Michelle Travis

Michelle Travis

Jul 01 2014

Musical Treasures

While working with Vladimir on the music for NEXUS, one of the tracks we'd requested was to be the theme for the thirteen Artifacts. The track was meant to evoke each of the Artifacts via different instruments, keys, and rhythms. After several hours' discussion with Vladimir on what was to carry the theme all the way through (while the Artifacts' individual themes would rise and fall throughout), he conceived a series of brass-themed intense chords. Woven throughout that theme came thirteen phrases to represent the Artifacts, told as the wanderings of a traveller in search of the Artifacts of Tyanaphos.

The end result is the fourteen-and-a-half-minute-long suite of music entitled "Treasure Hunter."

The dawn echoes with the distant call of horns from the Castle of Mist as the Treasure Hunter wanders the lands of Tyanaphos.

To light the way, sunlight through the Celestial Diamond reflects rays of divine illumination as glass bells and chimes in quick-moving successive notes.

As the Treasure Hunter travels the landscape, time ceases to have meaning with the Empty Hourglass moving just beneath the main chord through the sound of rushing winds.

With a shift in chords, the Treasure Hunter reaches a crumbling ruin showing the last vestiges of civilization after war has come and gone, marked by the Gauntlet of Armageddon's clinking metal and discordant chiming.

As the Treasure Hunter passes through the devastation, the Jeweled Sword's exotic scimitar is represented by a haunting violin solo.

In time, however, all things can be rebuilt, and the Quill and Scroll then appears in a clockwork-sounding series of syncopated beats, drums, and bells, bringing order and civilization once again.

As the stars slowly rise in the evening sky, the Treasure Hunter sees the Seven Stars appear with a low drumbeat and faintly sweeping, tremulous chords.

The Treasure Hunter soon becomes aware, though, that before the new can be created, the old must be destroyed, and the Artifacts' theme vanishes as the Sphere of Annihilation appears with discordant, reversed sounds, culminating in a rush of sound as it implodes on itself into nothingness.

For a long moment, there is only silence, but the Treasure Hunter finds the Staff of Health, and pounds out a powerful rhythmic beat, restarting the 'heart' of the world as the Artifacts' original theme returns.

Daring to set forth once more, the Treasure Hunter uses the Stones of Scrying to lend a hopeful and restrained view via French horns in an elegant series of notes.

The Torch of Desire, however, burns away the Treasure Hunter's restraint with mighty strings arpeggios rising in almost unstoppable power.

As the Treasure Hunter is caught within the Vault of Purgatory, the Vault seizes the last note and holds it to an almost unbearable level until it releases the note and the Treasure Hunter, and finally returns to the original chord of the main theme.

The Treasure Hunter at last reaches the inner center at the heart of the World Tree to discover a hidden peace and a new sunrise with shimmering bells like drops of water falling from the Tree's leaves.

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