Posted by Meg
When it comes to combining creative talents, fan Birte Widman is a pro. She took on not one but three characters during the last Cosplay Contest. And then, just for good measure, she sent in her Arlen Cosplay. Make sure you check out her other amazing contributions, both artistic and musical: two original tracks inspired by The Warded Man as well as some beautiful cover art.
As her submission to the Fan Art Contest, Birte combines her original music and mural art to tell a unique Demon Cycle story.
Here is what Birte had to say:
I’ve been composing music that describes the shape of these wards and their function. As there was a lot to do, I only managed to write down the music of five defensive wards: water demon, flame demon, wind demon, sand demon and snow demon (which I simply had to add, as it is winter right now).
The idea behind the composition is that, once you have a theme you can basically do anything with it: You can orchestrate it in countless ways, you can put it into another key, to combine it with another theme, in short create a musical demonattack storyline for any given situation. For Example: a flame demon runs towards the wards, but is thrown back by a rock demon that wants to be there first. A wind demon drops from the sky and intends to enter the protective circle, but the wards throw it back and it collides with a fellow wind demon etc…
In this particular composition I left the themes mostly unchanged and only worked on their variation a little. Instead I concentrated on the orchestration of these. That was due to a lack of time on the one hand and on the other it was the first orchestration of this music and it was easier to change less, but to turn my piano sketch into a musical piece that would sound whole.
Listen to her beautiful composition as you look the different parts of her mural and follow along with her story.
Now to the piece in detail: As always there is a basic storyline.
Night falls over Thesa. The last bell rings and soon the corelings rise from the core and begin to stalk the earth.
A man sleeps in a well protected ward circle.
A horde of flame demons spy him and run towards the suspected prey, spitting fire and making crackling noises. The wards work and throw them back. A wind demon drops from the sky and wants to carry the man away. Only the faint beat of its massive wings warns of its arrival, but the wards throw it back as well. The man has set up his camp by the shore of a lake and there is a water demon that has spied his blurred form above the water. The rippling water announces its coming and soon it tries to catch that human with its tongue, but bounces off the wards. Its attempts remain fruitless. The circle is well warded.
There is a man in the desert as well. A messenger, lost on his way and weak from a lack of food and water. He has collapsed within a hastily put up portable circle. A pack of sand demons, that roam around old travellers roads, have picked up the man’s trail. Running over the dunes they followed his scent and now they spy him in his circle. They start attacking the wards. They can feel that the net, that throws them back, is not very strong. It would not hold for ever…
Far up in the icy mountains, another messenger has set up his camp under an overhanging rock that is covered in icicles. His horse’s breath forms white clouds in the freezing air. A heavy snowfall sets in and the snow scrunches beneath the horses hoofs as it moves. But the horse is not the only creature moving. The low growl of a predator sounds over the snow. Though the man has heard stories told about these corelings of ice, he had never truly believed in them. He knows that his circle doesn’t contain the defensive ward he needs. His only chance is his shield: His friends had wanted to mock him by painting said ward on in bright ink. He only spots the demon as it moves and the firelight reflects off its icy white scales; otherwise the demon is invisible in the snow. Though there is little hope, the messenger holds up his shield and stands at the very edge of the circle. The demon attacks. The horse flees as the horny tail of the coreling rips open its flank. Several times the demon is thrown back by the ward, but the man knows that he cannot stand this brutal fight much longer; the day is still hours away and he has been on his feet in the thin mountain air all day. Finally the demon manages to get past his wards and pulls away his shield. The messenger pays dearly for his disbelief in the old stories about the death of the mountain, the snow demon.
Musically, I sort of composed along this line, only flowering it at the very end after the appearance of the snow demon, with a last confusing mixture of all the wards at the same time, mixing the themes and pushing them to the climax. Besides the music there are also some sounds. I wanted to create the feeling of really sensing the situation. For example you can hear the growl of the snowdemon, the flapping of the wind demon’s wings and the rippling water as the waterdemon tests the wards. But also the crunching snow, the rustling of sand and the crackling of the flame demons’ approach. I hope you like it. As I said, you can basically do anything with the themes I found for the wards. This is the first possibility.
Birte also created these excellent snow demons out of real snow! A perfect entry idea for a winter art contest.
Wow! Thank you to Birte for entering with such spectacular artwork and music. I love how the music, words and mural all tell a story. Amazing job!