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musings of the enigmatic

September 18, 2008

“ramblings of the heart”: music

Filed under: Other — thenightsshadow @ 10:10 pm

I don’t know when it really started. It might have been my violin lessons when I was three. It might have been my aversion to what I deemed “secular” music, which started at age seven. It might have been my inconclusiveness to deciding what band instrument to play at age ten. Or perhaps it might have been when I got into anime just at the age of thirteen. Either way, I have an ability to be able to sense many things about people by analyzing their music.

I don’t use this on real people, though. It’s too boring, and I absolutely dislike music in which I can understand the lyrics (especially if the lyrics are not in tune with what I believe). Anime music seemed to be a proper hit to this ballpark.

(There are Macross F spoilers listed below.)

When you consider the intricacies of music, you have to wonder how it is possible how it as an art form was ever devised. Its ability to say exactly what you are thinking, feeling, and wanting to do without changing the song you’re singing speaks volumes about the many hidden branches that many of us don’t want to ever get into.

As an example, I gave a friend of mine this link as well as the long version of the song. I had her listen to the song first, then watch the video. Her response to it was what you would expect from a natural person: simple.
“It’s interesting…reminds me of some of the songs that Lia did. I actually like Lia a lot.
I think i could see this being the opening to an action/mecha song…but with a touch of nostalgia. XD”

I, on the other hand, had a different pattern of thinking. As I demonstrated before, I have that ability, but this is how I express that ability in words.
“Here’s my thoughts on it:
The song definitely has a flow, something that is usually missing in action animes. Flow songs usually depict that the series is a romance, relationship, or slice-of-life. The latter isn’t possible because there’s a slight sense of urgency, and while you can feel the tempo urging you along to strive to be better, it’s only a minor pulse, but its strength is best felt after it hasn’t been listened to in a while.” I cut it there for the sake of space, but this is the kind of language I understand from it, and I’m certain I haven’t even cracked all of the surface’s layers.

Another example I did right after with my friend is Macross Frontier’s two Openings, found here and here. I also supplied the music, but this time, for an experiment, there was a catch: I had never heard the music before.

Now, before I get down to it, there’s something I should tell you. I haven’t ever found an exception to this rule about 2-OP series:

The first OP is what the series stands for and what it’s about. It also reveals what’s going to happen in the final episode. The second OP, on the other hand, emphasizes the main point of the current (and if there’s one more, subsequent) arc, and draws it out so that the viewers will be drawn to the conflict, rather than the spoiler produced by the first OP.

With that in mind, this was her analysis for the first song:
“Maaya Sakamoto! I can recognize her voice. :) I’m a Maaya Sakamoto fan. XD
Though, I’m not sure which series this song would be.
It’s probably shoujo. ^^
And probably an ending theme.”

I popped in to say “They’re all opening themes.”

“really? There’s something about it that sounds like it could be for an ending theme. I think most opening themes are more upbeat.
Are you familiar with the opening theme to Oh My Goddess, by Ishida Yoko? I get the same feeling listening to this song as I do that one.”

Mine differed again:
“This is from a Mecha show? Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised. Heavy Action shows like this one typically have two styles: subtle force and very direct force. This one is of the former variety. and now you can hear cute little Ranka too.
To be honest, I kind of feel that the style here represents some sort of romantic triangle, though you can’t easily tell from the music itself. You need to listen to the voices in this one, and especially the clashing between the supposed voices of Ranka and Sheryl. And because of the style’s strength, subtle force will be the way the winner wins. And it’s not who you’re thinking of.”

The second song had a similar result:
“The last song is kind of interesting. The first few seconds are kind of light and airy…but then the guitar kicks in, and changes the tone of the song. Then, there’s a change in the middle…it’s also pretty upbeat in general. So it’s also Macross Frontier?”

Yeah.

“It’s quite different. But the second definitely sounds more action.”

And my own, of course:
“The slower tempo of Lion definitely proves that the main singer in both songs has lost some confidence between initial contact and the situation right now. I don’t have to watch the anime (which I haven’t, btw) to know the love triangle problem that’s existing is now a big problem. All of Ranka’s lines are almost subsequently bumped out by Sheryl, despite the fact it’s only one singer (if there’s more than one, it wouldn’t change anything) singing. The urgency that was merely an uprising is now fervent here, and almost everyone can tell this is an action or romance hybrid anime. Luckily for many, it’s both. I know Impz won’t like this, but even before this OP supposedly aired, my following of the anime led me to one conclusion: who Alto ends up with. And honestly, it’s what I wish for him. He deserves it. The song verifies that with the harmonics’ rounded voices as opposed to being in the background and softened. Because the harmony plays a role in the chorus, and because its prominence is a theoretical Level 3, both members will play a role in the final battle.”

What is it about music that causes people to do many different things? I don’t want to talk about the negativity of this, though I will acknowledge it exists, and quite rampantly. I do want to say that music is the production of feelings, words, and motives through non-audible sound.

I want to ask you…what is the music of your soul crying out for you to do, and why do you want to drown it out with external music? Or perhaps, you haven’t realized it all this time. In that case, I have a suggestion.

Listen to your heart, and listen to your soul. Define your limits, boundaries, and your position. The music of your soul, and NOT your heart, will guide you properly. Many people nowadays say “listen to your heart”. The heart is merely the rhythm. The soul contains your true feelings, and so listen to it, because it’s the proper “you” replying back.

Don’t lose yours, like I lost mine. That’s really what I’m saying.

~Vincent

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