Monday, October 28, 2013

I search out the light

Think outside the box.

Also, PrimBay is on its way. As of now the categories are publically viewable; if you see anything that desperately needs to be there, IM Casper Warden or Sphynx Soliel (honestly, Sphynx is generally easier to get ahold of, but seriously, either one will do) and chime in. This is Casper's attempt at making a functional, basic Marketplace that actually works and tracks sales for merchants...as opposed to the Marketplace we have now, that doesn't.

Three days to go before the veils thin to translucency, and this year, instead of feeling the pull of the wild winds, I just want to stay indoors, and pile blankets on my head, and cuddle with soft things that can't hurt me. (Which, technically, is an impossibility in my abode, because seriously, the amount of sewing needles and straight pins I've put into stuffed animals "just for now" and found later inadvertently...it's psychotically high, is what I'm saying. Anyway.)

Normally, the beginning of October rolls around and I start collating songs on a theme. One year it was classic spooky songs, one year it was harvest songs--that was a hard year; two years ago, I think, it was songs that got under my skin and dug into viscera, and okay, fine, never doing that again. This year...well, who's surprised, really?

(from the dolly album, because where else would I put it?)

My theme seemed to be broken dolls.



So let's talk about ∆AIMON, which is a name that may not translate well to all browsers. The "∆" before the A is apparently deliberate; they have a long and interesting explanation as to why they chose that spelling, and what it means to them, but mainly, I found this song while wandering the darker reaches of YouTube searching for something else entirely. I actually found this video first, which uses images from Twin Peaks, an obsession of the band, to illustrate its major themes:
into the night
I cry out
I cry out your name...
into the night
I search out
I search out the light...
Apparently, ∆AIMON is part of a new (to me) musical style called "witch house", which I'm not entirely sure--even after reading that Wiki article--actually exists. Especially as it seems to trade heavily on one thing I absolutely, absolutely loathe to my core in SL--namely, the use of Unicode symbols in words.

Which is why I cringe at recommending ∆AIMON, because, look at the name...but I really, really like this song.

You can find them on Facebook and Soundcloud.

From there I started finding a lot of tinkly, broken-music-box pieces, and I'm going to link a few of them here.



Nox Arcana is a darkambient, gothic band headed by gothic fantasy artist Joseph Vargo. He and fellow musician William Piotrowski have been quietly putting albums out since 2003, and at this point, they've gained equal acclaim in several areas to become a name alongside Midnight Syndicate (and personally, I think they're better).



This one was hard to track down, because a friend sent it to me under the title "Unknown (Kouri_Sen)". In actuality, this is Kouri Kuchiniwa's "Furui Ningyou", or "Old Puppet" piece, written for the horror game Ib. It's a haunting little broken-notes piece, and it fits stunningly well with everything else.



This is Kanon Wakeshima's "Still Doll (Music Box Version)", which was the first version I heard when searching for similar-sounding pieces a couple weeks back. Turns out it's actually an actual song with lyrics:
What kind of dreams
Hi, Miss Alice, do you see
with your eyes of glass?
do they fascinate you?

again, my heart is torn
and bleeding
I mend it but
my memories pierce the openings
Kanon began learning cello at the age of three, and by fifteen, was performing in her high school's baroque quartet. Initially discovered and produced by Mana (if you don't know, Mana is the one in blue in the photograph), she's since transited to a successful career as a recording artist. This particular song was used as the ending theme for the first season of Vampire Knight, which is not where I first heard it, but it does make me tempted to watch the anime.

You can find her on Facebook and MySpace.



And I'm going to end the music-box section of things with Philip Glass, and the piece he wrote for "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candyman_(film)", simply titlted "Music Box".



Crystal Castles is a strange band. Formed almost by accident--or accidentally via subterfuge--in 2005, the first "officially" released single was released without the permission, or even the knowledge, of the lead singer of the band. And while most of their music is intensely chaotic, driven, and deafening, this particular song is reflective, ethereal, and haunting.
mercy, we abstain
hope you're entertained
snow covers the stain...

foray forever
foray forever
foray forever
foray forever...

taught them with solace
they know a soft caress
to lower their defense

hide all that you could
done for the greater good
it's later understood...
You can find them on Facebook, Tumblr, and their own site.



This is actually not an officially released song; Fisher wanted to record and release this song, using their music and vocals but taken from a Sylvia Plath poem called "Mad Girl's Love Song". Unfortunately, they couldn't get permission from the Plath estate; finally, they used the music they'd written for this piece and composed different lyrics for it; it's on the Lovely Years CD.
I close my eyes and all the world drops dead
I lift my lids and all is born again
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red
as all my darkness gathers in

I close my eyes, the world drops dead
I think I made you up inside my head
Inside my head...
You can find out more about them on their website.



Finally, this isn't techincally a Halloween song, but it has power, and it speaks to some of what I'm going through (from a different direction) right now, so it's in the mix with the rest. It has a rather odd not-quite-backstory, too, which is worth explaining (at the first link below).
it sucks when for a little kid living means lying
and the only place you feel safe is pretending you're flying
and you'd rather be caught dead than be caught crying
will you hold my hand?
This video, a live performance from Santa Cruz, California, in 2009, has more of the background behind the song--while it was written long before the events she speaks of, she still sings this song in tribute of these children. Plus, Ms. Dawson was raised partially in the social service system, and knows well its flaws and failures first-hand.

As of this date, I can't find any information newer than 2009 but there is a blog dated 2008 that has a whole bunch of contact info for both Oregon and Virginia, if you want to find out more directly what's happening from the participants involved.

Happy Halloween.

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