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Thread: SOTW: EMILY!

  1. #16
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    Well, I'm pretty sure I have nothing much to add to this discussion; everything has already been said. So I'll just say that it's sort of a crime against everybody else that Joanna can be so incredibly talented. Aren't there, like, natural laws against a single person being so gifted?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebby View Post
    I love all the hidden constellation/star references in the song too, and thank you Mancy for pointing them out.

    Also, this:



    =D

    Also, considering recent pretensions involving song cycles in a certain part of the forum, I thought I'd copy and paste a post of mine from the Monkey and Bear thread, around the time I started listening to Joanna.

    Considering all the astronomy references (which was what made me DL Ys, btw) in the lyrics I think it's a good bet to say Bear died. The "stepped clear" line may be literal-- as in she actually stepped clear of herself and became the constellation of Ursa Major, which also lends itself to the mythological aspect of the record (the Ys myth, Sawdust and Diamonds being a kind of mythologizing her own incentive to make the record, etc). It also forms a neat link with whichever song references asterism (I don't really know the songs that much) because the most famous asterism, along with Orion's Belt, is The Big Dipper, which lies in-- you guessed it-- Ursa Major.

    Other tidbits she might not have known while writing the song but which works well with story:

    1. ALMOST all the stars in Ursa Major move together toward Sagitarrius when seen from Earth. And Sagitarrius is a hunter. So Ursa Major is constantly walking toward a death when applied to this song.
    2. Dubhe and Merak, two stars in the Dipper (Dubhe is the top corner of the ladle, Merak is the bottom) (And incidentally, Dubhe is one of the two stars that DON'T move toward Sagitarrius. The other is Alkaid, the corner of the handle of the dipper), they also show a differnt type of eternal constancy: draw a figurative line through yhe both of them and stretch it past Dubhe, and what do you find? Polaris! The North Star, the most fixed star in the sky, which serves as a compass everywhere in the world.
    3. As a corollary to point 2: Alkaid, in some myths, is a hunter that is chasing Dubhe, which is part of the bear. Extended to the song: so even as Dubhe extends toward Polaris it's still being hunted. Obviously the monkey is the hunter in this interpretation.
    SONG CYCLE INDEED. I bet there are musical links, too; but I'm not well-versed (ba dum tish) in music theory.

    Good luck with yours, Fori.

    By the way-- and this is TOTAL CONJECTURE-- what's the note that ends Cosmia? Wouldn't it be fantastic if it ended in the same g-sharp that adds dissonance to Emily?

  3. #18
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    Wow! I must've glossed over that post Mancy, because that adds a lovely extra layer of nuance to the album. Which isn't exactly hurting for nuance!

  4. #19
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE HOBBIT SHAMER View Post
    By the way-- and this is TOTAL CONJECTURE-- what's the note that ends Cosmia? Wouldn't it be fantastic if it ended in the same g-sharp that adds dissonance to Emily?
    Just quickly - the last note is the note D. Which in terms of music theory, is the furthest note away from G# as it is possible to get before you start getting back closer to the note.

  5. #20
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    Aww. I still think there might be other musical connections, though.

  6. #21
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    I want full scores of Ys to be published. That'd be awesome.

  7. #22
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    I don't know where to start. [Love this thread]

    Emily is my favorite song by anyone other than Kate/Tori. There may be gushing. I'd loved Milk-eyed Mender and was looking forward to Ys but just had no idea how much blowing away it would do. It was actually weeks before I made much progress into the other (brilliant) songs on the album because I'd find myself humming Emily, going back again and again whenever Ys was in the player. Seeing her in Manchester with the orchestra was unbelievable, and unmatchable as a concert experience.

    Fascinating musical & lyrical analyses above. Boy does this woman know her work.

    About the additional rhymes cropping up unexpectedly as they do - yes! That must be what makes them spark, like an extra tug into the world of the song, coming sooner than the brain expects it, and propelling its narrative onwards too, in a way that a song so laden with imagery doesn't have to.

    The layers of the music seem to tease me in a similar way. Whichever part I'm listening to, there are little reminders of what's coming up in the next part, or the part after that. Like feeling the first few tiny spots of rain out of a big cloud and thinking "this could never build to a.... whoa" as it hits.

    Ebby's already picked out my favourite lyric. I get chills just knowing that verse is approaching "dumnstruck at the sweetness of being, til we dont be"

    Quote Originally Posted by THE HOBBIT SHAMER View Post
    But then I read somewhere that her sister is an astrophysicist.
    Yes, and also backing vocalist on Emily I think? And I love the twangy ukelele when she sings "Pa pointed out to me..."

    "Just asterism in the stars set order" - the patterns percieved from out point of view, which really are just a flourish from our own little perspectives on what the universe's order really is.

    Those peonies (or ants) with water on their brains.

    And that chorus, if it can be called a chorus, learning the difference between the cause of a thing, what you see of a thing, and what the thing is.

    Sigh.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by other pete View Post
    And that chorus, if it can be called a chorus, learning the difference between the cause of a thing, what you see of a thing, and what the thing is.

    Sigh.
    Yeah! And also, the three things you mention recur in various disguises throughout the song! For example-- the skipped stones sinking into mud is a parallel image to the meteoroid, as are the "great estates not lit from within." Emily's "beam of sun" that banishes winter is a parallel image to both the meteorite AND the meteor-- to the rest of the world Emily is "what they see" but to the speaker Emily is the source of the light!

    Re, chord changes: the first change that ebby mentioned, from c-minor to e-minor in the first section-- that happens at the exact moment that the rhyme scheme changes. Up until that point there's the obsessive rhyme scheme centered on trochees-- sparrow, pharaoh, meadow, window, barrow, shadow, etc.-- but when the key changes the main rhymes shift to rhymes whose syllabic energy is much softer-- grey, away, night-time, tonight. Just saying those two series of words out loud makes apparent the differences between them in terms of stress and laxness. In terms of music-- and ebby, you can correct me because I am probably wrong-- the c-minor section that opens the song has a definite home key; but the e-minor section is much looser in terms of a musical home because it fluxes between two keys.

    In the second section, after the first refrain, the same thing happens-- the c-minor section is powered by hard rhymes, this time made even harder because it introduces three-syllable dactyls (!): hollering, happening, sickening. The e-minor section again relaxes the rhyme, and again the rhyme scheme is softer: you have the repeat of the night-time rhyme from the previous corresponding section, and you also have simple one-syllable rhymes like flare, there, in and been.

    The third section is a long stretch of hard rhymes, and the contrasting section this time is also hard-- now, plow, bow, brow, sour, dour, hour, etc-- compare these words with the corresponding sections above, and you'll see that those two previous sections are much less energetic in terms of syllables: flare, for example, sounds much lighter than plow. The lighter rhymes begin to come back with the stanza starting with "Pa pointed out to me:" and the word that ushers in the contrasting rhyme scheme is "tonight" which was present in the first section, but as "night time."

    After that wonderful climax, the refrain returns, but the rhyme scheme has already been prepared for its return in the climax: the aforementioned "tonight" rhymes with not only "light" in the line following, but also with "daylight" in the climactic line "in broad daylight at this thing: joy...".

    I hope all that made sense and that I don't sound like Fast Horse!

  9. #24
    Senior Member Hannah.'s Avatar
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    ^ You definitely don't. There isn't nearly enough TMI in that post to make it remotely Fast Horse-y.

    Quote Originally Posted by THE HOBBIT SHAMER View Post
    Yeah! And also, the three things you mention recur in various disguises throughout the song! For example-- the skipped stones sinking into mud is a parallel image to the meteoroid, as are the "great estates not lit from within." Emily's "beam of sun" that banishes winter is a parallel image to both the meteorite AND the meteor-- to the rest of the world Emily is "what they see" but to the speaker Emily is the source of the light!
    And I love this.

  10. #25
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    This song has some of her best lyrics; in fact, some of the best lyrics I've ever seen from anyone. I loved HOOM from the first moment I heard it, but Ys was a bit harder to get into and this song was the first one I clicked with on that album. So it's quite important to me.

  11. #26
    Turn to Dust Edu's Avatar
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    I love Emily. It's the song that got me into Joanna's music, I believe. I listen to it mostly in the morning, when I'm heading to college. It's a weird feeling, but it just fits when It's very early, it's a little cold and the sun is just starting to appear behind the mountains. It makes me so happy.

  12. #27
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Ah! Mancy did post his SOTW.

    I am saved.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebby View Post
    I want full scores of Ys to be published. That'd be awesome.
    I can't believe this never happened. They'd be held aloft as a benchmark for how to do this sort of thing.

  14. #29
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    http://jntp.110mb.com/

    Not full scores, just voice and harp.

  15. #30
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    Thank you!

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