Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Heroic Musical Interlude: Two Steps from Hell, “Downstream”

Two Steps from Hell, “Downstream”

“The most important thing in heroic music is that it's preceded by antithesis, music expressing sorrow, reluctance, then resignation. Most heroic works are built in cyclic form beginning with a pessimistic/distressing first movement which resolves in the last one, a hero overcoming the odds to be triumphant. Also, chorale is common in these last movements as a final sign of victory. These chorales are often partly presented in middle movements as an omen/promise of forthcoming victory. Brass fanfares can be used to convey heroism, and heroic pieces are often very uplifting”
Examples:
"Wounded But Not Slain"

"I am wounded but I am not slain.
I'm bruised and faint they say...
I shall lay me down and bleed a while,
 then I shall rise and fight again.
Just let me lie and bleed awhile;
I'll not be long this way.

My Spirit's low and my eyes flow.
My heart is sad and sore;
But when my pen'ent tears are gone,
I'll stand and fight some more.

I'll bind these wounds; I'll dry these tears;
I'll close this bleeding vein;
I'll not lie here and weep and die:
I'll rise and fight again.

'Twas yesterday I bowed so low,
Was weak from tears and pain;
Today I'm strong; my fears are gone;
Today I fight again.”

-  John Jefferson
"You cannot kill me here. Bring your soldiers, your death, your disease, your collapsed economy because it doesn't matter, I have nothing left to lose and you cannot kill me here. Bring the tears of orphans and the wails of a mother's loss, bring your Jesus on a cross, bring your hate and bitterness and long working hours, bring your empty wallets and love long since gone but you cannot kill me here. Bring your sneers, your snide remarks and friendships never felt, your letters never sent, your kisses never kissed, cigarettes smoked to the bone and cancer killing fears but you cannot kill me here. For I may fall and I may fail but I will stand again each time and you will find no satisfaction. Because you cannot kill me here."
- Iain S. Thomas

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