Music score for Eclipse

StephenHaving posted the scores for Down (from Chapter 2) and Gretel’s Lullaby (Chapter 3), I present the score for Eclipse (also Chapter 3). Eclipse is the song that Stephen Maclean’s band is playing in the Bourke Street Mall when Steve Borman first encounters him.

It’s a song about the darkness we can carry inside us – how it can give us strength when we are driven to extremes, but how dangerous it can be. If we’re lucky, we’ll never need to draw on such dark things to protect ourselves.

Eclipse_A_Maj

 

It’s mean to be a bit of a hard rocker, with lots of electric guitar and drums. Imagining something like Shinedown would do the trick nicely.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or read the first three chapters at Read the Book.

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Music and harmonies for Gretel’s Lullaby

The writing of Gretel’s lullaby happened before I’d even started the first chapter, while I was still working out the shape of the story and plotting it out. I’m glad I wrote it early on as it influences a lot of how the plot evolved.

It’s meant to be a song for two male voices – Gretel’s two daddies – but I only had the one melody line originally. In playing with the Finale program, I finally had a go at producing a harmony for it as well.

The idea of the lyric is that Alex and Kurt want strength, courage and independence for their daughter, though naturally they want to protect her too. A lullaby is meant to be soothing and easy to sing, too, so I hope I achieved that with both the melody and harmony lines.

Here is the score:

Gretel_39_s_Lullaby_HarmoniesOf course, now I know more about how Finale works, I should probably re-do the whole thing with the correct notation that the whole thing’s in the key of F, instead of marking each B Flat separately.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or read the first three chapters at Read the Book.

Finale notebook and the musical score for Down

YukaIt was probably mighty ambitious of me to start writing a book which had a song in every chapter. I’m a writer of prose. I used to play the piano, around thirty years ago, but I let that slide and those skills turn to rust as I pursued my writing. There are only so many hours in the day, after all.

But write a book fulll of songs I did, and when I wrote the songs, I did it by making and melodies and singing them into a microphone, so that I had rhythm and structure to make the songs sound like songs and not poems.

And then I realised I had no idea how to score them. To write the notes down in a way that someone else could see what I’ve done.

Well, after months and months of looking for someone to help me with this, one of my brothers actually mentioned a program called Finale. I actually located the free version of it, called Finale Notebook, and at last I’m getting the songs written down in musical notation.

It’s taking a while. I have to do it manually. I achieve this my playing my recordings, using the piano function on the GarageBand app on my ipad, then putting the notes in to the program. Then I have to fiddle about with note lengths, rests and so on to get the basics down.

There’s a lot I still don’t know, but I’m fairly happy with the results – and I plan to share them here for anyone interested in hearing what the songs sound like.

The song melodies and lyrics remain copyright to me (and to Jess Harris where that’s appropriate) but if you feel like playing with the songs, I’d love to hear the result!

In that spirit, here first of all is the very simple song from Chapter Two – Down – which Yuka sings a-capella, keeping rhythm with her drumsticks on the ground, to quieten the restless dead under the Victoria Markets.

Down

I haven’t yet worked out how to mark tempo in this program, but the idea is for the song to have ta rhythm like a heartbeat that gradually slows down to a stop. I’ll link to the instrumental version that Finale Notebook created, the vocal I originally did and a PDF of the score.

And if you’re experimenting with music yourself, you can download the free Finale Notepad!

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or read the first three chapters at Read the Book.

The Halloween Playlist (and some bones to munch)

__halloween-recipes-20 NQN

Poisoned Toffee Apples by Not Quite Nigella

Happy Halloween, one and all! (If you don’t do the Halloween thing – that’s fine, obviously, but what the hell: why not watch a trashy horror flick anyway? Something like Ginger Snaps; or mainline some eps of Supernatural. You know you want to.)

As for the rest of us: whether you celebrate the event US style with trick-or-treating, Samhain-style with pagan ritual, movie-buff style with a horror film marathon, or just think it’s a great excuse for a party, have a fabulously spooky day/night.

If you’re having a party and looking for some last minute ideas, I can highly recommend Not Quite Nigella’s food blog. She has a recipe for Snow White’s Poisoned Candy Apples, meringue bones, beating heart cupcakes and skull sugar cubes (not to mention the Misfortune Cookies and the Jack Skellington cupcakes!)

Now the food is sorted, what about a playlist? I’ve written about my favourite vampire songs before, but what about the songs about witches, ghosts and werewolves?

Well, here are a few tracks to get you started.

If you want to kick off with something a bit more mellow, there’s Australian band The Devoted Few with Baby, You’re a Vampire, with it’s mesmerising 3/4 beat.

Another waltz-time song that always makes me feel a bit weepy, tell the truth, is Anna Rose by J Minus. I’m not sure it’s strictly a song about a ghost, but it gives me that feeling – a lost love that comes to dance with his girl in her dreams. It’s certainly a haunting of sorts. Here’s a cute fan video I found for it.

 

While we’re on the Halloween Love Song theme, Short Stack says I’ll Be Your Werewolf.

And if you’re really sick of all those sweet, loving monster songs, I hear you – so have a dose of Avenged Sevenfold and their zombie song Not Ready to Die.

If you’d like to end on a more thoughtful but no less creepy mood, I’d suggest Lemon Jelly’s Experiment Number Six. This fanvid uses some great imagery.


Of course, there’s always Spirit Got Lost by Mental As Anything if you want to perk things up a bit. I can’t find a version of the original clip, which was full of skeletons dancing, to embed, but it lives over here. In the meantime, the song:


So there’s a list to kickstart your Halloween playlist. What monsters have I missed (well, I know Frankenstein’s monster isn’t there) and can you suggest songs for them?

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or read the first three chapters at Read the Book.

Song: Afraid of the Dark

Sal

Sal D’Souza. Art by Nath Holden

Sal’s song from Chapter 11 part 1 is ‘Afraid of the Dark’, and I originally wrote both words and music in 1986 for a Blake’s 7 filktape I did with a Canberra fan and musician, Fiona Undy (now Fiona Johnson).

Filk, for those who don’t know the jargon, is a typo of ‘folk’ dating back to early fandom and relates to the songs people wrote inspired by TV shows, books and films they loved. Many are based on existing melodies (especially folk tunes) but other filksong practitioners wrote original music too.

Professional musicians do it too, actually, only it’s not called filk when they do it. Think Charlotte Sometimes by the Cure, Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground, Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and The Alan Parsons Project’s entire Tales of Mystery and Imagination album, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.

Anyway, I wrote lyrics back then for a bunch of songs and the music was mostly written by Fiona, with some done by her brother Cameron (and one where we used the melody of My Favourite Things by Rodgers and Hammerstein).

But Afraid of the Dark I wrote myself, words and music. This is what I wrote about the original inspiration for the lyric:

“The Blake we saw in the episode Blake was, I always felt, a much darker and more bitter person than the man we’d met in The Way Back. Ending with a song about Blake seemed a nice, circular way to complete the tape and thematically it continued on from Prometheus Unbound. The melody line came to me in a haunting moment one afternoon, and the lyrics followed easily on.”

Here’s a link to an old webpage about the project: Voices from the Past

And here’s a link to the song as performed on that album in a wav file: Fiona plays the guitar and the vocal is by Susan Lake.

Afraid of the Dark (.wav)

When I was working on songs for this chapter, I remembered this old one and thought it fitted Sal’s state of mind well, and since it began as Kurt’s song, it gave a hint of the darkness Kurt was capable of even before he became a vampire.

Sal, of course, has a much deeper voice than Sue. 🙂

Do you have any favourite songs based on literature or other pop culture? Share the cross-referenced pop culture joy!

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

Songs: Bury My Heart by Narrelle M Harris and Jess Harris

Alex sings only the chorus of this song in Chapter Six, which he wrote some years before for his boyfriend, Kurt. Here’s the song in full.

 

I’m running untethered
Across the planet’s skin
Fighting to keep all the
Demons in
My friends at my back
My love by my side
I’ll fight the good fight
Till the devils or I
Have died

My voice is my armour,
Blade and shield
These words, these tones
Are a weapon I wield
They herald our war
Lament what we’ve lost
And they give comfort
When we count
The cost

And we have no home
But the places we stay
Anchored awhile
And we sleep where we may
Our burdens are heavy
And the light is grey
So when the end comes
my home
Is wherever
you bury my heart.
wherever
you bury my heart.

Know that while it beats, this vital organ,
Every breath that inhales oxygen,
And blood I shed, it’s all for you
Bury my heart when I’m dead and done
My soul is yours and it lives on
It lives on

And we have no home
But the places we stay
Anchored awhile
And we sleep where we may
Our burdens are heavy
And the light is grey
When the end comes my home
Is wherever you bury my heart.
wherever you bury my heart.

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.