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Carreg Ddu - Rusalka

Started by dacook, Sat, 2011-11-26, 10:09:08

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In the thread on Keyboard Rigs, I generated some interest in my original music project, and I said I'd post a temporary link to our Magnum Opus, Rusalka, which weighs in at about 26 minutes long :o at least this link will be available for a little while, for people to have a listen.

As I mentioned in the other thread, when I finished some of the darker sections of it, I noticed that there were a few Arena influences in there: you know, slow arpeggios over minor/diminished progressions. ;) So I thought that some people over here might be interested in what we are doing.

So here it is, at least for a little while. The shorter demo on will always be available.

Carreg Ddu is an original project between myself and Carol Davies, and is intended to be a project with Welsh, Celtic, Ambient and Progressive influences. The song writing and recording has been three years in the making (other projects and life in general has made it a slow burn project), but we now have about two hours of music, so are planning to promote it a little more now and also start doing some gigs to test the waters.

Story behind Rusalka (cut and pasted from our website)

Our new song is based on the Book "Rusalka" by C.J. Cherryh, which itself is rooted in Russian Folklore.

In Russian Folklore (or Slavic Folklore in general), a Rusalka is an unquiet dead being, and typically is the soul of a drowned girl who has died violently before their time, and who must live out her designated time on earth as a spirit.

In the book that inspired us to write the song, the daughter of a Wizard, who both live deep in a forest in an old Fisherman's cottage, has been drowned by another Slavic folklore creature that dwells by the river, the shape shifting Vodjanoi. The Vodjanoi often appears as a traveller to trap unwary people and lure them to water whereupon he will turn into his snake based river form and drown them.

This is what happens to the Wizard's daughter, Eveshka, who is a young woman and a strong willed young lady who doesn't always bend to her father's will. One day she goes down by the river when she shouldn't, despite being told to stay away from the water. She is caught by the Vodjanoi and drowned, and she then becomes a Rusalka, a fearsome and anguished spirit who is clinging so strongly onto life that she sucks the life out of the forest, taking energy from living things to stay alive. Only one tree remains alive which is the willow tree under which the Vodjanoi has his lair and where he has cast her bones. The Wizard is trying to find the lair so that he can conjure his daughter back to life.

In the book, the magic of Wizards is based on being able to wish for things and to make them happen. The moral of the book, amongst other things, is to be careful what you wish for as you don't always get what you want, and wishes upon wishes can compound the issue. The twist in the tale is that when the Wizard first wishes his daughter back to life, he doesn't get her, but an apparition made by the Vodjanoi from mud and weeds, not flesh and bone. This is because the Wizard wishes for the perfect daughter that he wanted, not the head strong one that he had!

The song has many shifts of moods and perspectives, but I like that in a song, I think you'll spot the shifts, apart from may be one between parts 4 and 5, which is a bit sudden (I think I need a link here), but it's where the drums kick in.

Part 1) Prelude - introducing the idea of a dead forest
Part 2) The Daughter is drowned
Part 3) The forest fades as the Rusalka drains the life from the forest
Part 3) The Wizard Reminisces about his lost daughter
Part 4) The Daughter's tale as an unquiet dead spirit (slow and moody!)
Part 5) The Battle between the Wizard and the Vodjanoi with the twist of the wizard not getting quite what he expected first of all
Part 6) (Instrumental) the forest comes back to life
Part 7) A celebration of the cycle of life and whilst the forest passes into winter, it's not dead.

The song uses pretty much all of my hardware and software synths and has really taxed my recording system in the number of tracks and effects! All guitar sounds are from my Line 6 Variax

So see what you think.

As mentioned, I will leave the link to the complete song here for a little while before reverting to a cut down demo version link, as at some point we would like to be selling this material.

Derek Cook