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The First Night / Dante Doubts / Beatrice Appears / A Walk In the Woods

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Published on Jan 21, 2010

This is the first in my (non-chronological) series of original scoring for Dante Alighieri's Inferno.

I based this piece off of Canto II, when Dante is following Virgil through the woods; Dante, being the nervous twit that he is, unloads on Virgil all his self-doubts and worries about being saved, making it through, and such.

Virgil then reveals to him the circumstances of his mission, assigned to him by Dantes' one, true love, Beatrice. Beatrice is a resident of Paradise and intends for Dante to travel through Hell and Purgatory in order to reach Heaven.

Dante then feels batter and permits Virgil to lead on. They proceed to enter the very darkest part of the forest, where they will find the entrance to Hell.

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I wanted to communicate a clear sense of story progression in the music while at the same time also evoking an unstructured syntheis of peacefulness and foreboding, comfort and tension.

The first and last piano segments were created on my computer, while the middle section's medley was recorded and largely improvised. I wanted a smooth transition from the uncertainty to the hope, all the way to a creepy reminder of what's to come.

The grim string motif at the beginning denotes the rising doubts that came to mind, while the piano intermission represents the appearance of Beatrice. The final cue with the simple piano rhythm introduces us to the start on their walk through the heart of the dark woods.

Inspirations include John Murphy's "Sunshine" score, in particular the track "Trey's Fate" and Brian Reitzell's "30 Days of Night" score, in particular the track "Eben Shoots Up". Franz Liszt's own "Dante Symphony" also provided a template for the underscore.

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