February 2022 – Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Welcome to a much, much anticipated updated of Music of Ice and Fire! After many months of hard work the time has finally come to see whether the wait has paid off and to celebrate this website’s second anniversary!

The ”Book” Look

Back in October I simply had had enough of the website not looking the way I had always wanted, so I took a break from not just playing music but also writing any music until I was satisfied. My vision had two very clear goals:

  • Goal #1: To display all the info one could ever want about the music without any compromises.
  • Goal #2: To do so in the visual style of old illuminated manuscripts that gave the reader/listener the impression of reading an old book.

After what seem like an eternity I have finally gotten to the point where there is no more improvements I can add to the template. Every single little feature I could think of has been carefully considered and implemented into the design. Here are some of my favorite elements:

  • A descriptive text breaking down the theme into little pieces that analyze the motivic content of the music.
  • A break down of every leitmotif that plays before the music, with an easy to follow color schemes and a sound cue that gives the listener and idea of what to look for when they listen to the theme.
  • Illustrations of instruments associated with each character in a painted-like style and animated diagrams of the instruments playing the music to help the listener understand how the theme works in terms of orchestration.
  • Thematic borders, corners, banners, initials and illustrations that change with (almost) every page turn, giving every house and region has its own style when it comes to the visual ornaments. From the more sober and dull style of the North to the ornate style of the Westerlands, every page sets the tone one would expect from a book produced in Westeros.

It might not seem like much but behind every idea there were hundreds of hours of work and lots of money spend finding the right resources. To give but one example of how much work went into every little detail lets consider the images used to decorate the borders and corners of the pages. Each illustration has been taken from copyright-free  libraries published by Dover Publications in many clip art books. The never ending process of finding the right books, buying them, extracting the images, editing them, labeling them and storing appropriately them took weeks! If that wasn’t enough I also needed to keep in mind that the images are available to use freely as long as no more than 10 images from one single library are used within the same work, so there was also the task of keeping track of the origin of every single image to make sure no copyright laws were broken… and that’s only to have something around the pages!

The video format

For the past two years the website has consisted of some  mixed in with some notation and audio tracks, but starting today the website is changing to a video only approach (although I will keep the playlist with all the music on the homepage and the library).

Each video will cover one house, so as time goes on the videos will get longer and longer, covering many characters and themes. Here is the video of House Stark, including Eddard, Lyanna, Jon, Robb, Sansa, Arya, and Bran.

As of today only the video for House Stark has been uploaded to the website but all other houses will get their pages updated to the new format in a matter of days. This is sadly because I was getting close to finishing every single video at once I came down with Covid last week and it left me unable to do any meaningful work at the computer.

So What Now?

Well, now I really should take some time off and rest for a bit, but the reality is that I’m itching to get my hands on the piano again and write new music! I feel that having completed this huge milestone I can finally focus my attention on writing some new music knowing that when it eventually makes it to the website it will look as good as it can.

So here’s to a very happy two-year anniversary of Music of Ice and Fire and many more to come!

Maester Ludwig

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