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Holiday Harmonies 12.28.07
"There is no rest in music...only silence."
The Corinthian
Fermat's Last Theorem Final Fantasy VII | Suikoden
The Poem

The Caryatid

A fallen caryatid
crushed beneath the weight
but beautiful none the less.
A martyr of strength
not of the body
but of the will.
Knowing she is crushed
but persisting on,
bearing her load,
in her own special triumph.
She is not beaten
for she endures that burden
too large for her
because it is her own.
and therein lies her beauty.
-Shel Silverstein

Author's Comments

When I selected "The Caryatid" as my subject poem, I was immediately able to narrow down my choices for my main theme to two, both from the Final Fantasy series: Yuna's "Suteki da ne" and "Aerith's Theme." Both were women who carried such responsibility on their shoulders. But then I thought that Aerith fit the poem better, as in it, the caryatid ends up broken but persists on carrying her burden. Similarly, Aerith died and yet it was her who ended the game with her prayers for Holy and her guidance of the Lifestream.... I, then, selected a complementary theme and ended up with "Theme of Sadness."

I went almost a la Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" with this one: the strings representing the caryatid; the brasswinds, the burden she carries; the woodwinds are just that, winds, caressing the caryatid as time passes; the percussions appear here and there, but they mostly add "weight" to the "burden" of the brasswinds.

I would have let the music speak for itself, as it IS a symphonic poem, but noting that some listeners, even those whom I knew personally, misinterpreted my "Across Time, Across Worlds" in Round 2, I shall go ahead and explain some evocations I used. Please check the forums if you wish to see the details.

I know that there already exists a beautiful arrangement of "Aerith's Theme" and it certainly put some pressure on me. I hope I didn't mangle this classic; that most of you like it; and if not, then I hope that it was, at least, bearable.

Composed using Sibelius 4 and rendered, as always, by Kouen using SONAR 6.

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I hope everyone had a nice few days off this week, but now we have some business! Firstly, we have our first "Where the Sidewalk Ends" Grand Audition entry from Fermat's Last Theorem. Voting will open on Tuesday, so be sure to get your stuff in those of you who are participating. As this is a competition, I will not say anything on Fermat's piece other than huzzah for being the first one. Secondly, I've decided that biweekly just loses too much focus, so we're back to weekly updates starting now. That's it, stay tuned next week for the remaining entries!

Have a safe New Years Day!

Matthew 'barieuph' Russo

Sound Test Curator

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