Cry of the Forest... our first and oldest song. This song has a very special place in my heart for that reason. I can't believe we first released this over seven years ago! We first had the idea to remake this song and another, which actually then turned into what has now become our first Roots release. The idea sort of snowballed into the album, and it made sense for us! We never would have anticipated how many people our first version of Cry of the Forest would reach, and it also set the precedent for what 'sound' Forest Elves would have. Of course, we experimented a lot since then, but Cry of the Forest has always been quintessential Forest Elves. We've grown a lot since then, and we wanted to elevate this song and arrange it in the way we always wished we would have done back then. Equipped with new and more advanced skills and musical knowledge, we remade this song from scratch and we hope you enjoy this new rendition! We also wanted to keep fairly true to the original arrangement because it's one of our more relatively iconic melodies and vocals.
Remembering what I was thinking back when I wrote these lyrics is really difficult. Lyrics tend to come to me really spontaneously, and I think I wrote these in about 5-10 minutes. They were completely inspired by the music that Merry had written, which was so beautiful, yet had a tone of sorrow and longing to it. I also wanted to capture the element of mystery that I felt from the music. This world was created in my head; the Forest has a life of its own. The Forest feels, and it remembers. Every footstep that walks through it, every touch of skin on the bark of its trees, every hoot and howl of the animals that call it home. "Buried deep, lay secrets of forgotten places" ...the Forest is ancient and while time will wither and wittle away within, the Forest preserves what it wants to preserve. "The forest sleeps, never forgetting the faces of past" ...the Forest may seem calm and still, but it is aware and alive. Asleep, but awake. Still, but breathing.
This song became the roots of our project; our music-making journey together. We came together with a love of mystery, of nature, of magic, and this song was the first time this all crossed paths and came together. This song just became what it became, almost by itself. Its own entity. It grew into what it was meant to be, and we just enabled the environment for the song to grow. This is how all of our songs since have tend to come to be as well. Cry of the Forest may have been the start, but it certainly isn't the end.
Cry of the Forest! The start of our journey and the first song of our album! It was the song that started Roots. The root of Roots, if you want to put it that way.
A little fun fact: We kept teasing the acapella version of this song throughout our uploads. We put it in our end screen and increased the decibel by 5 each time we uploaded a new video. We intended for it to keep going until Roots was finished but never got to the point where it was possible to clearly hear it in all its glory. In the end we released a little teaser with the full clip just about two days before the album dropped, along with a little riddle.
"Look to the very beginning, the first word ever spoken, and all will be revealed."
The answer to that was: Roots
It was the first word we've ever sang on Forest Elves and it's the name of our first full album.
When we decided on a name for the album we hadn't even realised that Roots was the first word of our debut song. Imagine our surprise and joy when we finally found out... it was around the time we nearly finished all the tracks for the album. We got quite excited over it. I still remember how Cry of the Forest came to be. It was back in 2011. At the end of it actually. I've been composing a lot during that time. Mostly originals and some have made it onto my own channel and some are to this day under my most favourite compositions I made. Cry of the Forest was actually always intended to be a Forest Elves song and thinking back to it, had we made it in 2011 it would have sounded a lot more different than in 2013, when we both already had a little bit more experience in making music.
2011 was the year I started composing music. I'm not trained in it (I can't even read music) and I had, up to that point, never done anything like composing but it was an exciting new thing for me to do and I immensely enjoyed it because it was a way to express myself more clearly than through art.
I've never been good with words. I'm actually quite a literal person and I'm also not very good at expressing myself through metaphors, or understanding them... I even struggle with jokes sometimes, but music helped me to get some of the things I experienced out there in some form. Sometimes way more abstract than intended. You'll find out when we get to Metamorphosis. That one is a doozy.
Although I'm an extrovert I'm extremely shy and reserved around other people. I do love talking, once I'm comfortable... Perhaps this is why I make music. I don't really know. I just know I can put things I feel into sound and hopefully inspire others to dream their own stories.
A little escape from our reality. Which is what music is to me.
With Cry of the Forest I wanted to express the compelling mystery of nature itself. Something mythical, something old and perhaps even a little bit beyond comprehension sometimes. There is so much going on, even when we're not around to see it. It just does its thing. Forests are interesting, quite scary at times if you think about it. Getting lost in one is like being eaten alive. It's an organism of its own, housing all sorts of creatures and beings, all contained in itself somewhat.
Another fun fact: Cry of the Forest actually has a sister track called Wind and Leaves. Wind and Leaves was composed a little later down the road, a few months after Cry of the Forest and both have been forgotten in my files for some time until I uploaded Wind and Leaves to YouTube.
If you're curious about Wind and Leaves you can listen to it here. I included the video down below.
I'd say it's almost quite the Forest Elves sound isn't it? I wonder what I'd do differently now... I'm definitely not opening up my program right now to do a remake of it, nope, hahaha.
Anyways! Back to Cry of the Forest! 2011 I wrote the melody and like I said I forgot about it for quite some time. Early Forest Elves was just as notorious about composing things and letting them age like fine wine as we are now. We're just a little more organized now so hopefully it won't be so apparent anymore ;)
A few months later in 2012 Jordi and I remembered the existence of a channel called Forest Elves on YouTube and that it actually was our own channel...
"Didn't we want to make music together?"
"Oh dude, I might have just the thing!"
And just like that I showed him Cry of the Forest which instantly inspired him to write beautiful lyrics in mere MINUTES.
Can you imagine my surprise? I have a terrible time coming up with things to say in my music, which is why most of my old stuff doesn't even have lyrics. Not to mention that my english was terrible at that time. You can still see some of it in my old video descriptions on my own channel... Then there was Jordi who wrote these beautiful lyrics in just minutes and I was SO thrilled and in awe. Although I didn't really have an idea what they meant exactly, they sounded mysterious and that was what I was going for with this song. He managed to put it all into words.
This was the first time someone was able to put something I wanted to tell into words. It seemed like he could sense exactly what I was trying to say with this song. That was definitely a magical experience. He quickly recorded his vocals. I mixed them in and then... we forgot about it until a few months later 2013 rolled around and I finally finished my vocals.
Last fun fact: The bit "The forest sleeps silently" (something I came up with) has always been a part of the song. Back in 2013 I recorded myself singing this part, but I wasn't happy with how it sounded. I couldn't really get it right so I left it out until we recorded it new in 2018.
Once everything was done Jordi made the lovely video for it, we put it up on YouTube and the rest is history.