The Elves are waking up and poking their heads out of the bushes after a long time of hibernation.
We are back! :)
This time we continue our venture into Roots and we pick up where we left with our track Metamorphosis!
I promised I would tell the story of the song when we released Rebirth which is its sister track and a reversed version of Metamorphosis and looking back to it it's a tale of transformation and connection on my part with both of these songs.
Metamorphosis, as bouncy, jiggly and fun as it sounds is based on a rather confusing childhood memory. One of the very few clear ones I have. You see, I used to experience sleep paralysis pretty frequently. Funny, I remember a lot of the dreams I had as a child. They were intense.
This song is the tale of a rather particular night when I was around 3 or 4 I think. I would try to calm myself down while being in the grip of a rather intense hypnagogic hallucination. I used to have this weird little "movie" (as I called it) going before finally falling asleep and by this time already it happened almost every single night. Now I know it was just sleep paralysis and me sleeping with my eyes half open, lol, but as a child I thought my room was a gate to another world at night.
It would start out with a little drum. Steadily beating in the distance just outside of my room. Growing louder and louder, you can hear it in Metamorphosis' rhythm that carries throughout the song. I wasn't able to move, but I could watch the shadows gushing out under my door, slowly filling the room like strange shadow like people. Once these beings arrived in my room the drum was so loud it drowned out everything else. They were everywhere and they danced around me. They never did anything to me, still I was scared of them because they had scary faces and grimaces and they smiled, dancing around me while I slowly drifted away, finally falling asleep.
The old version of Metamorphosis
While working on the first version Metamorphosis I started off with the bouncy melody - although it was a different instrument at first, which you will be able to hear in one of our next videos! -, which made me remember a tiny snippet of the memory above so vividly I almost felt like I was back there. At first it didn't make much sense to me - it still really doesn't but I know the context now - I kept wondering if it was something that really happenend or if I dreamt it, but as I was adding more and more to the song I remembered the drums and so I put them in, documenting my first 'audio memory' without knowing so to speak, haha. When I heard the final result I still didn't have the full picture but I was gripped by excitement, confusion and anxiety.
I wasn't sure what to do with this song. I liked it, in a way, but it also scared me. So I showed it to Jordi, saying it doesn't really sound much like a Forest Elves song, but he convinced me otherwise and added his own little vocal touches to the song which I loved! And so we recorded our stuff, I mixed it in (and nearly lost my mind trying to get it all to work together. We had SO. MANY. vocal files) and in the end we were both pretty excited about the result.
We kept talking about a video and we both had the idea to include kaleidoscope visuals that change to the song, an idea I absolutely loved because I know I used to play a lot with kaleidoscopes as a child. I loved them. I still do!
So I gathered materials, taught myself how to use the mirror effect in Sony Vegas and I made this little animation you can see in the video above.
Cut to 2018 when I revisited Metamorphosis in an attempt to find inspiration, by listening to the main melody of Meta in reverse, which in turn lead to the 'birth' of Rebirth (lol). Rebirth, as I said is the sister track of Metamorphosis. It was me trying to connect with the little memory snippets Meta brought up and working through them hoping I could let them go and feel less anxious about these things. It worked quite well.
The instrumental version of Rebirth
While working on Rebirth I remembered the context of this memory, I remembered I used to sleep walk, that I had nightmares as a child and I read through articles about sleep paralysis which explained the phenomenon I experienced as a child and it calmed me down a lot to find a rather innocent explanation for the things I remembered.
2018 was when we decided to revisit our old songs for Roots we watched all of our videos and while we enjoyed Metamorphosis and absolutely wanted it to be on the album we didn't like the muffled quality and weak vocals. We knew we could do better and so we did! We sat down, recorded all vocals again and now with a little bit more knowledge of how mixing actually works on both sides we could finally make a version we're both pretty proud of.
We hope you enjoyed the new and improved version of Metamorphosis!
Ah we are back! I was jogging my memory with Merry to make sure I hadn’t misremembered anything, and thankfully I hadn’t. Although it was a while back, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the demo of this track. Merry didn’t initially feel that it was necessarily a project for Forest Elves because the electronic/synthy style of this differed so much from our tracks up ‘til this point. When I first heard it though, the ambience, the rhythms, the melodies… it all felt very Forest Elves to me! It wasn’t quite like our more acoustic and relaxed stuff, but it was still very ambient and otherworldly. I knew immediately that we could turn this into something amazing, and the vocal rhythms we created for this were incredibly fun and catchy too! To me, this track was also a turning point in terms of our experimenting with more electronic instrumentation, which has since become a staple of our sound in its own regard for our more ambient pieces.
I have a lot of fond memories of this song, and dancing to the alternate version as well with Alex while we drank some drinks. For our album, the song was already pretty good, but we wanted to go over the vocals and re-record them with a bit more power! We felt the original vocals were lacking a bit in energy, as the instrumental is so energetic. We felt we could do better, and I love our Roots version of this track