Our Free Background Music series continues with the 35th song—Broken, a gentle and melancholy piano ballad about the end of a friendship.
For this video, Lee Chan, a dance and yoga teacher based in Hong Kong, choreographed and performed the ballet. In this dance, Lee emphasizes her en pointe techniques. You can see her dance in a more contemporary style in our video for the song The Hidden Path (youtu.be/U23s1qFcNbU)
Kate Kwok, a Form 6 (Grade 12) student in Hong Kong provided the piano arrangement and played the piano. Coincidentally, she is also a ballet dancer. You can see some of her piano arrangements and covers in these videos:
- I Vow to Thee, My Country (Kate’s original arrangement of Mahler’s song): https://youtu.be/ac2IiRNEr14
- Feast of Starlight (Kate’s original arrangement of Howard Shore’s song from the soundtrack of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: youtu.be/Xuy-h2P9IHI
- Breathe (Kate’s cover of the Taylor Swift song): youtu.be/ehT6ZgKWstA
The composition is by myself (longzijun). I also shot and edited the video and did the audio recording. We recorded the song using a Yamaha Clavinova at our school’s Creative Media Studio (cmestudio.wordpress.com), an education project I set up a few years ago.
The mood of the piece is rather melancholy. The song is influenced by classical minuets and has the ABA structure and 3/4 time signature associated with that form. However, the arrangement is rather sparse and minimalist in style, giving the song a more contemporary feel.
About the Song
This song is about the end of a friendship. Sometimes friendships simply fade away, but sometimes they quickly disintegrate, leaving at least one person one hurt and bewildered. This song is about the second kind of ending and was written after a friendship suddenly fell apart.
I wrote the song for three reasons. First, it was simply a way to distract myself from thinking too much. Second, it allowed me to express the emotions that were building up within me Third, it served as a kind of farewell message and invitation to the former friend. The song was initially titled ‘The Door is Always Open’, meaning that I would always be open to a reconciliation and possibly a renewal of the friendship sometime in the future. I think if two people were once friends, there must have been a reason for it, so they shouldn’t dismiss the idea of ever becoming friends again.
However, if the friendship ended, there must also have been a good reason for that. Therefore, wouldn’t it be better to just let things be and not risk reopening old wounds?
I don’t know the answer.
At first, I had hoped to find a smoother way to link the two different sections, but later on I accepted that perhaps the music didn’t have to feel so unified. After all, when I was originally composing the song a couple of years ago, my different emotions—sadness, regret, bitterness—were all jammed together. That is why I left the song as it was—as a kind of record of my emotions.
I did send the first draft of this song the friend it was about. I am not sure if she ever listened to it.
Free Background Music Series
You can find the download link for free high quality WAV and MP3 files from this page (look for Background Music Song No. 35): longzijun.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/free-background-music-set2