We’re going to time-travel all the way back to October of 2009. I was still working on my first book, “Vox”. I didn’t get out much that fall. In fact, I spent most of my time sitting on the couch in my parent’s computer room on my laptop just pouring out word after word, chapter after chapter. This was also a point that I began discovering new music through Pandora. Pandora, for me, holds a bevy of unknown, sometimes undefinable songs which are just waiting to be discovered. Usually, I’ll throw on a station based off of one song I like of a certain genre and let it toss out suggestions from there. When I chose a Loreena McKennitt station while working on my Ireland chapter of “Vox”, I was introduced to the musical stylings of Qntal. And boy was I hooked.
Qntal is a German “electro-medieval” band. You might be saying to yourself “what on earth is that?!” Basically, they incorporate some techno-like stylings into what would otherwise be music you’d hear at a Renaissance fair or in a movie about King Arthur. Often they use the language they would have spoken back in the Middle Ages as well. I’m an absolute sucker for stories about knights. I love the King Arthur legends, really enjoyed watching Game of Thrones, and was completely hooked by the tv adaption of Pillars of the Earth. (I know… I should read these.) The reason I chose to incorporate Qntal into “Vox” is because the Savaric bloodline who are encountered in this chapter, were actually created during that time period. They are an old and noble blood and I felt like I could be better in touch with them by listening to Qntal’s music. Today, I’d like to share 6 of their songs with you and tell you why they are so special to me.
Falling Star: This is one of the few songs by Qntal that’s actually in English. I fall in love with the melody of this one and can instantly see a mystical landscape open up in front of my eyes the moment they close. A place that seems to defy the imagination with its beauty. There are rivers that move so fast they almost look as though they’re not moving at all. Water hangs suspended in the air at the waterfall, reflecting the light of the sun and displaying crystalline patterns across the rocks around. The grass is brilliant green and soft. It smells of the earth. When the world grows dark, the stars reflect in the pools at the base of the falls, displaying a map of blackness with spots of red and blue as stars are created and old stars die.
Hymni Nocturnalis: This song was actually the inspiration for one of the antagonists of “Vox”, Tyra. Though she only shows up for a short amount of time in the first book, she is a character who will play a role in books to come. Tyra is power-hungry and though she is beautiful, she hides a lust for control and domination. She’s claimed herself as ruler of the 9th bloodline and has been waging war against the other bloodline in a desperate attempt to control them. But, does she have another agenda? I had a lot of fun creating Tyra and designing her fortress. In several ways, the dark realm in The Monstrum Chronicles (known as the Erebus) is very medieval like. There’s no technology there and most of the architecture and travel are very similar to what they would have been back then. It’s easier for me to slip into that setting with this particular piece playing because it’s a hybrid of sorts. It has a rhythmic beat but also those haunting vocals to create an eerie sense.
Worlds of Light: This makes excellent travel music for characters maneuvering through territory that’s said to be magical but also deadly. I always see a forest, one with a filmy mist that makes it difficult to see more than a couple feet in front of you. Snow flurries from the cold grey sky. The characters have come together although they can barely stand one another to take this journey. They all have a common goal but just don’t see it yet. They prefer to be loners and have a difficult time trying to communicate with one another. Slowly, they draw closer to their destination. But the journey has many surprises and lessons in store for them.
Obscure: The song that inspired my Ireland chapter in “Vox”. Ireland is home to the largest collection of Savaric lilitu. The Savaric are the forth bloodline created by The Serkan, the first lilitu. They are devoted to solving puzzles, decoding ancient languages, and cataloging research. Their studies of the arcane and mystical have caused them to become the keepers of The Tomb, the largest library of lilitu tomes and apocryphas detailing the rise and falls of lilitu civilization. The Tomb has is now housed in Belfast, North Ireland and is under the care of the bloodline’s Exodus, Savaric. The characters journey there in hopes of learning more about the mysterious Vox…
Winter: I see a lone character when I listen to this song. They are standing out beneath the full moon. A fresh storm has coated the landscape in snow. Icicles glint off the reflection of the moon as they cling to trees just across the garden. The character knows that with winter comes danger. They cast a glance back at their home and to the light just fading in the bedroom upstairs. They’ve only just found their love, only just discovered the new and wonderful sensation of holding ardor for a person who will never let them go. And now, winter comes. There is a rush of wind that blows through the characters hair and makes goosebumps rise across the back of their neck. From the forest across the garden, they see the thing that marks the beginning of winter, the thing they most fear: two red pin prick eyes peering out through the darkness toward them.
Translucida: It’s with this song that the medieval theme really comes out. I see there being a knight as the main character within this song. He patrols and protects the village from outsiders. Many do not know him. He’s arrived from a place far off, a place no longer around. He’s seen destruction and death and longs never to have to see it happen again to innocent people. These experiences have altered him in a way that many don’t understand. He has trouble connecting to others, may even come off as cold because of it. It’s a defense mechanism, a way to keep himself unattached. He can’t allow it when devastation is always possible. That is, until he meets a passing traveler, a woman fleeing from a neighboring village that’s recently been attacked. She doesn’t fear his coldness, nor his gaze. And there are men coming for her, to harm her. He decides he will throw himself into battle to defend her, even though he doesn’t know her. It is his calling and his duty as a knight.
Next week on Inspiration Through Music, I promise to have it done for you much earlier than this. A couple months ago, I did a post containing songs from 90’s films. I also remember mentioning that I’d do a Part 2 to that. Well, guess what? It’s happening next week. Stay tuned!
3 thoughts on “Inspiration Through Music: Qntal”
Brilliant! Would love for you to check out my blog: http://www.giorgethomas.com
i have all of Loreena McKennitt’s CDs and love her music very much. my favorite is Dante’s Prayer. have you ever watched her on YouTube? so inspiring…
i’m off to discover Qntal – thanks for sharing!
I have watched her on youtube. And I’m very fond of her music. I did a music post on her earlier this year actually. “Prologue” is actually my favorite of hers.