• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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forbloodysummer


The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don

E

Join me, come join me...

Adagio has one last song in her, but no voice to sing it with.

A present for NaiadSagaIotaOar.


Artwork by SkycatcherEquestria.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 25 )

First comment doubling as author’s notes.

Sirens have one weakness, both in mythology (Odysseus) and in canon (Vinyl Scratch) – those who can’t hear. One person being immune to your spell is potentially all it takes to be your undoing, especially when they’re the person you sleep next to.

So, when taking the view that the sirens are immortal, and have been on earth for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, I hold that Adagio found true love exactly once, and she had to leave him behind. And she might be being a little self-centered here when she says that them losing their voices is the arts crime of the millennium, the because even greater is surely that the Shakespeare of Music never heard the most important of his own works.

So I think the Viennese waltz is irrevocably tied up for her with the memory of their courtship, being the dance of choice in Vienna in 1800. And the one thing I think even more devastating for her than having to flee Vienna was learning of String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131, fifteen years later.

It’s hard to imagine today what music must have been like back then. An art form designed around structured templates, based on rules rather than expression. One man changed all that.

Hence his comparison with Shakespeare. “Scarcely any significant composer since his time has escaped his influence or failed to acknowledge it. For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he is probably the most admired composer in the history of Western music.” Sadie, S. (eds.) (1995) The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, in 20 volumes, Fifth Edition.

And, among his body of work, this most influential of men had a favourite composition, the one he thought most groundbreaking: a string quartet built of seven movements, with three on each side framing the massive centrepiece fourth movement.

And that fourth movement, in turn, is subdivided into seven variations, and the central one of those – the heart of the heart of the most important piece of music ever written, which prompted Schubert to ask, "After this, what is left for us to write?"…

...is titled simply Adagio.


If Adagio had a voice with which to sing her song, it would sound like this.

This was a good piece to read. Emotional, introspective, haunting. You managed ttyl do a fantastic job capturing Adagio's voice here despite her lack of an audible one.

Also, I'm an absolute sucker for the headcanon where the sirens go mute after losing their gems, so that pulled me in immediately.

:pinkiegasp:

:raritystarry:

:heart:

Of all the stories you’ve talked about with me, I think there have been two that I most desperately wanted to see written. This was one of them.

It was worth the wait :raritycry: I don’t know what more to say about it than that--I can count at least two or three images, some big and pronounced and some small and fleeting, a piece of backstory, and several lines that all would’ve enriched another story and made it memorable, but here it’s like you’ve thrown it all together and wrapped it up with prose that’s felt more beautiful than anything I’ve seen you do before.

Thank you :heart:

As a dancer myself, I loved this fic. It captures the feeling of dancing really well, and I loved all the dance terms and references, specifically the ballet and pointe moves. The Queen of the Night gag was also a nice touch.

This story better get feature.

9014720 Thanks very much! I remember being struck with this idea while reading Fading Melodies, which was a great story, but I felt could have gone a bit further with it, which is what I tried to do here.

I was going to say that there was another voiceless one I really liked, but then I realised you’re the guy who wrote it :twilightsheepish: You created something meaningful and lovely for a contest I only trolled :twilightblush:

Writing Adagio again was fun! She’s my favourite character, but it seems I’ve hardly written from inside her head for not far off two years :twilightoops: So it was really good to rectify that!

9014754 :yay:

Of course you are very welcome :twilightsmile: I’m really happy you liked it! :pinkiehappy:

I think I can guess two of the images? And the backstory bit is the having to flee Vienna thing?

Here it’s like you’ve thrown it all together and wrapped it up with prose that’s felt more beautiful than anything I’ve seen you do before

I think that might be your influence? :twilightsheepish: Adagio here is more classical than I’d write her, I think, especially as I tend to go for the angle of them being teenagers.

9014888 :raritystarry: For realsies?

I did wonder what any dancers might make of it, and quite how much I mangled things :twilightsheepish: I did pick up a lot of respect for all the styles mentioned here, while I was doing research. I thought the discipline of classical musicians was enviable, but they’ve got nothing on ballet dancers :rainbowhuh: I hadn’t given much thought before either to how one might choreograph a ballet, but coming up with the moves to match the music was rather inspiring to write, especially the six pirouettes. What styles of dance do you perform, if you don’t mind me asking?

Thanks! I ummed and ahhed about whether to include the musical influences bit, so thanks for saying you appreciated it :twilightsmile: I was listening to the Hammerklavier Sonata and wondering if that would work as Sonata’s thing, and the opening is kind of ‘her,’ but it’s a bit too audacious a work to be hers, so I threw in the joke about Sonata Form instead.

9015222 Thanks! I would not say no to that :twilightsheepish:

Which would be kind of ironic, for a story which concludes that audience size ultimately doesn’t matter as much as your friends :twilightblush:

Absolutely amazing! I am literally at a loss for words to say how sucked in and moved I was by this story.

I love your take on the Dazzlings. Love it.

9014561
Wow.

It's a rare treat to see a story that alludes so believably with real-world history.

Really creative, with a lot of emotion behind it, but a bit too sad for my taste.

Remembering Aria ‘accidentally’ starting the Great Fire of London in the 1600s and pausing their departure to dance a jig.

...I feel like that should somehow surprise me, but it doesn't.

9015634 Thanks a lot! At a loss for words is kind of an unfortunately appropriate response to this one :twilightoops:

I would say this one is my headcanonical view of them, in which they’re teenagers rather than immortals and so a bit less tragic than here. I think that angle is better for stories set around CHS, but no way would this story have worked half as well like that. Plus, the song is called Immortal Melancholy, so there wasn’t much debating that one :twilightsheepish:

9015641 Thanks! That came to light when Naiad and I had just met and were planning our first story! It is nice to bring it up here, so it finally sees the light of day, two years on :twilightsheepish:

Yeah, that string quartet connection is really rather magical, I think :pinkiehappy:

9015755 Totally fair to say! And I’m surprised more people haven’t offered that view, too :twilightsheepish:

I must have had The Changing Tides on my Read It Later list for a year or so before I finally decided it would be a good day to read something that sad!

9015306
I take ballet, pointe, and musical theatre currently, and have also taken hip-hop before. I also like dabbling in bits and pieces of pretty much any kind of dance.

9016228 :raritystarry: Sounds like you must really know your stuff! I am really glad I didn't go for her doing pointe barefoot then, as I was thinking of before I came up with the excuse of the long-haired carpet! The internet said it was technically possible to stand that way, but dancing like that was a definite no.

I did look at some Hip Hop moves; I was looking at some videos and wondered about having a Hip Hop turn in there, or even having Sonata do some breakdancing during her solo freeform bit, but it didn't quite match the style of the rest of it in print :twilightoops:

s6.postimg.cc/5pzpmopep/Pirate_Approved2.jpg

Well done, good Sir and/or Madam... well done indeed, :moustache:

9021104 :pinkiegasp: I thought you had sailed for less-pony-filled shores!

And that I’d never get that particular badge posted on my work :fluttercry:

So thank you, kind pirate :pinkiehappy:

This is a fantastic story! I featured it on episode 228 of my podcast, Pony 411.

The lack of dialogue really works, love how history is tied into the lives of the Sirens, and it's just really moving. My co-host also likes the music choice you recommend at the beginning of the fic.

9021283
That doesn't mean I'm not still paying attention, :raritywink:

Also your choice of suggested music was bloody magnificent. This work is a beautiful example of how a blend of sound and written word can create an experience that neither could alone.

9021484 Thanks very much!

:pinkiegasp: And thank you so much for highlighting it on your podcast :pinkiehappy:

I don’t think I’ve ever been mentioned on a podcast before :rainbowhuh: It meant a lot more, I think, hearing your feedback spoken aloud than reading it in a comment, because you can really hear the passion coming through :raritystarry: Which, now I think about it, is a particularly unfortunate revelation to be connected to this story, since that’s exactly what Adagio is cut off from :twilightoops: Funnily enough, the other story you mentioned, by Summer Dancer, has been sitting on my read it later list for a few days :twilightsmile:

I think it would be fair to say the total lack of dialogue was a bold choice? As I mentioned below to the guy who wrote Voices Lost, I thought of the idea while reading Fading Melodies, which I’m pretty sure was the first story to do voiceless sirens. But I kind of thought that if you’re going to do a story about not being able to talk, then make it one with no talking, so you can kind of experience how it feels to be stuck inside someone’s head. Joss Whedon has this lovely idea that when we stop talking, we start communicating, and that kind of shows up here, especially when Adagio notes that it’s the first time in ages Aria and Sonata haven’t been throwing insults at each other.

That’s great to hear your co-host appreciated that! I wasn’t quite sure if that would work, with having to picture the music as described in the text while other music plays in the background (or rather, a different part of the same piece, since the chances of you reading at exactly the speed of the piece as described in the story are miniscule :twilightoops:). I’ve yet to try reading it myself while the music is playing, and don’t hold out much hope of being able to concentrate on it while doing so, so, however narcissistic it makes me sound, I’m a little jealous of your co-host’s ability to do that; he’s had an experience with the story that I haven’t :twilightsheepish:

If he liked the music in general, by the way, then I’d highly, highly recommend the 2003 reimagining of Battlestar Galactica, from which it comes. The soundtrack to the series, and the way the music integrated with the rest of it, was groundbreaking. As a trailer of sorts, here is its intro remade with ponies:

9021979 Thanks, I’m not sure the story would have been the same if not for those blog entries you did tying in with The Friend I Couldn’t Be, charting the sirens through human history :twilightsheepish:

It’s really quite a piece, that, isn’t it? I really can’t recommend the BSG soundtrack enough, especially season 3, whether you’re a fan of the show or not. Though that, too, is stunningly good! (And written by the head writer from DS9 and early Voyager, to match the uniform in your picture).

9023525
Indeed. Conveying meaningful character interaction with no dialogue is difficult, particularly when it's in text form. And you did it quite well. Funnily enough, I've read both of the fics you linked.

He's watched Battlestar Galactica in its entirety! In fact, after we were done recording he was complaining because one of the soundtracks was never released digitally. I personally watched the first 2 seasons, but then it was removed from Netflix. :twilightangry2: I watched the original series though.

9025856 Unless he means the soundtrack from the miniseries, I think I’ve got them all?

Well worth checking out the rest of it if you get the opportunity, I’d say! Can’t say I was much of a fan of the original, though. Lots of other sci-fi, but not so much that one :twilightsheepish:

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