Where the music began… (#48 – Upon the Stair / Face to Face)

So let’s rewind time once again to almost exactly one year ago, August 29th, 2021!

It was a slow afternoon, and I didn’t have too much to do, but I was feeling more elated than usual thanks to some recent events!

A part of my euphoria manifested as this desire to just… do something new, you know?

At some point in the late afternoon, I found myself playing around on GarageBand, an app I’d long had installed but only really used for… Well!

I have a vivid memory of opening a specific synth with one of my friends and just screaming pop song lyrics as a public nuisance—Not my proudest moment, sure, but good luck talking sense into young lasses like us-!

this is what Upon the Stair’s intro looks like in detail~!

I started out hammering that synth again for old time’s sake, until I switched to the usual grand piano, because I noticed something.

In the corner was a knob that would basically autoplay a select few melodies—all I had to do was select a chord, and bam, music!

I think this is the first time I’ve talked about this feature, but Autoplay is basically 90% of my early songs… and you know what? I’m still really fond of the feature~!

“We passed upon the stair…”

GarageBand on mobile offers this Autoplay option for basically every instrument—For some like guitars or the strings, we get options to vary the patterns up depending on how many fingers we use, but for others like the piano, the most variation we get is basically just in the selected chords, how much we switch them, and how often we mix and match the melodies!

Discovering this that afternoon… welp, I became obsessed with trying to create something out of it, and eventually, I recorded an entire almost 6-minute piano piece!

Now I made the entire piece from Autoplay alone, so none of it’s as impressive at it kinda sounds… (-。-;

But progress is progress, ain’t it~?

Honestly, if you played me this song and I had no idea all of it was basically automated, I would think it was pretty good!

At the same time… Yeah, it’s just a piano piece—nothing else really happens, I don’t introduce anything else, and I don’t really take the piece anywhere… (゚ω゚)

If you know me, you know how much I adore Bowie’s songwriting, and I took the title for this piece from his song The Man Who Sold The World, if only because I had a really-surreal image in mind for this track~

Upon the Stair is a quieter moment in Another Breeze, and for me, it’s a picture of somebody watching their world crumble, metaphorically and literally!

A rare moment of calm contemplation for someone alone and isolated enough that even their own thoughts struggle to drown out their anxieties…

I imagine the fade-in and fade-out ending of Upon the Stair kind of show how this life has become a cycle for them: someday it’ll end of course, but in the present?

What can they do but watch their world fall apart beyond recovery?

If you read my previous ranking of Floe, my theme for Another Breeze was always a out environmental destruction, and by this point in Upon the Stair, the world in this universe has crossed that point of no return.

Are things still stable? Eh, mostly!

But the song’s protagonist knows that this is not just a calm before the storm, it’s the last calm before the ultimate storm…

So what happens when that storm hits-?

“We never lost control…”

On the same night I finished Upon the Stair, I was so excited by everything that I copied the project file for the song and… well, immediately made a remix~!

My first plan was to speed things up and basically record a boss theme for some mock video game, but later on I decided to just… make something frantic, you know?

Keeping with that David Bowie theme, this song’s also named after a lyric from the same track~

If Upon the Stair was the calm before the storm, then Face to Face is the storm itself.

All that contemplation on the previous track… *poof*

I pretty much left no breathing room at all in Face to Face, and yep, that is entirely because I had no clue how to record and produce this kind of song! *\(^o^)/*

But thematically, I think the harshness of it all kinda fits, doesn’t it?

Unprecedented forest fires, devastating flash floods, colossal tornadoes—all of these disasters have become daily events by the time Face to Face is occurring, so any silence our protagonist from before had is basically gone…

Not one second here to rest from my sped-up piano barrage, not a moment of break from the chaotic strings…

Heh, this song was a complete mess, but it turned out to be a storm in more ways than one, yeah-?

“For years and years I roamed…”

One year later… and my nostalgia for these early days of producing music’s even stronger than I ever thought it would be!

I think with a lot of creative endeavours, we always tend to start small, no?

My early days of autoplaying, recording, and uploading involved like… an hour of work at best? And thanks to technology, everything turned out presentably!

But maybe I say this only because I don’t have the appropriate experience and what not in this field yet…

Maybe, in another two years or so, I’ll look back with a much more negative look on my earliest works, but as of now? I still love them emotionally—even if I try to break down why each of them just didn’t quite land~!

So as a little gift to you… Feel free to have a look at my ~Just Another Breeze~ page, where I’ve just put up a remix of Carnaverie exclusively on this site!

I know it’s not much, but heehee—I promise you, there’ll be a time for more personal stories at some point in the future!

As usual, I wish you a great coming weekend, and hopefully I’ll see you again next week~

Mark my words, I have another short story ready to put up, and in terms of translating my personal experiences into fiction…?

Heh—I wish you all the love ‘til then! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

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