Music informs an urban fantasy saga
Back in the late 20th century when I conceived the “Shadowdance” action/ urban fantasy saga, I knew that music was as important a component as the vampires, werewolves, demons and other supernatural creatures.
Since music is so intrinsic to the Dance, I decided on some music related monikers for elements of the saga.
I’ll explain why Garbage is the featured pic below the fold.
Music’s been a big part of my life, probably second only to movies. I’ve imbued the saga with musical elements from its inception.
Adriana Dupré sings, plays piano and was trained by Mozart himself.
Valentina Lorena is a pop star inspired by Christina Aguilera’s Xtina persona.
There’s a band, the Widdershins, you’ll meet in “Illusions of Love,” that I patterned after the band Garbage (which is why they get the featured pic).
The first saga story was “Requiem for the Lonely” (more on that in another post). The saga ends with a “Symphony of the Damned.”
I also listen to lots of Garbage (see what I did there?), Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Prince and movie scores while creating the saga.
When it was a movie…
I’d always dreamed of making the saga as a series of movies, maybe even a TV show. I envisioned it like what the show “Empire” has become, with music mixed in to the general story.
I got close with the creation of a theme song for my as yet unmade “Shadowdance” movie, “Wake the Darkness.” You can watch the lyric video for the original version of the song on YouTube.
An alternate version is here. Listen to them while you’re reading the blog or the books.
Unfortunately, I don’t have millions of dollars so I made the “Shadowdance” a book series. But I still wanna keep that music in mind.
Defining Measures and Songs
Each of the main stories in the “Shadowdance” saga is a song. The chapters within that novel/ song are measures.
In music, a measure represents the number of beats within a given duration of a song. This fits, as each measure of a “Shadowdance” tale would equate to a segment of the overall song.
This explains how the story proper be considered a song.
Technically, calling the novels “movements” would be more appropriate. However, that reminds me of bowel movements.
I don’t want to reference shit with the “Shadowdance,” so yes, song wins.
Nine songs create the symphony
My aim is to make nine songs containing the main story of the “Shadowdance” saga. This will amount to a concept album.
To make things fancier, I’ve opted instead to say I’m composing a nine-part symphony.
The quick answer is that nine is a nice round number. It also harks back to the original dream of George Lucas and his “Star Wars” saga.
Nine also works because there are nine Vyntari shards floating about the “Shadowdance” world. When these shards are brought together, the owner can unleash the shadow god Yahweh.
That’s a pretty big deal you can read about on the “History of the Shadowdance” page.
Each song will chronicle Initiates gathering shards. We see three shards throughout the first songs, “By Virtue Fall” and the upcoming sequel, “For Her Sins.”
The third song, “Illusion of Love” will bridge us to a new set of three shards and open up lots of potential storytelling. Look for this song in 2017.
Variations on the main symphony
In ballet, a variation is a solo dance. (You’ll see some ballet in a future variation, “Two Sisters,” coming… sometime.)
I’m using the term “variation” to differentiate the “Shadowdance” side stories from the main symphony.
Another definition sees a musical variation as form that is an altered version of a given theme, diverging from it by melodic ornamentation and by changes in harmony, rhythm, or key.
The “Shadowdance Variations” series will be just that: altered version of previous events. You’ll see things from a different point of view. Or you’ll see the missing notes (as it were) from the various songs.
“A Reason to Live,” prequel to “By Virtue Fall,” is one such variation. Go read it for free. I’ll wait.
These variations will let the “Shadowdance” symphony breathe. They will be canon to the saga, providing information on elements hinted at in the symphony that did not get their full due.
(Author note: Yeah, this all sounds like what Lucasfilm is doing with their Episode/ Anthology stuff with the new “Star Wars” films. I thought my Songs/ Symphony/ Variation stuff up when Lucas was pissing people off with the prequel trilogy, but, alas, I’ll look like a copycat. Oh well.)
Days of Future Music Past
Sounds like a bunch of stories to follow, huh?
Don’t worry. At the beginning of each song or variation I’ll post a chronology of published works so you can keep track. I do jump time a bit, so it’ll be helpful.
The descent into the mystery and manipulations of the “Shadowdance” saga will be as exciting for you to read as it is for me to create.
Questions? Suggestions? Sharea story? Post in the comments below!
AUTHOR NOTE: None of the artists mentioned above are in any way affiliated to or support the “Shadowdance” action/ urban fantasy saga. Yet.