The Editing of Northern Lights – Good Gothic Poetry, Chapter 5 Successes, and Ominous Latin Chanting

Note: This is the Editing Blog for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–Chapter 5 Frustrations     Ranting to Horror and the Completion of Chapter 5–>




There are stories where the hero doesn’t win…

…where he doesn’t rescue the girl…

…where love at first sight is revealed to be an illusion…

…these are the stories you remember..

Greetings and salutations dearest readers.  It is currently October as I’m writing this (yes the date like the cake is a lie) (even more of a lie now, n’est-ce pas?),

and already the tenth month of the year has proven to be a challenge.  I had a personal revelation yesterday (I have many, many revelations on a weekly basis…most having to do with something new I figure out/see in FFVII.  You can’t be obsessed with something for half your life and not constantly find new things.  Otherwise you’re wasting your time), and it gave me a sad.  I’m going to try to reign the feels in (conceal don’t feel!) because you guys got enough of that before.

I did want to mention something that used to give me a chuckle though.  So many, many years ago I used to go out goth clubbing at least twice a week.

C'est moi circa 2010

C’est moi circa 2010.  I still have and wear that coat and dress.

There was a place, nay, an institution known as Nocturne that occurred at Shampoo in the city of (false) brotherly love Philadelphia every Wednesday and a-dancing I would go.  The atmosphere was a bit snobby, I now have to admit.  No one would really talk to you, but the people were beautiful, the outfits were gorgeous, and we all felt like nobles at court.  There was a room called the Velvet Underground only available for 21 and up, and there we would brood when dancing just became too much.  I would also haunt a smaller establishment known as Ulanna’s (the spelling is probably wrong) on 2nd and South St. in the same locale, and it was here that I first heard Apotheosis’s techno rendition of “O Fortuna.”  It was pretty epic, not gonna lie, BUT unfortunately for the Belgian duo the estate of Carl Orff was none too pleased with their copyright infringement, took legal action, and put a stop to that.  For years I pondered why Apotheosis (which btw means the exaltation or elevation of a person to the rank of a god.  Yeah…it really does, hysterical) had to deal with litigation, but Squeenix got off scot free for “One Winged Angel,” then I realized that Carmina Burana itself was not the problem; it was the music.  Uematsu-san hadn’t used Orff’s music; the melody to “OWA” is original (insofar as anything is, apparently it was also inspired by Jimmy Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” but I’ve only read that so I digress), and Carmina Burana itself is a series of poems and songs written between the 11th and 13th centuries.  Using the words is fair game; it’s the music that brought Apotheosis down.  So technically I could write a song using Carmina Burana (and let’s face it, it is FANTASTIC gothic poetry.  Mecum omnes plangite: translation – “Everyone weep with me”), and there’d be no controversy whatsoever so long as the melody were original.  Veni veni venias ne me mori facies...what what?  Sorry…got a little carried away there.  That second part?  The “Ne me mori facies?”  That’s my next tattoo.  Between the shoulder blades.  It’s happening.

(Hey it’s the Future Narcissist.  I still haven’t gotten that tattoo, but it’s now not going between my shoulder blades, although I wanted that for a while for fairly obvious reasons.  Now I’m probably getting it on my left arm beneath the 7 tattoo there.)


Staying in the vein of languages that are not English, I started casting my ears towards Rammstein’s “Engel” and that line that translates into “God knows I don’t want to be an angel.”  If you’re reading this, congratulations!  You now no longer need that bilingual bonus.

And, and, AND I found a picture for Chapter 5!!!

I stumbled upon this while searching Deviant Art.  I wasn’t even looking for it; I was just browsing pics of Sephiroth cause, uh, that’s just what I do, and there it was.

It’s not quite exactly what I was looking for.  He doesn’t have the one black wing, but the forlorn, lost expression is dead on, and the growing horror about what he is is written plain on his face.  He’s standing by stairs, too, which is close to where he is in this chapter, and while in this picture the horror is just being revealed to him, and in NL the horror has already happened, the past and the future can be equally torturous.

Something important that I need to mention/remember.  I want to make sure I email all of these artists before I either post this and before I post the chapters with them.  I want to make sure I have permission to use their work.

To the chapter!

“Aeris squeezed his hand as they passed an elegant structure that mocked a cathedral with its grace.  The flower girl’s poor church could never compete, but she’d never deride that sanctuary no matter how decrepit it was.”  Hm “cathedral,” which of course refers to Catholicism, but then again we have Aeris’s Sector 5 church, and it’s not like religious symbolism isn’t all over FFVII.  He’s a one winged angel for God’s sake!  I’ll see if my betas say anything.

(FN here.  I actually wonder now if Aeris’s church is perhaps a vestige of a time when people gathered in such especially considering the fact that the powers that be seem to worship at the altar of technology.  I mentioned before that one of the possible meanings for Shinra was “dark god.”  In game it’s such a decrepit place that the flower girl makes into her sanctuary.  I believe that church is the only one you see in the entire story so I think there may be something to this theory.)

Oh…I just need to say that I am getting terrified right now…of people reading this.  Yeah, this was kind of part of my revelation.  I’m seriously fucking scared right now guys that it’s awful and people will think it’s stupid, and…ugh, no, I’m not doing this, moving on.

“The flower girl was chewing her lip, and he raised a silver brow.  ‘Well, ah, will you promise you won’t be angry?’
’Angry,’ he restated.  ’With you?  Child, I have no right.’  Sighing, Sephiroth corrected himself.  ’Aeris, that would be absurd.  You could do nothing to make me angry.’”  Seph literally can’t be angry with her.  It’s not possible; there’s nothing Aeris could ever do to arouse his ire.  I purport all the time that you have the right to each and every emotion under the sun and even those we haven’t found yet, but you do not have the right to ever action/reaction.  Emotion must be tempered with logic, reason, and restraint.  Prior to his insanity, Sephiroth always kept a tight lock on them (holy shit conceal don’t feel AGAIN), because (some) people will use them to against you if they know.  He’s already mentioned to her how the greatest of generals are made, and, well, being told that your “mother” is dead when she’s neither your real mother nor human nor not an eldritch abomination is pretty much the definition of emotional/psychological abuse.  So Seph and emotions have a tricky relationship.

Oh, and can I slightly segue and mention the parallel between him and *FFIX spoiler* Zidane from FFIX *spoiler end*?  Yeah, there’s totally a parallel because at one point *FFIX spoiler* Zi had his awful truth moment where finds out the reason he was made and it’s none too good for the people of Gaia where he’s lived his entire (remembered) life, *end spoiler* but he deals with it in realizing.  One of the things Northern Lights tries to show in that just because you were created for a purpose, it doesn’t mean that’s the only purpose you can fulfill.

Going back to Seph being angry at Aeris, he doesn’t have the capacity for it no matter what the flower girl might do.  She’s terrified at just the prospect of it, and he immediately addresses and assuages it.

“’Well, little one?’  The low voice was patient.  ’What binds you to such a silence?’”  Oh irony and I love the way he talks.  He’s elegant and strange, direct but polite, but I’m SO happy he uses contractions.  Gah!  The last dark/fallen angel character I wrote spoke so formally that he didn’t.  He was also quite a bit snarkier.  Seph has absolutely no snark whatsoever.  He does have a touch of dry, self-derisive humor that you’ll see later.  Aeris likes the way he talks to.  She thinks it quaint.  Also, I cannot write “silence” without thinking about THE silence *shivers*

These creepy fuckers

I never realized the foreshadowing here with the cathedral, huh.  “Beneath the shadow of elegance they passed.  It dwarfed his height with its austere steps, and in shadow a small shop gnawed on its domain.”  Yeah…those nameless things that gnaw.   Is that the scratching that Sephiroth constantly hears, or is it just his poor tormented mind?  I think that’s always going to be a question with a character like him, because he’s been to Mordor and beyond where the shadows lie.

I leave you with a question, dear readers.  I just thought it up on a whim.  Do not expect one at the end of every post for you will only be left with disappointment, but today this can be fulfilled.  What is your favorite song in your non-native tongue?  Mine is (quite obviously) “One Winged Angel,”

but I am also very fond of E Nomine’s “Schwarze Sonne,” but only the version from their album Die Prophezeiung.  I first heard it in this flash video (holy old school!) about Faust.  I…LOVE that version of the song.  I was trying to find it on the Tube of You, but to no avail.  They have another version that doesn’t hold a candle to Die Prophezeiung one, and that’s the one I’m going to use in my FFVII AMV.

Hey, it’s Future Narcissist again.  I dispensed with the parentheses since I’m announcing when I show up…which makes no sense since I’m always here, and yes, I could stop being meta, I just choose not to.  Anyway, today while at work I was startled by “One Winged Angel” coming on my iPhone..  It’s one of those songs that starts out very loud, and I’m usually terrified especially if the song prior is quiet.  Later I was listening to Christmas music (don’t judge me!) and was enjoying the beauty of Josh Groban’s “Ave Maria,”

(I’m pretty sure I posted the link to this in the last post but *shrug*)  when I started pondering the difference between Ominous Latin Chanting and just plain old singing in Latin. 

Side note: when I just now googled the term to find the TV Tropes link I also came across a poll for peoples’ favorite  OLC FF songs, and OWA was second behind FFVIII’s “Liberi Fatali.”  Um…what?  Are these people high?  I’ll post that video, too, so those of you who don’t know the song can judge for yourselves.  Obviously, I’m biased, but OWA is based on Carmina Burana, which is one of the most influential pieces of music ever created.  Everything about it is perfect.  The beat, the lyrics, the menace, the undercurrent of sorrow for “at the bottom of the well is despair.”  Gah, I’m sitting here just fanning my opinion around.  I suppose this is subjective, but…I did sing/study music for quite a while.  I can’t claim to be an expert, but historically…okay, I’m done.  Like I said I’m biased.  You can let me know if in the comments which one you like more/think is better: “One Winged Angel” or “Liberi Fatali,” which does translate into “children of fate,” or “fate’s children” (hm…children of Advent, Advent children…I digress…of course).

“Does this section come with a point???!” you’re probably screaming.  Yes, as I was saying, I was attempting to differentiate between Ominous Latin Chanting and just plain singing.  I believe chanting tends to sound more Gregorian as that’s what it’s based on.  The note intervals are closer together with chanting so it sounds less like a melody and more like a sing-song way of speaking as if reciting poetry (and I think I just found the reasoning/definition aka how it happens and what pattern I’m picking up.  It’s late; I’m tired, but I believe it’s called monophony per the Great Wiki).  It tends to sound ominous because we’ve associated Latin with the unknown and mysterious so even songs that aren’t ominous but that employ chanting, sound that way.

Enya’s “Pax Deorum” whose title translates to “peace of the gods” sounds incredibly ominous with that dark beat behind the low murmured words, but the meaning is fairly benign.

Contrasting this are songs sung in Latin like “Ave Maria” above and “Adeste Fidelis,” both of which are Christmas songs; however, just because a song is associated with the holiday it doesn’t mean it can’t be OLC.  “Veni Veni Emmanual” (O Come O Come Emmanuel) sounds pretty damn ominous to me, but then again it is about the Second Coming/Advent, which is going to be (supposedly) awesome for some and a bad time for others.  I already have a job btw, I’m selling tickets to Advent.  What the hell else would I be doing?

And just because I love sharing music with you fine people, here’s the instrumental version performed by The Piano Guys.

So I believe songs that count as Ominous Latin Chanting are “One Winged Angel,” “Pax Deorum,” “Veni Veni Emmanual,” Carmina Burana as arranged by Carl Orff, and “Schwarzze Sonne” by E Nomine to name a few.  Also, it must be noted that a song doesn’t have to even be in Latin to count as Ominous Latin Chanting; it just have to sounds Latin-like.  “Liberi Fatali,” which was mentioned above isn’t entirely in Latin (neither is “One Winged Angel” if you count the “Sephiroth” calling since that’s actually Hebrew, but it’s also a name so I guess it doesn’t really count.  It would be like saying that “Paolo” by Mary Fahl isn’t in English because the name Paolo isn’t), but it’s still considered OLC.  This applies to the score for The Transformers movies, as well.  Say what you want about those films, the music Steve Jablonsky wrote is fantastic.

Songs that count as, well, just songs are “Ave Maria,” “Adeste Fidelis,” Mozart’s “Lacrymosa” is a bit in the middle.  It has enough melody in certain parts to be considered singing, but there’s a chanting aspect about it as well.  Of course, this is all just my speculation, but I can definitely hear two distinctive styles between what is chanting and what is singing.  What do you think, dear readers?  Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments!  Future Narcissist out.

Let me (also) know your favorite non-native tongue to sing in in the comments.  My favorite sung language is of course Latin, which I was teaching myself for a time, with German a very close second.  Latin sounds like you’re summoning an angel (there will be a post about that, because holy meta, Batman…), and I love belting out Rammstein when my voice is a bit husky, because I can better emulate the singer’s gravelly tone.

Farewell dear readers.  Until we meet again.

<–Chapter 5 Frustrations     Ranting to Horror and the Completion of Chapter 5–>


6 thoughts on “The Editing of Northern Lights – Good Gothic Poetry, Chapter 5 Successes, and Ominous Latin Chanting

  1. Pingback: The Editing of Northern Lights – Chapter 5 Frustrations | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Pingback: The Editing of Northern Lights – Ranting to Horror and the Completion of Chapter 5 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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