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Thoughts On Today’s The Protomen ‘Light Up The Night’ For Orchestra

Since this song was originally a free download, I wanted to follow that same idea with this tribute. So it will be available for free or name your own price on Bandcamp later today.

When I was at PAX East last year I remember hearing all about this band called The Protomen. I was intrigued, and learned more about them as the guy in my busline kept talking them up. A rock opera focused on Mega Man? Umm, yes please!

Fast forward to today, and after my Mega Man ‘Dr. Wily’ orchestra and several gaming arrangements, the noise for me to arrange The Protomen was about to hit the roof.

I wasn’t sure how to approach it - should it be a medley of “The WIll Of One” “Light Up The Night” and “The Hounds” ? Should it be slower, the same, or faster in tempo? Should it be just a string quartet?

I stayed up every night last week transcribing it and rearranging it. As the piece was near completion I felt it was missing something, so I hinted at “The WIll Of One” towards the end of the piece.

It’s a bit softer than my other pieces, mainly because I’m becoming more attentive to dynamics in my recordings (plus I’m working on new techniques so I can hear them in surround sound too!)

The beginning of this song paints a scene where you’re faced with living in a hellish world or death. Either choice you make is a casualty. But as the piece progresses there’s a glimmer of hope: “maybe you and I, we can still make it right”. And that’s what I like about it. It’s just not a song about the underdog or chaotic surroundings, but it progresses into a story of desire and fight.

Music is much the same way, orderly chaos. And when trying to start something, whether an orchestra blog, car company, or fashion line, there are naysayers and haters. There is chaos, hate, and de-motivational critics in every corner. But you have to fight because YOU can still make it right.

The trumpets and brass section play a large part in this piece because I felt they’re the most “valiant”. When faced with choices and adversity, I felt the brass section symbolized the most power. The cellos enter the song as the same 8th note pattern as the original, and the clarinets take the role of the background choir that is evident in the original.

But having instruments and melodies mimic the idea of “lighting up the night” was not the goal. The goal was standing back and realizing that WE can light up the night, and that together we can bring light to a darkness. It takes the will of one to initiate, but the will of many to generate.

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