Chapter V is all about the adventure of life. It opens with “Aventura”, a theme written to represent the spirit of life’s adventures, trials and tribulations. It is purposefully subdued, starting with a simple piano setting the mood, slowly evolving into a blanket of warmth and love. I tried to write a piece of music that captures the feeling of standing at the beginning of a journey, leaving a part of your comfortable life behind, and plunging into an unknown future…
“Iron Will” completely shifts the focus from that feeling of leaving home, into the start of a bold and exciting adventure. The adventure of your life. This will be the defining step in your life. No turning back, just face life with bravery and an iron will to succeed and reach your goals and dreams.
“Memoria” was a song I wrote about becoming the hero in the story of your own life. A life that will live on for generations to come, in the memories of your friends and family. Merethe Soltvedt provided the vocals for the song, which started off as a very simple piano melody but later turned into a complete symphonic metal track. I tried to incorporate more traditional instruments, like the acoustic guitar and irish whistle to give it a sense of home and singularity. The contrast between the simple piano and guitar and the complete orchestra, choir and rock band creates dynamic depth, and paints a unique musical picture.
“Reflections of You” was a piano song I wrote in a time I felt directionless in life, and turned to the piano for some comfort.. and out came this little tune, which at first didn’t appeal too much to me. I nevertheless decided to finish it, record it, and finally produce it. There’s something about it that makes me feel some sense of comfort. I think it accurately describes the feeling of being lost and turning to your inner feelings to find back to your path.
“Night Queen” was never really meant to be what it eventually became, although you could argue that it became exactly what it was meant to be. I remember the song being born as I woke up one morning, humming a melody that seemed so familiar, as if I had heard it in a dream a long time ago. The sense of empowerment and strength with the more delicate and feminine nature of the melody drove it into the direction of an epic symphonic banger. As a last minute addition I decided to add myself on violin for the solo towards the end.
“Heroica” is the Night Queen’s more masculine counterpart. I decided to use bulgarian women and girls voices to create a musical atmosphere of villagers singing words and melodies of comfort to the men who bravely venture out of the comfort of their homes to provide for the village, the women, and the children. The immense talent of Uyanga Bold is the centerpiece of the song.
“Dreamgarden” creates a landscape of thoughts, dreams and desires in your head. A hero needs rest along the journey. This is that musical break, when you let your mind wander completely free, into a world where dragons, fairies and other mythical creatures exist. Your fantasy and imagination weave a complicated tapestry of colors and feelings as a musical breath of rest along the path of your adventures.
“Xunia” is based on an Indian wedding song. I turned this folk song into something completely different, although the spirit of the music is still the same. The union of friendship and family, and the incredibly strong bond that is forged in such companionship. The role of support we play in each other’s lives, sharing the adventures together and reaching our goals with someone special by our side. Claudio Pietronik provided the amazing guitar solo.
“One Last Day” was a song I wrote directly after “Reflections of You”, during a heavy period of my life. The meaning of the song hardly needs elaboration, but as the lyrical narrative comes to an end, the soundscape once again explodes with yet another great display of musicianship from guitarist Claudio Pietronik.
It is followed by “Aventura Suite”, which sums up the adventure in an orchestral rendition of many of the musical themes of the album, starting with the little motif of “Kingmaker”, and expanding into so many colors and textures, I can honestly say it was one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever written. It carefully navigates through so many different musical styles, orchestrations, key signatures and pacings, I kept a notebook full of charts, melodies, transitions and tempo maps just to organize and arrange everything. As “Aventura Suite” wraps up the great adventure, we return to the main theme of the album, the “Aventura” theme, a reprise of the melody introduced in the first track of the album.
I sincerely wish you have as much excitement and enjoyment from this music as I had composing it.
Artwork by Sam Hayles