Into (technological) darkness – a prelude

So. I’m a bit late in posting for last Thursday. This is because this week, I learned an Important Life Lesson: knowing how to use Audacity and Praat to record linguistic data in NO way prepares you to even think about mixing music. Neither does knowing anything about singing. Or acoustic phonetics. Or physics. In fact, as far as I can tell, literally nothing I have learned in my life even begins to mitigate how astoundingly awful I am at music editing. I can start with a pretty nice vocal recording and BAM! The moment I add the instrumental backing, every note above an F suddenly sounds like it’s in a very soft, polite, alien insect language. I spent more time trying to fix this than I did writing and recording every single one of the songs for this musical.

Last night, my metaphorical tail between my legs, I finally gave in and contacted a composer friend, Brandon, who graciously listened to my troubles without laughing (although he has the benefit of being in a different state, so who knows what faces he was making). He even passed on some helpful tips that aren’t in the Reaper manual because…well, because they are actually that basic:

(1) Turning both the dry and wet gain up all the way in every place you can may not be the best decision (spoilers: it’s the worst decision).

(2) Auto-tune (at least in Reaper) might help fix the couple of iffy notes, but it will also take perfectly good notes and murder them in their sleep, leaving their little note families bereft. So embrace however you sounded when you recorded the song, because there is no help for you here.

(3) Your recording equipment sucks compared to the professionally mastered instrumental track you’re pairing it with. This is why the vocals sound fine alone, but wonky with the backing. Write an a capella musical next time (and I will, I will).

(4) Drinking a glass of wine while listening to the song won’t make these problems magically disappear (I actually figured that one out of my own, using the scientific method).

So, friends, if you ever decide to record music for a musical about superheros based on karaoke tracks of Disney songs (because who doesn’t have that on their bucket list, really?), learn from my mistakes: become a professional musician first and get recorded by a real studio – preferably one at Hogwarts, because I’m pretty sure mixing music requires magic.

Now that I’ve  lowered your expectations to the point where I could post an mp3 of me sobbing hysterically and you’d think ‘hmm, not so bad!’ here is a new song for this week!


Today: A good day for Thor! A conflicted day for Loki (although one supposes that most of Loki’s days fall into that category).

‘Forever’ begins prior to Thor’s coronation, predominantly during the ‘helmets, tricks and brotherly love’ cut scene, and continuing into the actual ceremony. The song is based on ‘For the first time in forever.’ (The complete set of Thor: The Frozen World songs can be found here).

TFW Song 3: Forever – listen along!

Everything’s ready, here’s my helm
I think we invited half the realm
Do I look as awesome as I feel?
For years I’ve readied for this day
Leading the realms in my own way
Now it’s finally starting to seem real
There’ll be plentiful celebration
Victories like you’ve never seen
Norns, am I so ready to be queen!

Cause from now on until forever
I will conquer every foe
From now on until forever
There’ll be nowhere we can’t go
And I know you think me reckless
But who cares? There’s naught to fear
Cause from now on until forever
You’ll be with me here.

Seriously, how do I look?

Like a queen.

Tonight I’ll sit with gungnir in hand
Guarding the people of all the lands
The picture of true queenly sovereignty
I suddenly see a distant threat
An innocent realm that is beset
Failure’s an impossibility
But of course we return victorious
To a celebratory feast
Today will see my destiny released!

From now on until forever
Life will fall under our spell
From now on until forever
We’ll have adventures all will tell
And the task ahead is daunting
But I will bring my family pride
And from now on until forever
We’ll be side by side.

Too late to change, what I must do
But sister, never doubt that I love you
Father, mother, why don’t you see?
Thor can’t be queen, she’s nowhere near ready

And it’s happening today
It’s agony to wait

Tell the guards to open up the gates!

– the gates!

(Thor/Loki simultaneously)
From now on until forever
I’ll get whatever I dream of
A chance for glorious battle
A chance to fly above

This can’t go on, it’s up to me
She’s not the queen we need for her to be
Sister… you stupid fools why don’t you see?

I won’t worry about tomorrow
My new life begins today
And from now on until forever
From now on until forever
Nothing’s in my way!

Next week: Thor gets a few of her own Important Life Lessons.


Frozen Realm

Here we go! Song 1 of TFW is “Frozen Realm,” set during the war between Asgard and Jotunheim, and ending with Odin ‘adopting’ Loki (Adoption laws? The Allfather is not bound by your petty Midgardian notions!)

I have unfortunately been unable to find an instrumental version of “Frozen Heart,”so I have not been able to make a recording with my lyrics. If anyone has or knows of an instrumental copy, please let me know where you got it (this also applies to the reprise of “For the first time in forever”)!

Instead, I got to try my hand at Windows movie maker for the first time ((1) be kind, internet, be kind; (2) yes, I know, I incur everyone’s scorn for using such a remedial video editor. I accept that.) and made the video with scenes from the movie. We’ll see if/when youtube gets very upset about this. Future videos should at least be less likely to invoke their ire, as they will involve me. And wigs. Well, a wig. Thor either needs some more blonde main characters, or I need to write a Frigga song, because a girl can only own so many dark haired wigs.

FROZEN REALM – sing along, with video!

Born of cold and winter air
And magic deep residing
These frozen spawn from Ymir’s lair
Create chaos unsubsiding

To thwart  their insidious power lust
Our cause is clear our cause is just
These monsters whom we dare not trust
Don’t let them overwhelm
Destroy the frozen realm

Hyup! Ho!
Strike them down
Blood will flow!


Beautiful, powerful!

Dangerous, cold!

Ice has a magic can’t be controlled
Stronger than one, stronger than 10
Stronger than 100 men! Hah!

Born of cold and winter air
And magic deep residing
The icy force of Ymir’s heirs
From a casket long abiding

So turn the tide and smash to dust
Our cause is clear our cause is just
Whatever comes we ne’er will trust
Don’t let them overwhelm
Beware the frozen realm

Thor: The Frozen World

I saw Frozen with my friend Shannon and her husband just before Christmas. This was after about 3 weeks of trying, with increasingly frenzied desperation, to see the movie, and getting repeatedly thwarted by car theft, work deadlines, and polar vortices. So, the first thing I did when I arrived to my parents’ home for Christmas was to turn back around and march to the movie theatre. A Disney movie about sisters? With a message about accepting yourself? This was the first princess movie I had been truly excited about since The Little Mermaid, and I was around 5 then, so this is saying something.

I knew a bit about the plot going in, so it only took 10 minutes – right in the middle of ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ – for me to grab Shannon’s arm. “Shannon, this movie has almost the exact same plot as Thor,” I whispered, far more loudly than one should ever whisper during a movie. I would have hated me right then, but luckily, Shannon is a far better person.


Thor! You know, Thor! Norse gods, the giant hammer, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston…


She’s also slightly less into superhero movies.

Shhh.” Her husband poked her on her other arm. Shannon looked at me apologetically.

I fidgeted in my seat until a few minutes later, when Elsa’s coronation day is completely interrupted by her sister. “Mm!” I mumbled, grabbing Shannon’s arm again, but managing to stay silent.

Of course, I was not the only one to notice similarities, as a quick internet search revealed. Since Frozen came out, many fans have noticed that the song ‘Let it Go’ seems particularly appropriate for one Mister Loki Laufeyson, God of Mischief. I even found a couple of very cute drawings based on ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ (There may be more, but after coming across a severely disturbing image involving the entire cast of Avengers as animals – really, internet, really? – I decided to stop).

What I didn’t see though, was anyone suggesting what I had concluded: Frozen is the Disney musical version of the Thor franchise.

In my world, there is only one logical response to this kind of ridiculous juxtaposition, and that is to write a musical version of Thor and Thor: The Dark World, starring princesses and based on the music from Frozen.

And so I did.

Here is the songlist for Thor: The Frozen World, staring Thor and Loki Odinsdottir (although, if you happen to prefer your Norse Gods male, and 18 million screaming Tom Hiddleston fans seem to suggest that yes, yes you might, this can easily become a Disney prince musical):

1. Frozen realm  – Asgardians, Frost giants           (Based on ‘Frozen Heart’ from Frozen)

2. I just can’t wait to be queen   -Thor, Loki          (Based on ‘I just can’t wait to be king’ from The Lion King)

3. Forever -Thor, Loki                                                (Based on ‘For the first time in forever’ from Frozen)

4. Forever reprise  – Loki, Thor                                (Based on ‘For the first time in forever’ from Frozen)

5. Endless night – Thor                                              (Based on ‘Endless night’ from The Lion King)

6. On Asgard – Darcy                                                 (Based on ‘In summer’ from Frozen)

7. Love is an open door – Jane, Thor                      (Based on ‘Love is an open door’ from Frozen)

8. Let it go – Loki                                                        (Based on ‘Let it go’ from Frozen)

9. Forever reprise 2 – Loki, Thor                             (Based on ‘For the first time in forever reprise’ from Frozen)

10. Do you want to go exploring – Thor, Loki       (Based on ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ from Frozen)

11. Do you want to go exploring reprise – Thor    (Based on ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ from Frozen)

I will post 1-2 songs every Thursday, starting tonight with ‘Frozen Realm.’ Enjoy!