54. Evanescence: Twilight of the Gothic, or the Gothic of ‘Twilight’…?

Currently I’m fretting away at a screenplay for The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, an engrossing if perplexing job of work that obviously proposes a very different set of challenges to those in writing prose – one amusing side-expression of which being that my relationship to music (how it helps to inform and influence the writing process and the product) undergoes a strange change…
I’ve already opined on this blog about Bartok and Ligeti and Ives, how their ‘sound-moods’ were helpful to my own temper when I was bashing away at the novel – a drawn-out process, a sort of letting-in of chilly spirits (where you’re unsure what goes in and what comes out.) But for sure, the rhythms of a film script are very different. And the dynamic arc of pop/rock songs – the short and sweet energy of riffs, even – can help to push proceedings along. Sometimes I find it useful to imagine what might be the 2 minute-12 second trailer (say…) for whatever sort of film it is that I’m trying to write… That little imaginative test certainly focuses the mind on ‘hooks’, visual and musical, the two being very commonly entwined in movies, genre ones certainly. And at such moments on this particular endeavour, I find myself thinking of the Arkansas-bred pop-goth band Evanescence.
It must be said that adolescent boys and girls more than any other demographic keep the gothic sensibility alive (or should that be undead?), its dark flowers perenially in bloom. To this end Evanescence have quite expertly put together a sound and an image, packaging a loudly emotive, doom-laden yet uplifting music for the Twilight generation (a group that could perhaps be characterised, per a remark attributed to Stephen King, as adolescents whose strongest feelings in respect of mortality, morality, identity, aesthetics etc are most likely bound up with whatever is their current Boyfriend/Girlfriend status. But I wouldn’t carp on this score, as I guess King was doing – if that’s what he actually said – since I know my own feelings were much the same way back in the dark ages…)
As far as I know, Evanescence are now a ‘band’ in the loosest sense since their founder-vocalist-pianist-lyricist-iconic frontwoman Amy Lee has for some time seemed to direct the show and hire in the supporting players. But quite apart from her clear talents in all of those departments, I suspect Lee’s flair for eye make-up and floor-length chiffon alone might be nearly sufficient to ignite the passions of her natural demographic following, which have been quite touchingly expressed on Twitter lately and collated by MTV as another album release draws near (“Her voice stirs my soul awake…” “…with the same darkly romantic, moody energy they’ve always had…” “Evanescence has carved its place in me; their sound has changed but I can’t deny Amy’s heart-achingly beautiful voice!”) No, I’m not inclined to be cynical about such feelings. (Whereas the Twilight books/movies I have neither read nor seen at time of writing, so could not possibly comment…)

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2 responses to “54. Evanescence: Twilight of the Gothic, or the Gothic of ‘Twilight’…?

  1. lordravenmere

    You should hear some of their pre-fame work. I particularly recommend “Field of Innocence” and “Understanding (Wash It All Away)”; or for something of a more instrumental nature “The End” or “Ascension of the Spirit” (which manages to somehow remain Gothic whilst at the sametime evoking something of the atmosphere of Eno’s “Dune” soundtrack). Somehow there was more of a Gothic spirit in their earlier endeavours.

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