Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MELO Round 1 - Edge of Night

The next song to inspire round 1 entries of MELO 2014-2015 was Edge of Night. This is a really interesting song, where context and melody really shape the tone. The original poem from Fellowship is all about going out for a walk before coming home to a nice warm fire. In the film, the lines about home and hearth have been removed, but still if you just read the lyrics, there is a lot of hope:

Home is behind, the world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow to the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight
Mist and shadow cloud and shade
All shall fade, all shall fade
A straight-forward reading says that, yes, night is falling, but the stars are coming out, and night shall fade away come morning. But in the film this is sung with that haunting tune by Pippin while we see scenes of Faramir's forces being slaughtered, intercut with an uncaring Denethor, so the tone is completely different. Watching it on screen you get the feeling that everything is falling into darkness, and all that is good and noble in the world will fade away in the coming triumph of Sauron. It's that feeling of despair that drove most of the MELO entries. Here are a few of my favorites.

Mate Paton thought of the siege and near-fall of Minas Tirith and advanced to the next round.

Dominik the Builder also went to the RotK context, illustrating the charge of Faramir - a nice scene though it did not advance.

J-rod Smith went to a different context altogether, seeing Lake-town as being on the edge of disaster. His was the third-highest score of the round 1 entries and easily advanced.

Ian Diller left Tolkien's world altogether, simply keying off the song's tone of imminent disaster with his Last Stand in the Badlands. He advanced.

A few of the entries looked more at the lyrics, suggesting setting out from home on an adventure. Saequis still stuck to movie inspiration, showing Pippin singing to Denethor, but he illustrated the line "Home is behind, the world ahead", but he did not advance, so faded from the MELO.

Jake Andrews took this line as reason to justify Bilbo setting out on his adventure, illustrating different scenes from the Hobbit. He advanced.

Kevin Moyer did much the same with Frodo's journey. He also advanced.

Graham Gidman also advanced with an unnamed figure leaving home to set off on adventures.

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