Songs of Ice and Fire

All humans are storytellers by nature: we like to tell stories because we like to hear them. As we grow old, we turn from listeners to narrators and start telling our own tales. Sooner or later we realize that not all stories are cut from the same cloth, as most stories are small and unremarkable, while others are world-changing. They shape our view of the world as they tell us who we are and where we come from, with some even give us direction and telling us where we ought to go. But how many of these historic tales have been lost throughout the ages when a population was wiped out by an invader? Or when the books that contained them turned to ashes? Or the last person who knew them had no one to listen to them? We will never know, probably for our own good, as one can only endure so much tragedy. We should be grateful for the stories we know, as they are not insignificant in number, for even if only a tiny amount of them are worth the effort of sieving through thousands and thousands of them our lives are better for it. And once in a blue moon, like a nugget of gold at the bottom of the sieve lie the stories that transcend beyond the people who wrote them, and those who read them. These stories become part of the people who pass them on from generation to generation, telling and retelling them, changing everything in them except for the kernel of truth embedded in them from their very inception. That truth is what a storyteller toils over for a lifetime, and it is as quickly ignored by unexperienced novices as it is firmly stablished by the seasoned veterans. Choosing the right words or rhymes can’t be but an intellectual exercise without a truth worth passing on to the next generation. Then the stories take a life of their own where they break away from the constrains of words, and artists dip their brushes and hammer their chisels to retell these truths in a new way, just the same as when a musician writes a piece of music. The are many stories in this world are stories that demand to transcend the written word. The Long Night, the Invasion of the Andals, the Targaryen Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. We all have heard these stories countless times, but I think it is time we listen to them. I am only beginning to dip my quill and write the first notes of some of these stories, but it is important to say they are coming.

A quick discussion of what they are and what they are not is important. I have concluded that I can’t be bound by what is deemed acceptable in the musical world nowadays and that I need to use any tool at my disposal to tell these stories the best way possible, so I will take many liberties along the way. First of all, these will not be pieces with any particular style of the ones discussed in the first volume of this trilogy as I don’t see how any single musical culture has attained the sufficient technical requirements to accomplish most of what I intent to do (although the Braavosi come fairly close). Secondly, I intent for these pieces to be free from the burden of the written word and let the music be the only means of narration. Thirdly, there will be no program nor established form to guide the listener, as the only guidance is the narrative of the story they are inspired on. All that will be provided to the listener will be a mere title and little else, and it will be upon the listener to follow and unravel the truth inside the music. An unenviable task if the listener is not familiar with the history the music is inspired on, but one I can’t do much about myself. Fourthly, the instruments chosen to play the music will be taken from many different cultures and used in ways some might consider unorthodox or downright sacrilegious but it is not my intention to be limited by tradition when if pursue of the right type of sound. Also, I can’t limit myself to what is nowadays technically possible so I have sought out the help of some instrument makers to craft new instruments that I hope could be of use in this endeavor. Fifthly and finally, the most crucial aspect of all is that none of this is ready yet. I am still to finish Music of Ice and Fire which is barely half way through, and Notes of Ice and Fire which is barely begun. The conception of this installment is as of now an ambition that needs to be put in the back burner to simmer for some timer; but it is there. Old as I might be, I haven’t given up on giving these stories take a musical shape of their own. For now, all I can say is that they are coming.