Saturday, July 11, 2015

Goldstone Wood Music Contest - THE WINNER!!!

Dear Imps, as a special feature, I invited animator Melanie J. Morgan to visit the blog today and let us all know what she thought of the FANTASTIC music sent in for this year's contest! Seriously, I think you'll be able to see from her comments that she was pretty much wowed across the board. At the very end, she will name her winner, the song she will go on to turn into an awesome animatic! But you did not make her job as judge and easy one . . .



Greetings and Salutations everybody!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much of an incredible blessing it was to be able to hear all of your work!  It warmed me right down to my toes!

At the same time, I felt I had been afflicted with the curse of having to choose only one!  It’s all your faults for being too fabulous!  Oh my goodness! So, in honor of all of you wonderful darlings, I’d love to spare a moment to tell you all how fantastic I think you are.

Rise Up My Heart” – Meredith Burton:  Meredith, I absolutely love your voice!  It was such a blessing to hear it again this year!  I LOVE the flowing hymn-like quality you gave this song!  It’s so beautiful!!  I’m glad I got to hear more of your music!  So beautiful! 

Down the Mountain” – Meredith Burton and Abby Cashen:  Ladies, this song is beautiful!  I love the contemplative tone, it really echoes Rosie’s mindset, and the lyrics are gorgeous!  And what instrument did you use, Abby?  The music has such a unique tone!  Awesome job!

Eanrin’s Lullaby” – Clara Diane Thompson:  Ah, Clara, what a blessing it is to hear this song again!  It carries the lullaby SO wonderfully and is so beautifully performed and orchestrated!  It flows wonderfully!  It sounds like a legitimate lullaby!  Fantastically done!

 “The Ballad of Goldstone Wood” – Ryebrynn and Abby:  Wow, I’m amazed how much content you could cover in a single song!!  The setup is simply wonderful.  I love how you frame it in a story told to a child, and how each portion doesn’t give any “spoilerific” information, and just keeps you wanting more.  And that instrumental bridge!  Gorgeously done!  It has such a beautiful flow and build-up to it (I especially love the second half)!  Splendid!

The Wood Between” – Melissa Snow:  Oh my goodness!  I love this song, I really do.  The vocals, the music, the editing, the tone, the visuals….Wonderful!!  It’d make such a wonderfully mysterious introduction to Goldstone Wood…SO beautiful…It definitely feels like a song from a film soundtrack.  I really love it, and it’s so well put together!!   Amazingly done!

Lullabies and Dreams” – M. S. L. Miranda and Meredith Burton:  Wow, this was so beautiful!!  Meredith, your voice astounds me once again!!  The lyrics are fantastic and you both work together so wonderfully!  And M.S.L. Miranda, your ethnic music is just SO gorgeous….It sets a FANTASTIC mood to the song and it works wonderfully!  I love how the setup could easily shift from a scene of a lullaby into a perfect introduction of the setting of Golden Daughter.  Such a wonderful job!! 

Coming Through the Roses” – Allison Rudivich:  Oh Allison, this was WONDERFUL!  And your recording has improved leaps and bounds from last year, this is gorgeous!  The set up is fantastic and the visuals the lyrics inspire is wonderful!  And the music!  It’s SO wonderful!  I LOVE the build-up, the lyrics, the music, UGH it’s all so fantastic!  It’s been getting stuck in my head often this week!  Awesome job!

Song of Spheres” – Clara Diane Thompson: Ahhh Clara, so wonderful to hear this song again as well!  It’s so beautiful!  I still find myself singing it here and there even after this long.  It creates such a great visual of an introduction to Goldstone Wood…and has this inexplicable tone of foreshadowing.  As if just by listening, the listener can tell the song is important even without knowing what it’s about.  I love this song and you’ve done an amazing job!

Ballad of the Beanpole” – Michael Jones and family:  There is no one word to express my feelings on this one.  It was so heartwarming, so entertaining, and so awesome at the same time.  I pretty much literally can’t listen to it without watching it too.  You guys have done such an AWESOME job of collaborating with each other, and it’s so wonderful to watch!  The performance was great, the lyrics were fabulous, and even just the fact that you rallied your whole family into creating it was incredibly awesome.  It warms my heart and makes me laugh every time I watch it.  And all the work you put into lyrics, arrangement, music, costumes, etc…wow.  You and the family have done a wonderful job!!

Moon’s Lullaby” – Allison Rudivich:  And now, this week on “Allison Finds a Way to Make Everyone Cry!”  Seriously, though, this song was absolutely breathtaking.  The lyrics were gorgeous and genius and fit into the setting absolutely beautifully.  And I love the parallel you made between the lullaby of Goddess Tithe and Hymlumé and her children.  Ugh, so many feels…  And the music fit so perfectly!  It was just absolutely fantastic.

Daughter of Gold” – Hannah Williams:  Oh Hannah, darling, this is beautiful!  I wasn’t expecting the privilege of getting to hear piece from you!  The lyrics are fantastic, and it has such a wonderful emotional tone that is so bittersweet, so reminiscent of Sairu’s unconscious longing.  And I love the hint of the orient in the tune, it’s such a nice touch!  Fantastic job!  It’s so awesome to hear something from you!

It’s Lovely to Be Me” – Beckah and Abby:  Ladies, this is so awesome!  I love how you chose to write a song for Gleamdren, and it’s so fantastic!  The lyrics are genius, it’s got a confident, lovely sing-song quality, and I LOVE the idea of the “ME!” musical number for Goldstone Wood belonging to Gleamdren, the likes of “Gaston” (Beauty and the Beast) and “Perfect Isn’t Easy” (Oliver & Company) (Forgive the Disney nerd).  The song is just so entertaining, and you both have done an amazing job!!

In Between” – Hannah Williams and Clara Darling: Ladies, this is so wonderful!  So mysterious…It’s so fantastically written, recorded, and composed together.  It comes together so nicely!  It’s such a wonderful introductory song to Goldstone Wood.  It gives just enough to get people interested but holds back just enough to hook people in and get them wanting more.  So well done, ladies!  Bravo!!

One and Only” – Ruth, Kara, Laura, Lydia, and Beckah (I mean…Eanrin):  This concept is genius.  Absolutely genius.  And I’m so impressed that all of you have collaborated together, let alone collaborated so well and edited it all together in one piece!  The music gives such a perfect Celtic atmosphere, and really echoes the atmosphere of what I’d imagine from Rudiobus (And I love the visuals you chose!).  And the lyrics fit the tune so well!  Splendidly done, ladies!

Finding His Path” – Brittney:  Ahhh, Brittney I was hoping to hear something from you this year!!  And WOW…you have done the most difficult thing…I have always had a really hard time forgiving Lionheart’s character because of stuff in my own life…but not only have you made me FEEL for Lionheart, you’ve made me RELATE to him.  And it scares me and it’s beautiful all at the same time.  And the song itself is just GORGEOUS, and the pictures you’ve taken with the help of your brother and mom are just so perfectly appropriate!  It all fits so well and I just love this song!!  Bravo, my dear, bravo!!

Where Did the Songbird Go?” – Daniel and Erin Hodge:  Oh gosh, you guys…this was so beautiful… the tune is so wonderful, and it portrays the lullaby so wonderfully!  It’s so memorable and the way it’s composed easily carries a theme of Goddess Tithe as a whole.  Daniel, your piano creates such a perfect mood, and Erin, your voice and his piano complement each other PERFECTLY.  Such a beautiful job!

Rise Up My Heart” – Hannah Rogers:  WOW…just wow…All I can say is this gorgeous thing sounds like Lord of the Rings credits song-level (That is a giant compliment in Melly-speak).  The music and composition is just wonderful and creates such a beautiful, bittersweet, haunting mood that is perfect for its setting.  I love it.  It’s so beautiful.  And your performance is just breathtaking.  Wonderfully done, my dear!

The Waltz of Arpiar” – M. S. L. Miranda:  What a blessing it was, my dear, to hear this song again!  The ATMOSPHERE you create with this song is so haunting and so beautiful and creates such a gorgeous picture and dynamic, and it creates such a unique and distinct picture of what Arpiar is, and I love it.  It’s so intricate, and there’s so much depth to it.  Such an awesome song, darling, bravo!!

The Roses of Arpiar” – Stuart McAdam and Jemma Tainsh: Wow, so much emotional tone in this song!  It’s wonderful!  The way it’s composed it makes it so easy to sing to, and I could easily sing the song in my head while listening to it.  It’s clear, and clean, and so beautiful and a bit melancholy.  It has such a nice effect that soothes but keeps you in a mood that could be somewhat sad.  It’s such a deep and complicated feeling that you’ve captured so well!  And the tune is so memorable!  You guys have done an awesome job!

Etatun’s Lament” – Erin and Daniel Hodge:  Oh. My. Goodness…Are you guys going to be making this a habit, making me cry?  Shame on you.  In all seriousness, the tune, the composition, and music, how it all came together.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  And the feeling you’ve captured in that single song, and how you handled its composition…awesome.  It paints such a clear picture.  And that picture is gorgeous.  Tragic, but gorgeous.  Fantastically done, you guys!!

Black is the Color” – EverRising Productions:  Words?  Words exist?  Oh my goodness…Hannah, the visuals you used fit perfectly and made it a joy not only to listen to, but to watch.  Bryn, the writing was amazing, and so on point.  It was absolutely perfect.  Stephen, your voice acting for Eanrin was PHENOMENAL.  I was totally floored.  And David, your singing voice is shockingly gorgeous and perfect for Eanrin.  The music was fantastic and had perfect pensive and melancholy tone with that hint of longing.  It was just a perfect collaboration, and the production quality is absolutely astounding, and how you brought the ending into the beginning of Heartless?  Genius.  It was an absolute joy to listen to.  Splendidly done, you guys!

Thank you guys so much for giving me the absolute pleasure of listening to your amazing, beautiful music.  You’re all so talented and it gives me such incredible joy to listen to your fantastic work.  Thank you.  And thanks to Anne Elisabeth for allowing me to be a part of this.

So!  I’ll have you all know you’ve made my job an almost-literal nightmare trying to choose amongst your fabulousness.  If I didn’t enjoy your work so much, I’d tell you all to stop being so fabulous.  Judging was nigh impossible.  I’m sure if I had to judge on a typical scale I may have never come to a solid conclusion.

It took quite a while and multiple listens to even come close to a decision of which song to storyboard. The decision I came to was a song that stirred me with such a vivid picture and such a heart-wrenching vision that I couldn’t stop thinking about the story in my head.  Its tune and emotional tone were striking and fit perfectly in its context.  When I listened to it, I could easily hear a piece that I could storyboard without fail.  It quite honestly moved me to tears.  And it was the best candidate that I knew I could storyboard well.

So!  Without further adieu, the song I’ve chosen to storyboard is…

By: Erin and Daniel Hodge

Thank you, Melanie, for those wonderful write-ups! And BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Erin and Daniel on their win! I can hardly wait to hear your music performed in Melanie's animatic!

A note to everyone else . . . EverRising Productions, who submitted the "Black is the Color" piece are teaming up with Erin Hodge and Melanie to produce the animatic, with the amazing David Chamberlain offering Etanun's singing voice and the talented Stephen Shutt creating voices for both Etanun and Akilun. So the folks at EverRising are part of the winning project as well and will also be receiving copies of Poison Crown: The Smallman's Heir when it releases. So congratulations to them too!

It's going to be fantastic. Thank you, EVERYONE, for your participation! You made this year's concert even more exciting than the last one (which I wouldn't have thought possible). It was so much fun to share and enjoy your talents.

Next up . . . the Fan Fiction Contest!!! Don't miss your chance to participate. (Here are the rules.)

Have a lovely weekend, and do take a moment to congratulate our winners!


Unknown said...


Anastasis Faith said...

Congratulations, Erin and Daniel Hodge! And congratulations to the rest of you for the talent you displayed here! :) :)

Meredith said...

Congratulations to Ms. Erin and Mr. Daniel Hodge and Ever Rising Productions! The song is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so very excited to hear the entire anomatic when it's completed. "Prince of My Dreams" was phenomenal, and I know this one will be as well. Best wishes.

And, thank you, Ms. Melanie, for your very kind and encouraging comments. Thank all the artists for sharing such beautiful work. Something about this series brings so many people together and stimulates such creativity. It's so very inspiring. I don't envy you the judging job, Ms. Melanie, and I think you made a wonderful choice. God bless.

Jill Stengl said...

Congratulations to Erin and Daniel, and to all the contestants for turning in such lovely work. I have listened to all of your songs, many of them several times over, with so much pleasure. :-) Your ability to capture the emotion and meaning of these scenes through music amazes me. Thank you for sharing your talent!

Therru Ghibli said...

Congratulations to the winners!!
Great choice Ms. Melanie! And thank you for the encouraging comments! I used a keyboard for Down the Mountain.

Hannah said...

Congratulations, Erin and Daniel!!!!!

Can I again say how thrilled I was to discover something Anne Elisabeth had written about my dear Etanun that I hadn't read??? And now it's going to be turned into an animatic, complete with voices?


I don't think I can even express just how much I'm looking forward to singing this animatic!

Thank you for the sweet comments, Melanie! :D

Becky said...

Yes, Yes, YES!!! Congratulations Erin and Daniel! I have listen to this song so many times. The lyrics, the music, the vocals just made my heart break for Etanun all over again. It is so reflective of our own sojourn here. Anne Elisabeth, thank you for the epilogue of Dragonwitch! Without which recovery would be near impossible...and thanks to God for the hope of our own epilogue eternal.

I literally woke up in the middle of the night with this song in my head. There were also a couple of others I found myself humming and even singing aloud during the week. You all did such a fantastic job! So many gorgeous voices! The songwriting capabilities were phenomenal! I will be listening to all your music over and over again. Thank you all...and thank you Melanie for taking on the impossible job of judging. I am extremely excited to see and hear your finished animatic.

Congratulations again to Erin, Daniel and EverRising Productions!

Becky said...

AND...thank you, Anne Elisabeth, for those lyrics from that beautiful deleted scene from /Dragonwitch, that beautifully longing scene...and again, the epilogue. *sigh*

Unknown said...

I forgot to let you all know...I'm not kidding here. 100% serious.

Your guys' music was SO memorable that, when I was (crying at the notion of) trying to judge, I literally didn't even have to click on the video for each song to play perfectly in my head solely by reading the title (I did click on them again before making a decision, of course, but you get my point).

You guys should be proud of yourselves. I'm dead serious. If I didn't have to think about all the storyboarding stuff and had to play the part of a real judge in this contest, I might've packed up and moved to another planet so I wouldn't have to choose.

I guess my point is...

...You guys are absolutely amazing and I am so proud to be part of this fandom.

All the hugs!

Psalms w guitar said...

Yes, congrats! I agree with your choice. I think it works perfect with your animations, which, I hope you continue to perfect,... Seriously. Because, your animations tell the story quickly, and, these books have something very unique to offer.

It was so wonderful to see all of you expressing yourselves and what you felt about stories.

I think we would all agree that Anne Elizabeth has "pulled" something special out of our hearts!

My family continues to be blessed by the literature and I'm hoping to make this music thing every year an annual event for us.

Unknown said...

And thank you for the encouraging complements Melanie!

BrynS. said...

Congrats to Erin and Daniel!! Looking forward to the finished work, Melanie.

Erin H said...

Thank you so much, Melanie! We are so excited to work with you and EverRising!
Erin & Daniel

ghost ryter said...

Congratulations!! Etanun's Lament is SO beautiful and just tugs at my heart something terrible. I'll be eagerly awaiting the animatic! And thank you so much for the really lovely and encouraging compliments, Melanie! (It's funny that you mentioned "Gaston", since that song was part of what made me think something like that would be fun for Gleamdren.) :D

E.F.B. said...

Congratulations to Erin and Daniel on your win! Etanun's Lament is such a beautiful song, I just know it will make for a wonderful animatic, especially with Melanie and EverRising Productions working on it! I can't wait to see it!

Thanks to everyone for sharing you music. I enjoyed listening to it! And thanks especially to Anne Elisabeth for writing stories that inspired such wonderful music!

Merenwen Inglorion said...

Congratulations to Erin and Daniel! :D

What are the lyrics to Etanun's lament? I have a hard time hearing things on youtube (unless the sound quality is akin to movies, and even then I feel like I need captioning).
Example: After "There I stretch my hand", I heard, "My soul stretched out over to mirror again." Or something like that. *sheepish smile*
I could understand snatches of the rest of the song, but pretty much the only things I heard clearly were the first four lines.
So, yeah...
Lyrics would be appreciated. :)
(I checked the youtube description, and there weren't any there.)

Thanks. :)
-Merenwen Inglorion

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Merenwen Inglorion--The lyrics were shared in the original contest post. You can also find them on my website:!deleted-scenes-5/c18c1