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Beyond Canon - Commentary

4.1k words across 19 entries.

Album commentary

Quasar Nebula:

track art for Beyond Canon is from the Beyond Canon Track Art Anthology! artist commentary and (gasp!) art WIPs come from the booklet linked there. much thanks to project organizer Ucklin for keeping me updated with the anthology and offering to share the art with the music wiki. here's their commentary below! :)

(PS: some tracks had their own original track art, mainly created by their musicians, shared on soundcloud or youtube. while all the main art images have been swapped with what's in the anthology project, i've kept those in the commentary notes for these tracks!)

Ucklin:

BEYOND CANON
a track art anthology

Artists

(florrie: see each track page for individual credits!~)

This list contains quite a few new arrivals to the team as well as some long-time contributors returning. Thank you all for putting the thought and time in to make art that truly befits the new album!

Additional Credits

Making-of booklet produced by Ucklin (Ucklin#4229). Project management by Ucklin with help from additional Unofficial MSPA Fans managers.

Feedback for revisions was given by all the artists in the UMSPAF discord, but I want to recognize Tipsy for being consistently present and offering constructive suggestions for nearly every piece!

Though Makin stepped down after the planning stages of the project, I also want to thank him for the concept and his work sorting initial artist applications to make sure that everyone was assigned to a track that they wanted.

Some final thoughts: This project went unbelieveably smoothly, completed in just one month. The majority of artists were invited on May 1st, and art was completed by the 31st. I'm glad we get a chance to appreciate the artists on our team: So many of these people could be spending their time making money with their art, and they're helping us enrich and expand on the Homestuck soundtrack instead! Thank you to everyone who worked on art and everyone who checks out the project!

exclusion zone

horizon:

(YouTube)

my contribution to Homestuck^2's first album: exclusion zone from Beyond Canon.

i can't express how meaningful it was to be able to write something for this, so i won't try. all i can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.

you have given me a home i would be happy to be stuck in.

Zowerlemon:

Exclusion zone really stood out as quite the challenge, my mind was racing trying to grasp onto an idea and landed on a robotic theme with solitary undertones. The best to represent the song in my opinion was Rosebot: in the song the singer is repeating "you just made a monster," acknowledging that they themselves are no longer a person and informing their initiator of what they had done. While designing the drawing I decided that rosebot had to be the center of attention of the piece so I focused on her color pallet and her aspect, light, was made to be just as robotic as she is, with orange metal linings as an example of ult dirks influence on her. The purple background is taken by her lunar sway, also, it was a good color to accompany the yellow in the piece. The rest are random metal plates with lining in between each plate forming a sort of tunnel with the only light being Rosebot and a clock of the moon and the sun surrounding her, each with their own meaning. In the end I love how the final piece came to be, I feel that it represents the song very well, and I had fun sharing with the organizers and the other artists. To be the first time working in this manner in a community was nice and I hope in the future to have similar opportunities like this. Thank You!

Now I'm a Villain

David Ellis:

(Twitter)

It was fun to play lots of nice low 7 string guitar chugs and to try and make it sound as villainous as possible. :)

Jas:

CrepesAhoy:

(original track art)

Rachel Z

Initially, I was split between making Dirk or Alt. Calliope the focus of this drawing. Eventually, I decided that Jade possessed by Alt. Calliope was the best fit, because the upbeat mood of the song fits Jade's personality, and the name was also very fitting for both characters since their aspect is space. I interpreted the "Cosmic Carousel" as the black hole turning endlessly in space while Alt. Calliope acts as the conductor as she watches over the various timelines. After my first sketch, I had Jade wield Calliope's wand, and I also gave her a happier expression to fit the overall mood of the song.

Surprise, We're Back

Sean Gorter:

(SoundCloud)

Surprise, bitch. Bet you didn't see this album coming.

(YouTube)

It's a great privilege of mine to contribute music to Homestuck^2. We're glad we can finally show you what we've been doing.

D'paq:

I was indeed surprised by HS^2's sudden appearence, at first I thought it was a really well-characterized fan continuation like with Act Omega, with its own website like VE, they even shared the same artist, I can recognize Xamag's art from a mile away, love it. But turns out that they indeed Were Back, and I'm really looking forward to what they have in store. Dirk, the ==> command, and the Theseus seemed like the perfect trinity to represent a(n) (un)likely continuation to an already colossal story. The sky full of faint memories of the baffling/fascinating (Meat) Epilogues, Dirk as the constellation marking him as one of this universe's gods, the one who put that story into motion. There's another simpler track art I made that I also enjoy, but in my mind the piano and the stars go together much better, the one with Dirk and the huge ==> command feels like it'd accompany some electronic song instead. Have a nice day!

SPLIT REALITY

Xauric:

(Twitter)

Eight years ago, I made a track for a webcomic called Homestuck for a music competition.

Today, I'm happy to announce the official release of my track, SPLIT REALITY, on the newest Homestuck album, Beyond Canon!!!

Enjoy <3

I'm also officially apart of the Homestuck music team, and will be working with them further for more releases~

<3 <3 <3

(YouTube)

K I wanna be real with y'all here.

This track means a lot to me in more than one way. Between a bunch of depressive episodes and just outstanding amounts of imposter syndrome, I had a lot of anxiety that I wouldn't even be able to make a track that was in the ballpark of "good", let alone at all worthy of being on the first official album of Homestuck^2. And for a while there, I wasn't really making things I was at all enjoying or proud of. I was worried of making something that wasn't "homestuck" enough, or wasn't something people were really expecting. But the support of the amazing Homestuck music team helped contribute to a track I can firmly say I'm proud of, and even being included on this album means the world to me.

So I really, really do hope you guys enjoy this <3

Gastlu:

Originally I had drawn events throughout the timelines, though in my opinion, it looked a bit too much to focus on, so I scrapped that version, and, unfortunately I did not save that version, oops. Either way, I hope my abstract-y space-y art did the job, made a blackhole to represent, well, the blackhole which Alt. Callie turned into, added some green and orange effects for the narrative command battle going, though there's already a track for that, so it is minor, in the background, the real focus are the timelines, meat drips with death, candy is sweet and bright, though they both have some masks for what's really going on, we cannot see though, the reality is split and we're in SPACE.

Assembly

ysh:

When I got the track (and stopped squeeing) I contacted the composer to ask what he envisioned while making it, and he told me that the track was about Dirk's team's journey through space towards the new planet as well as about them preparing for the game (hence the name). So I did my best to convey all of that. The track uses many synth sounds, or at least *some* synth sounds, and to me that was enough to justify going for the 80's neon aesthetic. I used mainly triadic palette where each colour corresponded to one of the characters: orange for Dirk, violet for Rose, teal/turquoise for Terezi. The theme of "three" is also reinforced by the triangle shape, which I referenced in composition as well as by slapping a big fat triangle in the middle of the picture. It works as a visual portal and also represents the letter Delta (as in Deltritus, the name of the new planet). The idea of actual assembling of the game is referenced through the Venn diagram glyph inside the portal and by those sick grid mountains in the background that I totally didn't trace from some random stock image. There's some more symbolism stuffed in the picture but this commentary is already too long and I'd like to leave some things open to interpretation. Doing track art has been a long dream of mine, and I'm extremely glad and thankful I've been given this chance to participate in this project!

Not Canon in F major, Op. 69

Spicy Nyx:

When I listen to the song it makes me think of how much Homestuck has strayed into non-canon and I wanted to draw what's pretty much become the 3 most influential characters of homestuck, looking out at whats to come next has they go further and further out of the canon story.

The Leaving

Marcus Carline:

(Twitter)

So I did a thing (was a small part in doing a thing). My track is The Leaving, but honestly give this whole thing a listen. I'm very proud to be included here. Happy Homestuck Day!

RainbowLustDash:

When I first heard the song i thought about Rosebot leaving Kanaya, but as I listened to it I realized it could fit so many other characters as well. Especially Dirk, Terezi and Rose leaving earth C, Dirk thinking there is nothing left to do on Earth C and seeing leaving as the only way to move forward, Terezi leaving after John's death (mentions of air and wind), and Rose not wanting to hurt Kanaya by leaving but having no other choice. And as soon as I realized this, I had this picture in mind. Most of my WIPS shows the progress of the piece; sketch, color modifications, cleaning etc... Thanks to the beyond canon anthology team for their tips and advice!

Light Burns Out (Gestalt)

Waif:

(Twitter)

Time is a flat circle and I made another official song for #homestuck to be released on #homestuckday

It never ends

I do not know WHY it happens but it does

If you are confused
Understand
So am i

All jokes aside i'm really very happy with this song and i think it's cool and big and i hope you all like it too

(original track art)

Mikkynga:

When hearing the song and thinking about HS2 and how Dirk influenced Rose and Rose reaffirms Dirk's thoughts all i wanted to do is how to mix them in one picture. The rest was just just drawing while hearing the song and letting it take me to whatever it wanted to go.

Hometeam Adv8ntage

Twirlin' Curtis:

(Twitter)

Whoops, might have fucked around and wrote music for @homestuck

please enjoy

My tune is called Hometeam Adv8ntage, btw!

Hugest thanks to @barkbarkclark for being awesome amazing the best ever and having me on! <3 <3 <3

Tipsy:

I was itching to draw something relating to the future kids! My style is very rigid so I wanted to draw something looser this time. This worked best with Vriska. Proud of the grass. The sky is based off of a sunset from Adventure Time. I can't draw cars. Tavros is cutting loose and unleashing the rebel within.

After the Sun

Circlejourney:

(Twitter)

I made this track for the Homestuck music team's new album, Beyond Canon. I'm humbled to be a part of this incredible project; you can listen to the album at http://homestuck.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-canon!

(Twitter)

as promised...

me in 2016: I should join at least one Homestuck fan project before the comic ends, this may be my last chance

me in 2020, somehow on the team of people who made the music that inspired me, making music for a comic that's still going: well,

(YouTube)

It's about beginnings in endings...building the world in the comic's early pages, and rebuilding the world after the end. But also, all interpretations are valid.

(original track art)

zzzealousy:

I had read comments from the composer and I really liked one of the ways that they described the track, which was like "beginnings in endings". It's cool to see Homestuck^2 parallel some stuff from OG Homestuck, and it's especially cool with the heartfelt or hopeful moments; paralleling is largely where my art inspo came from. Seeing John and BGD aiding Jake again is great, especially since that was near the end of OG Homestuck, while Homestuck^2 is beginning with that (which seems to be the case with other stuff, too, like Jade being possessed). Furthermore, it's that teamwork/hopeful stuff (like John and BGD aiding Jake, but also Dave comforting Kanaya, etc.) in Homestuck^2 that really feels like the idea of "beginnings in endings" to me, whether it parallels OG Homestuck or not. All of the characters are struggling right now, and it's nice to think that they might be able to help each other out and make something together out of all that struggling.

Narrative Command

Sean William Calhoun:

(YouTube)

Holy crap. Impeccable. I might transcribe this for my music project.

This might make it a bit easier — I made a notated blueprint before I started producing it (notated on two piano grand staves, because that's easy for me to parse, but it's certainly not a playable two-piano score). It's not 100% accurate to how it wound up (and I'm not going to fix it, because I don't have any use for an accurate "score"), but if you take this as a slightly-flawed transcription you can probably get the rest relatively easily. (link!)

I don’t want to do this beautiful track a disservice by comparing it to music that’s already been made, because it’s one of the most original and creative songs ive ever heard, but it also does kind of sound like all the songs on Cherubim had a brawl and kicked the shit out of each other

It intentionally sounds tangentially like a bit of OG Homestuck music (without quoting anything). Calliope's music is a little like some of One Year Older (like Firefly Cloud) and Voidlight (from HS Vol. 10). At the beginning of Homestuck^2, Dirk said "Finally, this story is back on the rails. Maybe we can get back to what things were like in the good old days," so his music sounds more stereotypically Homestuck, with the quasi-chiptune style that's in a lot of classic Homestuck music.

have fun trying to transcribe dirk's 13/8 section lmao
but consider: 13/4
but consider: 13/1

My notational thoughts aren't really consequential, since this is electronic, and the score was only for my own ease of composing, not for performance, but I've always thought of it as Calliope's section in 4/4 and Dirk's in 13/16, so when they start to combine, it's 4 (Calliope eighth notes) against 13 (Dirk sixteenth notes)

(original track art)

Ana:

I believe the real protagonist of this song is Jade Harley. Narrative command is not only Dirk and Calliope fighting over narrative, but also a fight over Jade control.

eleventh hour

Skyplayer:

This piece started with a concept that is actually explored in other pieces in this album's set: Dirk's departure and what he left behind. Even the same symbolism can be found in other pieces: Theseus streaking across his face, shatters of memories lost to space. Mine started to mutate though, to take on a form beyond my control. My skill to render the memories failed me: WIPs show the corpse of John, the beheading of Dirk, other fragments of the Epilogues. The main decisions of the piece happened spontaneously: fragments of a clock reforming to Dirk's silhouette, Theseus moving from the corner and taking its place as Dirk's glasses. The colors went through many iterations, a volatile photoshop file of hue shifts and stacked filters. The final nail in the coffin for any hope of a semblance of normalcy in this came with my most baffling decision of all: splashing my previous two track arts for UMSPAF over this one. My original monochrome draft for Diverging Delicacies' "Dirk's Dreamers" became the only shattered memory, a destruction of art I birthed but am not fond of. Moons of Theseus' "Unchained" merged with the fibers of space, a celebrated giant looming over all my other pieces. Much like the man this art is focused on, the very piece itself has become a distractingly shiny mirror reflecting the artist's self-indulgent nonsense. I'm being told there's a song attached to this?

Adios, Lost Boys

qsleeper:

I was pretty happy when I found out that I'd be drawing a piece for this song, since I've always had a soft spot for Tavros—he's an underappreciated boy! In the end, I didn't really do many different concept sketches for this one. I knew that I wanted a scene of Tavros, in his Peter Pan outfit, staring out as the friends and army they'd worked so hard to gather get eaten by the black hole. The ghosts are just as much the ‘Lost Boys' here as Tav is himself. I was going for a ‘wistful, but resigned' sort of feeling for this, since all Tav can really do now is watch. He knows he's unable to stop everyone from being destroyed—or, as we know now, getting pulled into the new HS^2 universe. So basically, he's just chillin'.

Moving Onwards

Mathias Ramalho:

(SoundCloud)

My track from the album "Beyond Canon", by the Homestuck^2 Music Team. So he-hey I got to the big leagues! don't know how I got here but I gotta tell ya, it feels awesome.

Cratmang:

I was hoping to hear some commentary from the original artist about what this piece was about, but that never happened, so I just went with my initial concept of, "John Egbert casually walking down the street whilst reflecting on his now-distant past as the Heir of Breath." Since this was a chiptune track, doing pixel art made the most sense (nevermind that I planned on doing pixel art anyway). Most everything in the picture came out naturally, with a few tweaks here and there. I had John looking looking sad in one iteration, but I felt it didn't match up with the more upbeat nature of the song, so I changed it. I did sort of trip at the finish line when adding details to the buildings in the background. Ah well, no one will care, right?

Make a Pretty Picture

Aeritus:

When I first heard the song it just really felt like a Jane song to me. I really wanted to play with the title itself so most of the concept has been Jane (and family) on the making of the Pretty Picture, because when you're in such an high position it's important to look good and pretty, no matter what... right? I Also had a few other sketches of Rose and Jade since the track art of the main motif used for this song had them, but after the updates and the general feeling regarding Jade and Rose has been switched on the bad side, it just didnt felt right for me and the tone of the song itself.

Four Kids (and a Game They Played Together)

Robert J! Lake:

(Twitter)

might fuck around and release some stuckhome syndrome music today...

by that i mean i'm definitely releasing some stuckhome syndrome music today. if all goes well i'll probably have it up in like...maybe a little over an hour?

no promises but you know. i am just a little creacher

i wasn't technically lying

(Twitter)

might as well talk a tiny bit about this song, Four Kids (and a Game They Played Together), since people are responding to it way more strongly than i kind of expected

the original version of the track from yeaaaaars ago i wrote as an instrumental i intended to be the "homestuck end credits theme," which ended up not panning out for a bunch of reasons, but the song was always a fave of mine, and stuck around on my hard drive until i polished it up as the finale of the main portion of Stuckhome Syndrome P1V1. i still love this version of the song very much.

i had a vocal version brewing in my head for ages. literally from before stuckhome syndrome was released. i mean, the first line (it's been a little bit since the last time we all talked/so how are all of you doing?) was just a sudden thing about me getting volume 10 together

i never had anything besides that opening line, though, not really. for ages i thought i'd finish it up for the last stuckhome volume (i haven't even put the 2nd together...but i will! this year probably?) but a lot ended up hitting me in the interim and i didn't have time for it

about five months ago i was contacted to be a part of the homestuck 2 music team and was told the lowdown: it was a clean slate, and a chance to establish the musical rockbed for homestuck 2 going forward. no quotes of hs1 songs whatsoever, but we'd be making new songs TO quote

i messed around with a few other demos but it was pretty quick for me to settle on deciding to do this. since four kids was never actually released as part of homestuck proper, it ended up feeling like the perfect time to pull the track together for real.

though the instrumental of the new version came together with steady work over the past few months the actual vocals and lyrics didn't coalesce until about two weeks ago. i had messed around with dozens of variants until then; the only stuff finalized earlier was the chorus

singing it was fresh hell because it's stretching my range extremely hard, but i didn't want to do pitch correction. on the final track there is some on the backing vocals for two parts, mostly to help finish the thing quickly, but the majority of it is natural

it was endless, endless retakes and it still sound bad to my ears but i think the roughness maybe helps the emotional quality of the song? i guess?

for my part, i'm just glad it's done and i'm glad it's apparently good. anyway. thanks

oh and lastly i guess speculate all you want about the meaning of the song but i'm not going to engage with any of that stuff because i kinda feel like what the song is feeling is clear without my input on that front

but. yeah. thanks again. <3

Star-nomad:

While this piece is canonically about the composer, listening to it made me strongly think of John, specifically from the Meat timeline. Since the title of the song basically encompasses John's life during Sburb and by extension his fight with Lord English in the epilogues, I wanted to do something reminiscent of these ideas. Thus I went with the idea of some of the last remaining dream bubbles, and how they show pivotal points from the game session that John was apart of or would remember. I decided to also go with different color palettes, but each having a similar enough scheme that the bubbles showed cohesion. It was a very fun piece to work on, and is hopefully symbolic enough of John and his memories!

crystal hung in firmament's descent

Emelia K.:

(SoundCloud)

a silence descends

(original track art)

Awkward:

My initial thoughts on the mood of this song pretty much carried on throughout the entire creation of the piece, with it being quiet and melancholy, yet powerful in a way. My original idea and thumbnail (which is sadly lost to time) was actually about Kanaya in the meat timeline, longing for Rose.

Ucklin:

I just have to jump in and point out that the overall composition of this piece looks like a cherub skull, because awkward didn't mention it! This is the coolest thing!

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By .

Cover art by .