listeners can only build our own image of this experience.

This is by far the track that has come the closest to my original challenge idea: being treated as a credits theme helps to better understand the concept of this submission, too.
Spot on!

Thanks for participating!

Troisnyx responds:

Thank you so much for that outpouring! 😮💖 That is so kind of you.

In response to your question regarding the lyrics, I didn't think about Dearly Beloved to be honest. When I came up with the melody nearly half my life ago I came up with the first line of the chorus back then, and so my thoughts uniquely focused on how to make a memorable song that stays in the heart and gets people singing.

The second set of lyrics was the full chorus, and I think I was driven by the sight of a relationship depicted in an indie game in development.

The final set was directly influenced by any emotional, mental and humanitarian turmoil we're currently undergoing. I feel that any influence taken from Dearly Beloved may have been subconscious, if at all there — after all, it's one of those soundtracks that shaped my understanding of VGM in general, as I heard it plenty during my formative years.

Great work!!

Great song, very impressive vocals, I especially love the multiple voices! I also like the piano, strings and the oboe(?) and how the arrangement builds up.
Now you already know that this is a very good song, I will still mention some points that could be improved in my opinion - mainly two things.There is a low (strings?) pad in the chorus that plays somewhat rhythmically... I personally don't really like that, since there seems to be a kind of hole in the sound whenever it changes notes, which sounds a bit hectic to me. I'd like something with a more sustained sound better here...
The second point is about mixing: I'm not sure about the dynamic range of the vocals, I think they could be a little louder in the quiet parts, or a little more quiet in the chorus - especially since they kind of overpower most of the other instruments there. Sometimes I can hear that there is a really nice composition going on behind the vocals, but sometimes it's difficult to hear what is happening behind them.
Keep up the great work!

Troisnyx responds:

Thanks for the thorough review! ☺️

Stylistically, I wanted to let it tread a happy balance somewhere between popular music and full-on orchestration, a happy balance that I can't quite seem to find. Plus the fact that I can only manage freebies and software defaults, and it shows. With the sounds I have, I do my utmost.

Re: vocal volume, I've never really known how to balance them — I don't know what fits a song at any given time. I would be grateful for any help or pointers you can give.

Very nice arrangement, I love how much is going on with the vocals throughout this one

just lovely vocal arrangement!

Credits & Info

Troisnyx
Author

Listens
2,672
Faves:
24
Votes
47
Score
4.42 / 5.00

Uploaded
Jan 21, 2021
7:39 PM EST
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
7.4 MB
6 min 12 sec
Software
  • Audacity
  • Sytrus
  • Flex
  • FL Studio 20
Hardware
  • Scarlett 2i2
Misc. Kit
  • Samson R21S
  • TX16Wx
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover

Licensing Terms

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