Monday, March 23, 2009

Song of Healing

So, I haven't posted in forever, but anyway. Just had the totally most awesome experience with the piano. For the president's award, I needed to pick a skill to build up, and I had heard a few super awesome video game songs for the piano, so I thought I would learn piano! The very first song I properly learned for the piano was "Song of Healing", composed by Koji Kondo for the Videogame "Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask". Can I just say, I am a GIANT Legend of Zelda fan. "Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening" for the Game Boy was the very first videogame I ever even played. And "Majora's Mask" Is my favorite game from the series, if not my favorite game full stop. The gameplay is a little short, but the storytelling is fantastic. The game has a lot of side-quests, which accumulates in you earning a bunch of masks. I shall explain why this song is relevant, and why I think it is awesome.

The game starts off with the protagonist, Link, searching for his old friend, Navi the fairy, who helped him in his previous quest to save Hyrule, but then left once the adventure was over for reasons never fully explained (In a mysterious, bittersweet kind of way, not just a plot hole.). He is searching through the Lost woods, when he is flung off his horse and knocked unconcious. A humanoid creature lurks forward from the trees, bearing the appearance of a scarecrow, wearing a purple, spiked mask (3 guesses for who it belongs to, it starts with an M and end with ajora). He searches Link's belongings, and steals the Ocarina of Time, a gift from the princess of Hyrule, filled with bittersweet memories and emotional significance, and contained great power. (The name of the previous game was Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, for just an idea.) And the Skull kid steals it. By this time, Link has regained conciousness and the cruel skull kid leaps on his horse and rides off, with Link in hot pursuit. You follow the cretin through a twisting area, culminating in a fall through a great abyss, landing softly after a long fall. The skull kid is awaiting you, floating casually across you from a lake. He torments you, giggling as he tells you how he killed your horse, and then rattles his head like a maraca, accompanied by an insane fit of the giggles. The rattling curses you, and you become a Deku. Basically, our dear Link has turned into wood, a veritable pinnochio. You chase him through a twisting corridor, and eventually, find yourself in the most unlikely of places: A clock tower. A strange (Very strange) man approaches you, and knows of your cursed condition. He explains that the Skull Kid stole Majora's mask from him, and offers to remove your curse if you can get his mask back. Long story short, you find the skull kid, knock the ocarina out of his hands, and through it's previously mentioned magnificent power, manage to reverse the three days you spend tracking him down. You return to the Bizzare man, and he plays you this song, The song of Healing. You play it back to him, and are returned to your human form. You, however, neglect to mention that you got your ocarina back, but not his mask, resulting in him violently shaking you. Good times ensue.

That was a crappy explanation of it, the full intro to the game can be seen Here, Here, and Here.
The part where you are returned to human form can be seen Here
There is just something about being lost and lonely, having all you knew stripped of you, arriving in a strange land, and being turned into something you were never meant to be resonates deeply with my heart. And in the end, you are returned to your former self, able to take on the challenges you are presented with. I think it's a wonderful intro to a game. 
Anyway, back to the piano-ness. So, this was the first proper song I ever learnt on the piano. I loved learning it, loved playing it, and played it regularly. But as I have taken up grades, my spare time to play things I want to play has dwindled, and mostly died. I sat down, and remembered this song. I wanted to play it. I knew the opening melody off by heart, but how much of the song remained in my mind? I played the opening bars, only to find the notes quickly escaping me, just out of reach, like a sense of shame at not being able to remember the face of a friend from your childhood. I pressed on. I followed the melody as best I knew, and then worked and struggled with the left hand accompaniment. every few moments, my toil was rewarded, and my emotions drove my fingers to venture to where my brain could not, enfeebled by lack of practice, like a muscle that has atrophied. I worked and worked at the music, until I hit a roadblock. I had fully recalled the right hand melody, but the left hand accompaniment remained out of recall. I would play a few bars of music, and I would reach a dead end. There were sharps and flats involved, but my fingers did not know exactly there they fell. I replayed the same bars over and over, but the notes were nowhere to be found.  I despaired. And in that despair I stormed the ramparts of my recollection, playing more with my heart than my brain, and my hands suddenly knew where to go, without a thought. Music flowed from my fingertips, and my heart was very glad to hear this song again, like the voice of a long-lost friend. In my tempo, in my way, the way I learned it, and the way I loved it.  Sometimes piano can seem like a chore, but when I am working at what I want to learn, it is a wonderful experience.


Nicoley said...

Zelda is such a tired franchise at this stage. Nintendo murder their creations through over production.

Well done tho ;)

Bernard said...

Song is amazing.

I know the feeling, its the same when you learn a language. Your heart is supposed to do the talking, not your brain :P