The Dark Castle
'It is a time unlike the present. No cars. No paved roads. No lights. No electronic communication. And in this time a traveler is moving through the woods on a dark night, seeking shelter for the evening.
Tired and weak, the traveler approaches a grand structure. In awe of the castle, it is decided to see if this will suffice. But though it is abandoned, the traveler fears that it might not be empty. composer John Fischer tells of our traveler as they explore the different areas of The Dark Castle.
Difficulty - Medium Easy Grade - 2.5
ORIGINAL COMPOSITION - no rights required.
Mvt. I - 'Castle Entrance'
On a dark night, a castle is seen in the distance growing larger as one approaches. It is majestic yet daunting, giving pause to those who approach it. The entrance is grand - in daylight with tended grounds it would have been the ultimate display of royalty. But overgrown, dark, and uninhabited it is a dark and almost evil display. The music portrays the entrance and the castle overall as a grand presence, yet forboding as well. The large chord sequences are meant to portray the grandness of the structure, while the accents in the melody and ostinatos set up a somewhat unsettling tone. Tonally it mixes an overall dark and dissonant sound with the occasional sonorous major and open chord. Throughout the development, the ostinato/minimalistic figures lend to the approach and the growing unease of one who would near it.
Mvt. II - 'The Chapel'
Moving through the castle, we come across a chapel. It has rays of light shining through the stained glass, though clouded by the dust in the air. We see torn/decayed tapestries on the walls with religious symbolism. There is an altar that has caved on one side. Is it from years of abandonment? Or something sinister that did not feel welcome? The music is a mix of hymnal (Abide With Me by William H. Monk) and dark and dissonant overtones dispersed throughout. After a developing original section, the chorale returns triumphantly, painting a picture of what the chapel might have been.
Mvt. III - 'Dungeon Escape'
After the chapel we make it all the way into the belly of the castle - the dungeon. It is eerily quiet, and dark. The only sounds you can hear are of dripping rain water. Then you feel an ominous presence....you think you see something, but figure it might be your eyes playing tricks on you. But regardless, your fear grows. Then out of nowhere there is a loud bang, and it confirms your terror as you desperately flee the castle. You wind in and out of the corridors, struggling to figure out the maze and labyrinths of the complex building. You run out of fear for whatever you came across that is behind you, and you don't have any interest in stopping to see if it is still there. As you get near the end you hear more banging, and dark booming laughter as you finally find the front door and get out of the castle. Still dark in the night, you look back at the ominous building in all its majesty as you ride away.