I'm playing around with the idea of a world were music is magic and can manipulate the world based on genre, meter, major/minor tonality, etc. I'm having troubles describing music in action, as a physical tangible thing rather than just sound, especially in duel sequences where two musicians are facing off. I have a basic idea of what I want done with it so I'm not asking for it to be done for me (I know that's a no-no) but any and all input is awesome and much appreciated. Thanks for your time!
Well, music isn’t really our forte so I don’t know how much help we’ll be there.
All jokes aside, one of the best series I’ve seen using music as a form of magic is L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Spellsong Cycle, starting with The Soprano Sorceress. It’s a fantasy setting that takes place in the land of Erde and follows the adventures of Anna Marshall, a fifty year old singer taken from our world on the day of her daughter’s funeral by means of an unlucky wish. Once in Erde, she becomes a sorceress of great power. Modesitt’s work can be a bit of a slog and these aren’t his best. You might not enjoy them as a reader, but his strength is his world building and as a writer of fantasy you shouldn’t skip him.
There’s a lot of good thinking in the novel. One of them is that it is difficult, if not impossible, for sorcerers to perform together as a duet because the chance of something going wrong is too high. Multiple voices together create more power but it relies on perfect synchronization that is nearly impossible to achieve with complex melodies. However, one warlord does manage to achieve this through hundreds of voices chanting together in an army.
The magic works through a combination of lyrics, visualization, and musical accompaniment usually through a single instrument. A truely skilled Sorcerer cannot just be a singer, they must also be a songwriter and composer. However, some get by memorizing songs and melodies from hearing them. Sorcerers and Sorceress are always singers, but to achieve greater power they need the support of other musicians often in the form of an orchestra. This forces the Sorceress to put a great deal of trust in the skill of her followers because a single mistake could be catastrophic for herself and the other musicians. The result is in setting is that most Sorcerers prefer to work alone without accompaniment. Because their magic takes a great deal of concentration, they also need to be protected in combat from attacking forces.
The sorcerer is also limited by what they know or what they can remember/make up on the spot. The use of magic takes a lot of energy, a Sorceress must eat constantly or they risk burning through their own body.
The setting also used two different kinds of magic: Darksong and Clearsong. The definitions are simplistic, but become complex in application. Darksong affects things that are alive or were once alive, growing plants in a garden for example would be Darksong. However, so would raising the dead and compulsion spells that enforce loyalty. Clearsong affects the non-living or what was never alive, this includes command of the elements, but also building infrastructure like roads or castles.
Both come with their flaws because of it’s easier, Darksong’s are greater. Darksong is easy to cast in the beginning, but over time it becomes more difficult causing double vision and violent headaches. It acts a little like an allergy, the more you do it, the more violent the reaction. Eventually, it will kill the sorcerer.
The Clearsong flaw is: matter cannot be created from thin air, it has to come from somewhere. If you’re going to create roads, you need stone and if that stone is not provided then the magic will find it for you. This means it could come from somewhere safe like a quarry or take it from the ground, shifting the landscape and causing a natural disaster or from a nearby village. It’s also pure destruction, if the sorcerer wants to resolve the situation without bloodshed, they need Darksong or they have to rely on others to do the fighting.
The series covers the effects of how this can affect the socio-political factors of the world. His work also does a good job of combining feminist themes with feudal worlds and handling different ways sexism can assert itself when dealing with a powerful woman.
It’s worth taking a look at for ideas, not just for magic but in how that magic affects the politics, the environment, and the balance of power.
I am not a pretentious musical theatre person, I will be the first to admit that I know every word to Legally Blonde The Musical, and I LOVE a good farce/restoration comedy/anything of that sort.
I don’t just want Fun Home to win because it’s sad, I want it to win because the writing is fucking awesome. Reading the novel and then listening to the musical and seeing what they did with it is genius.
Aside from it breaking the laws of commercial theatre, being a musical written by two fantastic female theatre minds, is lead by a queer woman, builds on the dialogue about women in the theatre….
It’s a really freakin good show!
In 5 years, there will be another Something Rotten! It is a good time, has funny jokes, songs that have references that we can all pat ourselves on the back for noticing, and well… Christian Borle’s biceps.
What Fun Home can do is show producers that we can have shows with women on stage, written by women that can be popular and profitable. And we will get more of them.
But all of that aside, it is a fuckin great musical that is super cute and sad and just really well written.
As promised, here is a pretty silly recap to the even-sillier weekend I had. There is seriously something magical about spending the 3+ days in cosplay, meeting tons of other dorks, and just being silly.
Of course, a lot MORE happened aside from the silliness above, but this seems like a good start for now c; over the course of 3 days we developed like… 10 or so inside jokes, and I’m thinking I will doodle them up so you can all get a feeling for how stupidly silly our weekend was xD
That being said. I’m back at the office, and the blog will return to our regular silliness. I hope you’re all ready because I have a couple of REALLY AWESOME things coming out soon, really soon c;
Jeeeeeeess, stop it with all The Get Down, I've got exams, I can't be tempted like that !!! I need to study, not dive into a new awesome show, dammit ! Joke aside, honey, you're really making a strong case for the show, I'll get to it when my exams are over, I swear. :)
I’m so sorry, I’ll try to dial it back. I just finished watching it though and it’s so good. Good luck with exams though!!! I’m sure you’re going to do great 💖💖💖
all jokes aside though, as great as me romances are, i am honestly looking forward to the gameplay more than anything. the character announcements and squad reveals are cool and all but that trailer FINALLY gave a solid ground on what gameplay and combat will be like. (probably why i don’t shit post as much about it tbh)
because i mean at the end of the day, as much as you romance a character, ill spend more time shooting stuff and wreckin enemies.
ALSO AWESOME DEATH ANIMATIONS. I LOVE THAT SHIT. They really expanded on the classic banshee/phantom killing blow animation to extend further and i honestly love it.