Alternia, by the Homestuck Music Team


Released July 18, 2010

33 min, 54 sec

Sometimes, the order of albums I get in this project is frustrating.

Homestuck is a webcomic that is very well-represented in my iTunes library; because of that, there will be a lot of posts about the comic, and the hours and hours of music it has directly and indirectly produced in its five-plus-year run. To start that off with Alternia is difficult, because it’s a bit like starting a book a third of the way in. Tomorrow’s album is even more frustrating in that regard.

How do we go about this, then?

Vaguely, I suppose.

Homestuck‘s narrative is long, convoluted, and difficult to understand at times. Aside from the usual medium of static images for the majority of its panels, Homestuck incorporates animated .GIFs, as well as Flash animations, nearly all of which are accompanied by music created by a group of musicians the comic employs for this very purpose. As Homestuck‘s use of Flash panels in its storytelling expanded, the comic began releasing albums of the music used in the animations. Not long after that, as the comic continued to balloon in popularity, the music community surrounding the comic took on a life of its own, and entire albums of original music unused in the comic began to be released. Alternia is the second one of these; Midnight Crew: Drawing Dead was the first, though that album served an additional purpose as well.

Alternia is an album that primarily contains theme songs for twelve characters introduced in the comic’s fifth act, referred to as trolls. Each of the songs adopt a musical style reminiscent of their respective character’s personalities, while still conforming to Homestuck‘s usual musical pallette of purely electronic or heavily synthesized instruments. These are, after all, “amateur” musicians composing the music, presumably limited (in a financial sense) in what instruments are available for use to them.

I don’t listen to these albums very much, particularly the ones that aren’t part of the numbered volume series. I have them mostly as a show of support for the comic. However, most of them are very good, and this one in particular has a nice variety of sounds and melodies, some of them quite unusual, all of them pertaining to the character the song is for (though the album makes you guess based on the titles as opposed to making it obvious).

Another short post, today, but I don’t want to blow all my thoughts about Homestuck on a single character album. Spoilers: tomorrow’s album is also a Homestuck album that ties much more into the comic than this one.


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