Lament has gone through quite the journey and it is one of my oldest compositions :)
I started making music and singing in April 2011 and that was the month I made Lament. I have this really vivid memory of that day in my head where I sat infront of my PC playing around with the trial version of FL Studio and some free virtual instruments, exporting patterns in the crustiest mp3 quality available and putting everything together in Audacity... Sometimes I miss these times where everything was experimental and new. Where I truly had no idea what I did (not that I have now, but it feels very different) and the task at hand seemed monumental if not impossible. How do I compose something? How do I make music out of silence? How do I tell stories with melodies? I loved figuring out how to do things by myself... I had no internet connection at home to look anything up, so I had to piece everything together via trial and error. It was fun!
With Lament I wanted to make something that conveyed sadness, grief and loneliness and I sang from the heart... badly, but at that time it was my best. Nowadays I hear every single bit of weirdness and gasping breaths in it and I cringe, lol. Let's say: It's unpolished, but genuine. I don't want to drag past Merry like this. She was proud of herself and she deserves to be.
A video with my first compositions: The first version of Lament is at 4:44
A few months later, in November 2011 after my situation changed quite drastically (I went away from home), I found myself visiting Lament again and I felt inspired to dabble at it once more. This time with a little more knowledge and a clearer vision in mind... and a bit more control over my voice. I could draw upon my own feelings of isolation and sadness at that time and I put them into this somewhat gloomy sounding piano piece. I recorded tons of harmonies and I wanted to put them all in, but in the end I found out I genuinely enjoyed the hollow feeling this one conveyed. I remember that I felt very removed from my own feelings when it got too much to bear so I thought the emptiness was quite fitting.
The second version of Lament also made in 2011
Before sharing this version I had an idea. Many people asked me to collaborate with them at the time and it felt awful that I often had to turn them down, so I decided to share the instrumental and invited people to make their own version of this song. Although at this point a very personal composition, I felt it was that kind of composition that lent itself well for many kinds of interpretations. Sadness, grief and emptiness all come in so many forms. So this was an attempt to reconnect with people and myself when I put this 'challenge' as I called it back then, together. I asked others to sing, play instruments, or do anything really to make this song their own. Many people contributed! Back then when YouTube still had the feature that allowed to put other videos as response (I think that's what it was called?) I would link them under the video of the instrumental for other people to find. It was lovely to hear other people's interpretation of this song and the ideas they came up with. I still have them all saved on my external hard drive :)
Music truly has a way to connect things and people.
One of the people who joined in was Jordi who did an absolutely outstanding version. I put it down below. If you listen to it you'll hear where the influence of the latest version of Lament comes from.
Jordi's version of Lament the first Forest Elves song you could say!
In 2018 I visited many old pieces again. I wanted to see what they would sound like now and along with Cry of the Forest, Lament was another song that got a full remake and we decided to turn it into a Forest Elves song. I put influences of both Jordi's and my versions together and blended them into one. The instrumentation is something I'm quite proud of. It's delicate, elegant and a little solemn. It went from this somewhat limited feeling of sadness and loneliness from just one person who was detatched from everything and transformed into this version it is now. I liked that our vocals sounded more raw compared to the instrumental, especially Jordi's vocals. He really added another perspective to the song in my opinion. And I can finally say now it sounds like the song I envisioned in 2011.
Lament! A track yet unheard probably by many of our listeners. I remember, I first heard this in 2011, when Merry released a vocal version of this, which included Merry's voice and just piano. Along with this, Merry provided just the instrumental and the opportunity for others to make their own interpretation of Lament and record their own versions, which I went ahead and created and released on the very same day Merry had released her version. Merry already gave a lot of the details behind this process, some things I'm even learning for the first time (or perhaps forgotten since), so I really can't add all that much more.
Mostly, what I want to say is that Lament is something I personally really wanted to revisit for Roots, because I think that it was technically our first released collaboration? Already then, I was singing in what I now call 'Etherean' before I ever had a name for it. It was just me singing sounds that sounded nice to sing. We had yet to make a proper Forest Elves version for it, and we took inspiration both from Merry's original versions of the song, and also my arrangement of it, and merged them together, while adding our own new shine to it all. I'm really happy with how this turned out, and it feels like we came full circle with this!
Please enjoy it! <3