The Rise & Fall Of Lux Aeterna
I’m going to start with answering what might be the first question that comes to mind:
“What is Lux Aeterna?”
Lux Aeterna is Latin for Eternal Light. But more importantly, that’s the name of my CPU when I first got her around February 2009. Yes, I call Lux a she thanks to the owner of the Apex Ultima blog, who helped me realize that Lux is a girl. Now before you start calling that sad, you might want to change your mind after you realize just how important Lux Aeterna is in my life as you’ll see in this blog post. And besides, if Yui from K-On can refer to her Les Paul as a guy, why can’t I refer to my PC as a girl? 😄
Anyways. I’m making this post because this may be the last time that I make a post about this CPU. For two years I’ve had Lux Aeterna, and in those two years so many has happened. Of course, I’m referring solely to LEAF XCEED and its progress throughout the times. See, a long time ago (excuse the ego inflation, it’s inevitable XD), LEAF XCEED wouldn’t appear as an autocomplete result in YouTube. LEAF XCEED wouldn’t have around 20 Google pages and around 3 YouTube pages. There wouldn’t have been an estimate of 300,000 downloads of LEAF XCEED Music Division’s songs. LEAF X MD wouldn’t be in around 5 Flash movies/games, in around 30 videos uploaded online, in a Facebook game, and be utilized by a highly-acclaimed technology website such as Engadget. Hell, I’m sure this blog of mine wouldn’t have been visited so much if not for at least one person downloading 8-Bit Fireflies daily.
The reason for me pointing out all those achievements and feats is because, like I said, LEAF XCEED has made its own history for two years, and it’s thanks to the combination of my passion for music, the ability of my computer to turn that into melody, and the many listeners and supporters of my music not limited to my friends, but also from around the world. However, as cliche as this line is, and I’m not sure if I’ve used it in this blog once or twice before, but it is true…
Like all great things, they must come to an end.
Let’s concentrate on that second point. “The ability of my computer to turn that into melody”. It was only through Lux that I got to accomplish what I thought before was impossible. I’ve always dreamed of being able to compose anything I want regardless of my inability to play the instrument required for it, and my computer happened to be powerful enough to let LEAF XCEED Music Division become a reality. Before, I could only stick with MIDI, but eventually I knew I had to go beyond that.
With the right tools and the right amount of effort, careful attention, persistence and time, I was able to make something; it was a simple cover song composed of strings called Dali. Before long, I reached my real goal, and that was to find a way to digitize electric guitars and make them play anything I toss at them. From there, I made HUZZAH, and eventually went on to reconstruct one of my MIDI compositions, and this turned into Unbroken Dream. This is where the streak of metal remixes (not limited to video games) started, which produced popular (based on the internet) songs such as Spark Mandrill – Short Circuit, Cave Story War, YuYu Metal, Fur Elisa & Core Oppression. Between them, I had bursts of songs of other genres since I learned different styles along the way. Piano songs such as Eternal Regret, orchestral songs such as Your Majesty and new age classical songs such as Garden Of Moonlight are examples of these. Through each experience making these songs, I only got better through time and if people listen to my works chronologically, they’ll notice the improvement in sound aesthetics such as quality, clarity, melody, structure and other factors.
Now it’s time to apply an analogy not many people will get, not unless you have the same music taste as me and listen to and favor the same bands. Lux Aeterna is like Tony Kakko and Timo Kotipelto. Both of these are vocalists for legendary pioneer bands of power metal, Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius respectively.
When Tony Kakko first recorded vocals for Sonata Arctica’s debut album Ecliptica, he could sing so damn high. He hits notes only people with insane vocal ranges could hit, and it fit perfectly with the song. But through time and after albums such as Silence, Winterheart’s Guild, Reckoning Night, Unia and most recently The Days Of Grays, while his vocals improved in tone, quality, clarity and emotion, his range went lower and lower until he couldn’t perform the songs he did before during live concerts anymore unless the songs themselves were downtuned. He got better at singing, but his capabilities were lessened.
The same goes for Timo Kotipelto, where in songs like Phoenix from Infinite he could sing and sustain every note with such power. However, that was back in 2000. Listening to a live version of Phoenix from 2009, he can’t sustain those notes anymore and ends up using falsetto. Specifically, to compare it to a guitar, the strummed note could be sustained before, but now it’s really complicated just to reach that fret and once you do you’ll have to slide down the fretboard. That’s what Kotipelto’s performance sounds like.
Back to Lux. With those examples, you can see where I’m headed. Lux Aeterna was capable of being powerful enough to handle songs such as The Black Wind Howls and Guitar Vs. Piano [ver. XCEED] in the past. But after multiple crashes and visits to the repair shop, things just aren’t the same anymore. This is also the reason why Website Releases II is currently full of piano songs and rarely anything with guitars. Lux is old and tired, and is no longer capable of handling songs like it did before.
But, there is a difference. There’s definitely a difference between Tony Kakko, Timo Kotipelto and Lux Aeterna. Lux Aeterna is a machine, and one whose components can be replaced and upgraded. Unlike the irreplaceable power metal vocalists, there’s still a chance for Lux Aeterna to once again be back in its prime, or be even better than that. And, to quote Stratovarius’ Phoenix,
“Like a phoenix I rise, from the ashes of life!”
Lux Aeterna had risen. Lux Aeterna had fallen. However, there is another chance at life, one even greater than before. Once I get Lux Aeterna upgraded (probably at the same time the owner of this blog gets her new laptop), the success in history will repeat itself once again.
Or perhaps, it will write a new chapter in LEAF XCEED’s history. Only time will tell.