The Princess Variations

by Sprocket

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about

The Princess Variations is a concept album about trying to reach out and communicate with the cosmos.

Musically, it's ten variations on a single theme. They vary in style and genre, but generally combine elements of orchestral composition, synth sound design, with a touch of jazz, downtempo, and rock.



TRACKS:
1. A Little Time (Intro)
2. Princess, Can You Hear Me? *[Parts 1 & 2]
3. The Eternal *[Parts 3 & 4]
4. Praise the Sun *[Part 5]
5. Prelude to a Moonrise *[Part 6]
6. Perchance to Dream *[Parts 7 & 8]
7. Princess, Can You Hear Me? Pt. II *[Part 9]
8. The Dark Sublime (ft. Charles Iain Layton) *[Part 10]



HISTORY:

The Princess Variations started with one song, "Sun Princess, Moon Princess." I had a lot of ideas about where I wanted to go with it, but after quite a bit of hair-pulling, I realized that producing it as one song would mean that I would have to go months without releasing anything else at all.

So I divided it up. I released what I had as "Princess, Can You Hear Me?" Then I got to work on what was to follow. I figured I might make another track or two, and that would be it.

I had no idea that the album would turn out to be as involved as it did, nor did I anticipate that the production of it would end up taking over a year of my life (on and off).

At its core, The Princess Variations is my personal hymn to the Sun and Moon - a way to simultaneously praise the cosmos, and examine our lonely place among them. Most of all, it was an excuse to do something orchestral, and jazzy, and to have some fun experimenting making some really cool synth sounds at the same time.
- Sprocket

credits

released August 7, 2017

THANK YOU!
First of all, I want to thank every one of my listeners who supported the Princess Variations concept. Your enthusiasm is what drove me to expand the project as much as I did. I hope you enjoy the final product. Thank you for your encouragement along the way!




SOUND BITES

A Little Time: The audio collage overture contains soundbites from all of the songs on the album including Sax Brony's solo on "The Dark Sublime," and spoken word segments credited below.


SPOKEN WORD

The Eternal: The spoken word from "The Eternal" is from Prof. Joseph Campbell.

The Dark Sublime: The spoken word from, "Princess, Can You Hear Me, Pt II," and "The Dark Sublime" is W.H. Auden reading his poem, "The More Loving One."


GUEST MUSICIAN

The Dark Sublime: Saxophone solo by Sax Brony


THE PRINCESS VARIATIONS

Princess Can You Hear Me?, The Eternal, Praise the Sun, Prelude to a Moonrise
Copyright Sprocket 2016.

Perchance to Dream. Princess Can You Hear Me? Pt. II, The More Loving One
Copyright Sprocket 2017.

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Sprocket New York, New York

Sprocket is a composer and producer from New York.

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Track Name: Princess, Can You Hear Me?
Sun Princess, shine down on me
And teach me the ways of music and sweet harmony
Moon Princess, teach me to sigh,
And sing to me your dear lullaby.

The stars are so far away
They peek through the night,
And hide through the day.
They shine like the sparkles in your hair.
Moon Princess, can you hear me up there?

Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
...
Track Name: The Eternal
Spoken Word segment [Joseph Campbell]:

The moon dies and is resurrected
It sheds its shadow as the serpent sheds its skin
To be born again.
The principle of life involved in the field of time.

The sun does not have a shadow within itself.
The sun is always radiant.
It's always a crisis when the sun is eclipsed.
Something eclipsed it!
The sun hasn't eclipsed itself.

And the sun both kills the moon,
But then becomes the mother
Out of whose womb the moon is born.
The dying moon, the resurrected moon, the three nights dark -
These associations are speaking the same old story of finding the eternal life within the temporal,
And that's the problem of our existence you might say
Track Name: Praise the Sun
Praise the Sun
Light my sword on fire
For my battles to be won.

Raise a glass to the Moon
The princess who walks in my dreams
Will teach me to banish the nightmares and gloom.
Track Name: Perchance to Dream
I tuck myself in
And pray for some dreams
But just look up at the ceiling
And count the tiles and the seams

I look back
How I spent my day, such a waste of time,
And I've got to do it all again
When the clock strikes nine.


CHORUS
To sleep. To sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream.


My apartment
Is not the kind of place that has a view
Can't tell when the sun comes up,
Ain't no way to say, "Goodnight, Moon."
But I believe
In more than what's in plain sight
So I reach out to the Princess of Dreams
To climb inside my head tonight,


CHORUS
To sleep. To sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream.


Oh,
Won't you teach me to fly
And show me the way
To your castle in the sky?
Oh, dream,
Take me away,
And spare me
From the nightmare that's become my ordinary day.
Track Name: Princess, Can You Hear Me? Pt. II
I felt so far away
But I gazed at the stars
And smiled at the day
I know
I will always get by
Cause I know I share a Universe
With beings much greater than I.


Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Don't care if you hear me,
I see you up there.
I can see you.
I can feel you.


SPOKEN WORD:
(Segment of the "The More Loving One" by W.H. Auden [1907-1973])

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Track Name: The Dark Sublime (ft. Charles Iain Layton aka Sax Brony)
Sun Princess won't care when I'm gone
Though it's always been looking to you
That's helped me be strong
Moon Princess, I love your skies
I'll have you with me forever
regardless of whether or not you realize.

[Excerpt from "The More Loving One" by W.H. Auden]

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.