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Meisterstueck

Lyrics

It's tipped in gold
A luxury I must afford
Unsure what the next passage might be
The Edelweiss guides me

Typography or topography
Whichever the case may be
Cross the Is and dot the Ts
The Edelweiss guides me

A floral scent
And ink well spent
Triumphant: I beam
The Edelweiss guides me

Commentary

Alex's Notes: pending...

Nick's Notes: This is the 7th song composed, completed on September, Friday the 13th 2013. The bulk of the lyrics was actually completed on an airplane ride from Seattle to Orange two days earlier. Being trapped on an airplane for over 2 hours you look for ways to pass the time and get over your aerophobia, and these lyrics are the result. I was also in haste to record these lyrics to Alex as soon as possible - the night prior I had attended a Death in June concert which also filled me with confidence and some inspiration to keep on trucking with the writing and submitting of lyrics to Alex. 

It had been three months since the last Ceremony of Innocence lyrics has been composed ("Double Lives Second Chances") and combined with my obligations on writing a chapter for an upcoming anthology on James Bond and popular culture, I had been hit with a bout of writer's block. This song is actually about the writing process and overcoming writer's block.

In a true subversive fashion that I like to do, at first glance the song doesn't seem to be about writing. The Edelweiss is mostly known for its floral incarnation, and for neofolk fans the title of an amazing Allerseelen album. It's also a decent track by the synthpop group Melotron too. The Edelweiss is associated with the Alps and there is plenty of folklore and neofolk takes on it.

In the case of "Meisterstück", the Edelweiss is actually referring to the logo that adorns MontBlanc pens. Their flag ship pen? The Meisterstück.

I actually have a Meisterstück pen myself, and I do wish I used it more often. I am a little sad that this song was composed on the notes applications of an iPhone than with a MontBlanc pen, but the situation cannot be helped.

Going back to the imagery in the song. The guiding Edelweiss is the simple visualisation of looking down while you are writing and seeing the pen cap, which with a MontBlanc would be the Edelweiss. Montblanc pens are known for their luxury status, and many are ornate with gold and precious metals. The next passage is reference the composition of passage after passage.

Verse two is an odd verse, since it combines some none-sense and well as spoonerisms. I see verse two as what every writer goes through in the middle of their work - they know what they want, but how do they get there?  So is the correct word to use typography (which is good to use to describe pens and writing) or topography (which sounds like a mondegreen, but is also apropos in regards to the literal Edelweiss flowers that grow in the Alps). Also, one crosses Ts and dots Is, not the other way around. So is the Edelweiss leading the author astray?

However the third and final verse shows that the literary work is completed. The floral scent is allusion to the flower version of the Edelweiss, but also to the concept of the "sweet smell of success". Much ink has been used in composing, editing, revising, and repeating the process I'd imagine.
 
The title of the song is also a double meaning. While it certainly means the name of the pens used to compose something, it can also refer to the end result - that the composition was also a masterpiece.
Initially when I wrote the song, I had half of each verse repeat itself. So it read "It's tipped in gold / tipped in gold, A luxury I must afford / must afford.. etc". This sounded really good in my head, and I was thinking of the song "Prets Pour La Mort" by Derniere Volonte when composing it this way. However when I went to record it was not executing well, so I omitted the repeating words.

The music proper had been composed by Alex for some time, and he shared the instrumental with me back in June. I remember bursting out laughing at the 70ies funk music that permeated the song. It was really fun to listen to it. Alex had suggested a 3 verse, 4 lines each song could be composed for it. Luckily, this song met the criteria. I think the vocals take on a weird attribute - they start off normal, but get more slow and more distorted. I liken them to being sucked into a vortex of sorts.

So there is alot of fun and play in this song. It's interesting to see the Ceremony of Innocence project flirt with alot of styles out there, with now funk music being a notch on the bed post. I also think it's interesting in a playful way that I keep on writing neofolk inspired lyrics (at least that is my intent) and seeing them juxtaposed against contradictory styles. 

Release Notes

The song "Meisterstück" can be found on the following releases:
 
Ceremony of Innocence - City Lights
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