The Key: Music Inspired by Bran Hambric: The Specter Key
"Talented people like @AdrienneFrailey remind me why I love writing in Bran Hambric's world. Her upcoming BH:TSK song 'The Key' is amazing." —Kaleb Nation (author of the "Bran Hambric" series), quote via Twitter
"Bran Hambric: The Specter Key" (sequel to "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse") is a novel by Kaleb Nation. The book was released in stores on October 10, 2010.
Tracks written, composed and produced by Adrienne Frailey. www.adriennefrailey.com All songs ©2009-2010. All rights reserved. Music recorded, mixed and mastered by Bruce Bartlett of Bartlett Recording in Elkhart, Indiana. bartlettrecording.com
PERFORMANCE CREDITS Adrienne Frailey: vocals (tracks 1, 2, 11, 16) keyboard (all tracks), acoustic guitar (track 2), tom-tom (track 13) Bruce Bartlett: percussion and bass guitar (track 2) Joy Frailey: bodhran (track 1) joHn Kennedy: Irish whistle, bouzouki (track 16)
ACKNOWLEGEMENTS * I’d like to thank Sourcebooks and Kaleb Nation, for listening to and promoting my music and for making it possible for me to complete this work before "The Specter Key" has even arrived in stores! * Bruce Bartlett, for the wonderful things you do in the studio. You bring my work to life. * joHn Kennedy for adding his magnificent talents to the song “Dying Breath”. kennedyskitchen.com * My parents Drew and Joy, sister Andrea, brother-in-law Gary, niece Alyssa and best friend Ruth for their love and support through so much. I love you!
Track 1: “INTO THE MOORS” (2:36) This is the first-ever instrumental I composed inspired by the "Bran Hambric" series. It was written after reading the prologue of "The Farfield Curse", before it was released in stores on September 9, 2009. This piece introduces the listener to the main theme that came to my mind for the character of Bran, and it is echoed throughout many of the following tracks.
Track 2: “THE KEY” (4:55) I came up with this song within 24 hours of reading "The Specter Key". I was so taken by the pure strength of Bran’s composure while going through so much stress and sadness in the sequel. The lyrics are written from the perspective of Astara, Bran’s best friend, who has been taken to another world and turned into a Specter, as the novel’s description explains. LYRICS: Help me, I need someone to wake me up And tell me I am strong enough to break these chains Hold on, hold on for eternity You’re the only one who sees the life in death that remains Love, love You’re the only one who sees You’re the only one who sees Who sees that love is the key Yesterday, I saw you through a salty lie That wanted me to wave goodbye, goodbye to you But today, I looked out from my window pane It’s a mirror to the eye, untrained and desperate for the truth (Repeat Chorus)
Track 3: “THE GRUNER” (1:14) In the very first chapter of "The Specter Key", we meet a fearsome creature called a gruner. It is described as having glowing blue eyes, long tusks and sharp fur, which I imagined to be similar to that of an Australian razorback. After it feeds on a human man, we get the sense that this animal is Elspeth’s pet, and so you can pretty much guess the tone that this scene would have.
Track 4: “EMRY’S LULLABY (NIM'S MUSIC BOX)” (1:33) This instrumental was composed with the character of Gary in mind. He was the man in love with Emry before he left the Farfield Project and before she came to be with Thomas, Bran’s assumed biological father. Being a mage of the Netora missiv, Gary has a deep passion for music, and he even wrote a lullaby for Emry before they parted ways. This song was put into a music box, which Bran comes into contact with early on in "The Specter Key".
Track 5: “THOMAS’ THEME” (2:41) Bran’s first encounter with his father Thomas is in no way heart warming. Although this music was not written for that scene specifically, it was created using the general sense of Thomas’ harsh personality and conflicted character. He is a man who cares about his son but has let a raging desire for vengeance cloud his sensitivity and muddle his priorities.
Track 6: “FRIDD’S DAY EVE” (1:40) As “Branfans” already know, the Wilomas family is nothing short of strange and crazy, however they still manage to come across as bizarrely entertaining. When the Eve of Fridd’s Day arrives, they are all hustling about to make sure that everything is perfect for their rich, snobby party guests: customers and co-workers from the Third Bank of Dunce.
Track 7: “IF NOBODY FIGHTS” (1:34) This is calm music for the scene where Bran and Astara are sitting at the top of the water tower, looking out at the festival fireworks. The title is taken from Bran’s line, “This might go on forever, but we’ve still got to fight, because if nobody fights, then we all will lose.” If you’ve listened to track 2, you may notice that this is the piano version of "The Key". Since the majority of the plot in "The Specter Key" revolves around Bran’ and Astara’s friendship, I wanted to reuse this theme throughout the scenes pertaining to these two characters.
Track 8: “TWO WORDS” (2:11) This song was inspired by the moment Astara is taken away by the ambulance, and it is supposed to last through the hospital and funeral scenes, with 0:53 being the part where Bran and Adi hear the doctor say, “She’s dead.”
Track 9: “SHADOWS OF HER MEMORY” (1:52) More sad music for the part when Bran returns to the Wilomas house, which has been absolutely destroyed by the green magic that burst from the odd-looking box. I used the minor-toned theme of “The Key”, because it is in the doorway that Bran remembers seeing Astara’s body, just before she was taken to the hospital.
Track 10: “I’M DONE WITH YOU” (1:48) A song filled with angered determination for the scene when Bran throws the box into the water, thinking that he has gotten rid of the horrid thing for good.
Track 11: “SPECTERS” (1:27) This piece wasn’t written with any one scene in mind, but I tried to make sure that it captured the mystery and creepiness of the specters and the powerful key that keeps them imprisoned in their enchanted holding cell.
Track 12: “ROOM OF MISERY (GARY’S THEME)” (3:22) When Bran jumps through the fireplace in Gary’s office, he discovers a secret room behind it, filled with pictures of his mother, some in which Gary can be seen with her. According to the book, Bran hears Gary playing his flute to a familiar melody—the song from Nim’s music box. It is in this chapter that we learn of Gary’s loving relationship with Emry and that he in fact composed that very piece of music. I decided to start this instrumental off with the minor-tone of “Emry’s Lullaby”, for the part where Bran is seeing the photographs of his mother. The flute comes in, and when the story is finally told, the mood lightens as Bran realizes just how much Gary loved Emry and just how much the man hasn’t been able to move on.
Track 13: “ROAD TO THE ANCIENTS” (2:33) After their encounter with Elspeth and the gruner, Bran and Thomas head out toward an ancient temple, a place where the Specters have been held prisoner for years behind a magical doorway that can only be opened with the Specter Key. Because of the gruff nature of Thomas and the distant and bitter relationship between him and his son Bran, I wanted this song to show both of their themes coming together while they trudge through the desert, working side-by-side for the same cause.
Track 14: “THE LIFE IN DEATH” (2:10) In the chapter “The Pool of Life and Death”, Bran dives into the water to save Astara from crossing over with the rest of the Specters. This song was the very first instrumental that I wrote inspired by "The Specter Key". Its tune was derived from the minor melody of my song, “The Key”, and its title came from a line in that song, as well.
Track 15: “LUCKY DAY (SPECTERS REPRISE)” (1:27) The power of the Key was said to be destroyed by a train in the subway tunnel, however in the epilogue of "The Specter Key", Mr. Rat discovers it while doing his community service of mopping the stairways. This leaves us with the foreboding feeling that the Key isn’t finished with whatever other dark purpose it can be used for. This song is the reprise of “Specters” (track 11).
Track 16: “DYING BREATH” (2:49) A bonus track inspired by the end of the prologue of "Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse", during the part where Emry has to quickly decide how to save Bran, who is at the time six-years-old. I imagined that if she'd had any time at all to sing a lullaby to her sleeping son, knowing she wouldn't be returning to him, this is what she might sing. LYRICS: Come to me, my son For I must leave you soon Come to me, my baby Lu, lay, lu, lay, lu With my dying breath I will keep you safe away And we will meet, my baby Once again someday
Into the Moors 2:380:00/2:38
The Key 4:570:00/4:57
The Gruner 1:170:00/1:17
Thomas' Theme 2:430:00/2:43
Fridd's Day Eve 1:420:00/1:42
If Nobody Fights 1:340:00/1:34
Two Words 2:120:00/2:12
I'm Done With You 1:470:00/1:47
Road to the Ancients 2:340:00/2:34
The Life in Death 2:110:00/2:11
Dying Breath 2:510:00/2:51