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Lyrics: Brian Tong
Composer: Brian Tong
Piano: Brian Tong
Vocals: Brian Tong (1/4/7/10/11)

memento

Release Date: May 15th, 2016

artist liner notes

1. overture to the skies

An opening to the album that paints nostalgia.... A song of the longing for the past to replay, unwilling to let go of what was once lost.... A revisit to past memories overwhelms the mind with despair and hopelessness, forever longing for a resolution, a continuation of the chapters left unwritten.

In the beauty of this sadness, we cry because what once was, no longer is, and what truly pains the heart is that it may never be again. The skies are a reminder of endlessness, eternity, infinity - infinite possibilities and by chance, you two crossed paths. Looking up into the endless skies, you cannot help but feel minuscule. surrender yourself to your fate decided by the heavens above -- free your soul from anguish and melancholy, and fly to the stars. 

 
 

The language depicted in this piece was inspired by the Japanese composer, Yuki Kajiura, who developed a lyrical style of using words without meaning, termed the "Kajiuran language" among her fan base. The language is created from raw emotion of the singer and composer, and I decided to use this style for this piece because I wanted to create a piece about nostalgia from pure freedom, not constrained by words with meaning that listeners can decipher. The meaning solely comes from the music and the listener. 


2. your smile

A simple song I wrote about the thought of the man whom I crushed on during my early college years. It was short and simple moments of watching him smirk that left a long lasting smile on my face. 


3. right here and now

Another piece I wrote for the boy mentioned in "your smile". This was a piece about how I remembered every detail of the brief moments of eternity that I felt whenever I was with him, and how I cherished every passing second of our time together.


4. light snow

A piece inspired by the French tale of the little girl who sold matches in the cold winter, who eventually died in the snow dreaming of the warmth of her grandmother's home. A scenery of white snow falling from the silent, amber skies tells a tale of solitude, desparation, and parting. 

"I will be here waiting for your return in the cold."

Being abandoned by a lover, he continues waiting for the chance of his return. He persists, continuing to believe that one day, his lover will return to his side and bring warmth back into his world, melting away the ice-cold pain and suffering.

"Close your eyes now, we won't be apart for long"

Unwilling to accept the departure of his lover, drained by the winter winds, his desparation yields him to believe his lover forever in his heart. 

This song is a reminder of the irresistible force of "maybe" - an homage to those souls who are unwilling to "let go", a grave insight on the scenery displayed in the minds of whom society call "clingy" and "desperate".


5. chords of serendipity

A brief piece about realizing that amidst all the pain and heartbreak, you still have your supportive friends and family by your side. 


6. in your eyes, my silent dream

A song about the brightness of everyday spent with the one you love and admire. It is a reminder that the gaze into the eyes of a loved one is a precious moment. 


7. skies of tomorrow

As Japanese music was my source of inspiration for composing, naturally, my first lyrical pieces were composed in Japanese. I had learned the Japanese language on the side during high shcool as my interest in Kalafina's music grew. This song also incorporates the use of the "Kajiuran Language" I used in "1. overture to the skies". The song was composed with the three-part harmony of Kalafina's trio in mind: Wakana, Keiko, and Hikaru. This is an homage to Kalafina, and a song I consider to be composed for Kalafina.


8. walk to the end

We fear "the end" because we care so much for what we already have in this very moment. To walk to the end with the knowledge of what will be demise of everything you hold dear is, to me, aching to the heart. Some stride with confidence, willing to accept what is to be, because to them, what matters is the experience. Others will never let go, will never accept this parting of ways. 

All roads in life imminently meet and diverge, sometimes not within our control. To let go and accept one's fate is truly a struggle many akin to myself experience.

This walk to the end, for me, is filled with bittersweet emotion and memories, as I gaze towards the horizon searching for the point of ultimate divergence. Tears blind me from this beautiful scenery along the way, hand in hand with the one from whom I will be departing.


9. waning crescent

A new beginning is on the horizon. As the crescent wanes into nothingness, the night skies grow dim and the future is unsure. Suddenly, the stars that fill the midnight skies become visible. You realize that they have always been there by your side, illuminating your path, protecting you each step of the way. 

The crescent fades into a new moon. A new beginning starts now. Soon, the moonlight will once again outshine the dance of the constellations above. But you will now feel their presence.  


10. pulse

He held your hand so you could stand up and feel warmth again. The fragments of your shattered heart are put together, beating for love, beating from love. You regain the courage to say the things that make your pulse race: "I love you."

He lets go of your hand so you could walk on your own, so you could love on your own. You realize it was from within your own soul where you mustered up the strength to walk again, to love again.


11. windchime

A familiar tune from a distant summer's past rings in the warm wind... hear that? It's here again....

No matter how much you change, how much I change, these windchime tunes will always deliver the same message of yearning, longing, desiring. I just hope you hear it too, just as loudly and clearly as I do. 


12. fly to the stars

Where will we go? Take my hand and let's fly... to the stars. 

Cast away, so that you can be mine for a day.... You're all I want.


13. memento

You will never forget those moments you had together laughing, crying, embracing, consoling, loving, caring. What pains you the most are the happiest moments, so ethereal and ephemeral it seems... are you that expendable? 

You will be defined by these memories of the beauty in every moment he kissed you and made you feel "love". You will no longer cry yearning for his touch, the warmth of his embrace.

You will hold onto the memento of your love, and let go....