Light at the end of the tunnel
I was down to two remaining tasks: making the Outro and making the connecting part between Power Surge and Sunset In Our Eyes. The Outro came first.
The plan was to make it rather similar to the Intro, but with added elements from the rest of the album. I wanted the Outro to cite melodies from the Dehumechanization chapter, played by all of the instruments used throughout the album.
The Outro wraps up the whole album in a big climax of emotion and sound and is supposed to give the listener a feeling of completeness. At the same time I wanted it to feel like seamlessly starting all over again, as if the album itself was a manifestation of the circle of life. Creation (not meant in a religious sense), demise and rebirth, such as the concept of Big Bounce used throughout the album.
All that was initially planned to complete the album was to make a ~2 minute track connecting Power Surge to Sunset In Our Eyes. What came out of it is The Void, and consequently a storyline additon to Power Surge. As the first ideas for The Void started coming to me, the song became longer and longer and it felt no longer suitable to keep this song as short as originally planned. I then changed my mind about the song and decided I was going to make it a song with a story. Actual storytelling was still missing on this album, so I figured it would be a nice touch to add a little more diversity and deviate from the pure instrumental music approach. The Void ended up as the second longest song with 10:13 minutes. A tremendous amount of work went into it, not only because of the complexity of the music, but also because of the audio play aspects, the voice acting, the sound design and of course the integration of both music and sounds.
The Void tells the story of Lieutenant James Marshall, the lone survivor of a catastrophic spaceship propulsion drive maintenance accident, which involved him as the main maintenance worker. The first part of the story is introduced in Power Surge Pt. 2 and continues in The Void in form of short interludes between the actual song sections. In the end of The Void Marshall finds himself alone in the void of space, unsure of what had happened, assuming he was to blame for the deaths of the crew on the starship Excelsior. Once he realizes nobody except for him survived the accident, guilt and pity overwhelm him. He is confronted with the harrowing finality of the law of cause and effect, which most of the time has a positive and reassuring effect on us, allowing us to interact with the world with confidence. Yet, in the light of traumatizing events, this effect can turn into the complete opposite and make us wish for occasional exceptions to the firmness of this law.
The song title "The Void" literally applies to both his outer world as well as his inner world, as in being alone in space as well as being alone with his guilt.