A Patchwork Guy [CC5]


Now, this is a bit of a meaningful one. Well, sort of.

As you’ll know if you’ve read the previous instalmentsChiptune Chaos is the ongoing chronicles of my attempt to write a video game soundtrack. This piece, however, is a bit different.

When I was in college, I was in a band. It was me and three of my very best friends in the whole entire world. There was me on piano, Michael on guitar, Joe on bass and Ellie on lead vocals, but we all sang together. It was called Ever The Optimist, and I really, really loved being a part of it.

Sadly, Ever The Optimist didn’t last as long as I had, optimistically, dared to dream. When we went our separate ways to different parts of the country for university, there was just no way of continuing. And so, the band was no more.

The music we made stayed with me, though. One of the songs was called ‘Stand, Sewn Man’. Michael wrote most of the songs, although he’d always claim that we’d all written them together. The lyrics to that song went like this:

Stand all alone.
See these earthly bones.
The sea returns, the timber groans.
All along, you were patchwork, you were sewn.

He has never recognised her properly;
she will never open up her eyes to see.

Hold your thoughts in hand.
Watch the world expand.
Like silk, we’re draped across the land.
The best laid plans are never planned.

He has never recognised her properly;
she will never open up her eyes to see.

The best laid plans are never planned,
they’re never talked about.

I think this was my favourite of all the songs we did. Certainly, it’s the one that I find myself thinking about the most. And so, perhaps in some vain effort to relive those glory days, and perhaps because I felt that I couldn’t do another CC original unless I did this first, I recreated it. The result is a piece I’m calling ‘A Patchwork Guy’. Here it is.

The tune’s pretty much unchanged from how it used to go, although the instruments aren’t the same. You might be able to map the lyrics above onto the flute’s melody part and imagine what it might have sounded like.

It is, of course, extremely different to the other two pieces I’ve done for Chiptune Chaos so far. Those were very much tracks, while this is a song. Accordingly, I don’t think it really feels like a bit of video game music at all, but heck. I wanted to make it, so I did. If it were to go in, I reckon it would be the theme for some main character – not the main character, but certainly one of the prominent ones – with a sad tale in his backstory that he hides by coming across as a cheery eccentric. He might be a little bit odd, emoting in peculiar ways, and he’s probably experienced a lot of the world and its people. Hence his nickname ‘Patchwork’: he’s made up of lots of other little stories, lots of other souls living on in him.

There is one major change from how the song used to be performed, in that I couldn’t recreate a fast-paced section near the end. I replaced it instead with a slower piece using a bass that ascends in half-steps, which I think works. I’m also pretty happy with the fact that the Soundcloud audio wave looks just like an actual wave, very neatly.

I might well end up doing more Ever The Optimist tracks, depending on how nostalgic I’m feeling. I think I read that Toby Fox wrote Undertale‘s soundtrack before he started work on the actual game, so perhaps in the same way I could use this back-catalogue of songs to inspire the story of this fictitious game that’ll never be made.

Ah, well. As the song says, the best laid plans are never planned. Whatever that means. Some of our lyrics were a bit weird.



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