Working Backwards from the Start
By Alan Deeth
Back in Ye Olde Days—also known as my high school and college years—Ross and I used to pass files back and forth in a wonderful program called Power Tab. The tool let us input guitar tablature, assign an array of awful-sounding MIDIs to the various lines, and then listen to each other’s compositions and try to imagine what it would sound like if played with actual instruments.
Though Power Tab was painfully limited in many ways, it worked wonders for enabling us to collaborate in those early, pre–New Origins years, and it did a ton for helping me learn the basics of music theory (particularly in tandem with Ross’s regular comments that, “these notes don’t fit this line, Alan!”). As the years went on, our compositions got more complex, but they remained somewhat disjointed.
Then, after college, I moved back to Salt Lake City, and we finally had the chance to work on music together properly. Our first songs sprang from the gigantic backlog of tracks we’d workshopped over the years. Or, more accurately, they were pilfered from the best parts of those tracks: a lot of our past composition was somewhat conceptual, and not necessarily constructed around being actual songs. But now that we were working on music together, we wanted real tracks. We wanted a singer and a drummer, and we wanted to play shows.
“Reverie Into Meltdown” was one of the first tracks we fully composed together. We always conceived of it as an opener, with the soft, ambient hook giving way to the harder metallic blasts: the title was quite literally “there’s the reverie part, then the meltdown part.”
We’re … not great at titles. That’s Gabriel’s thing.
Naturally, being us, the song was too complicated for what we could actually perform: it was born with two guitar parts, bass, and keys. But it was fun to play, even with just the two of us; it had a sensible structure, and it showcased our style. Thus it ended up being one of the first songs we pitched to Gabriel—and once he’d brought lyrics and vocals to the track, it remained our stalwart opener. Every show we played opened with some version of this track. Just … with no rhythm guitar and no keys.
What the Hell Is a Reverie Forge?
When we started recording some of our old tracks in 2020, we naturally assumed “Reverie Into Meltdown” would be the opening track. That’s what it does, right? And I have to say, it was a pleasure hearing the thing come together with actual instruments: the song was fun to play live, but it’s so much more complete with the rhythm guitar and keys layered in.
Things got complicated when the album started taking shape. There was narrative stuff happening now, and a story that needed to start somewhere. We knew we had a story about an Imprint’s self-actualization: but where did that Imprint come from, and why were they self-actualizing?
The three of us spent a bunch of time discussing narrative concepts before the new and improved “On the Meltdown Periphery Lies the Reverie Forge” took shape. We wanted our story cohesive, and that meant the start had to be intentional; it had to make sense as a narrative hook, not just as a cool opening track. Gabriel reworked the lyrics to fit the story, and I penned some narrative to accompany our GoFundMe campaign: the narrative that now belongs to this track.
And that’s the story of how a song initially concepted in Ye Olde Days, one of the very first New Origins tracks composed and the opener of every show, became the intro to our first album.
Except then Proem happened.