Explore Leira Blog Tour: M is for Melodies

By Kathrese McKee | Feature

Please welcome Gillian Bronte Adams who is celebrating the one year book birthday for her book. I’ve know Gillian for a few years, now, and I have to say that she has some of the coolest book covers I have ever seen.

Welcome, Gillian!

Thanks, Kathrese, for hosting me here and helping me celebrate the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world.

If this is your first encounter with the #exploreleira blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles (follow the tour at gillianbronteadams.com and find a list of all the stops at #exploreleira tour). And we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below!

Today, we’re looking at the letter …

M is for Melodies

Within seconds of meeting Birdie in Orphan’s Song, we discover that there is something different about her. She can hear music that no one else can. And at first—like most of us probably would if we could hear something that no one else can—she wonders if she has lost her mind. It’s a skill she has always had, to a lesser extent as a child, but now that she is maturing, the skill seems to be growing as well.

Deep below, a sepulchral rumbling from the depths of the earth—a distant melody—rose to greet her. Warm as a summer sunrise, the song caught her up in its embrace. The tears dried on her face. Her sorrow eased. The song was familiar—she had known it all her life—and yet new and wondrous, something too great to be fully known or understood. It spiral upward, carrying her soul to reach for the sky. Then it stopped abruptly, and the melody faded away …

Always it was the same, every time she heard the song. Five notes without resolution. A beginning, constantly repeating, without an end. And yet the five notes were so beautiful that her heart ached at the sound, and every fiber of her being yearned to hear more.

Orphan’s Song

As the story moves on, Birdie comes to realize that she can actually hear three different types of melodies. The first type is the five-noted melody that can be heard humming from the hearts and in the individual voices of every living thing. Amos’s voice is a jouncing baritone, Gundhrold (the griffin) has a voice that is wild and sweeping and free, while George (the cat) has a lazy sort of crooning tenor. The five-noted melody is but a broken remnant of the second type of melody, the full Song in which Birdie hears the voice and intent of the Master Singer, Emhran. This second melody is the Master Melody, and it seethes with the power of its Creator.

The third type of melody is a twisted distortion of the second. In it, every good and beautiful thing is ruined, broken, and turned upside down. It is discordant. Birdie hears this melody most from those who have either consciously or unconsciously turned their backs upon the Master Melody. It is not surprising then that she hears it most from the servants from the Takhran, including many of the Khelari and the Shantren.

In essence, the melodies heard by the Songkeepers are the music of the soul.

Which brings up an interesting question … if your soul played a melody, what sort of a song would it be? A good number of years back, I came across the song “Lifesong” by Casting Crowns. I’m sure many of you have heard it. “Let my lifesong sing to you …”

Those words lodged in my head. Refused to be ignored. They forced me to ask who my lifesong was actually singing to? If my thoughts, actions, motivations, and dreams were transposed into a song, would it be sung for me and my own pleasure, for the accolades and praise that I could get from others, or for God?

How about you?

Gillian Bronte Adams

One of the biggest questions I get when I talk about the musical aspect of the Songkeeper Chronicles, is if I am a musician. The answer is … no, not a true musician. Growing up, I dabbled with classical piano lessons, and I am fond of singing. (Confession time: for years, I had an irrational fear of microphones. True story. Singing in front of a group didn’t bother me … as long as I didn’t have to use a microphone. But on my continued quest to conquer my fears, I have been trying to get over it and now enjoy singing as part of a worship team!)

While I cannot claim any incredible musical ability, I can certainly appreciate music. It has an innate power to sink into our bones, stir emotions with us, and affect our actions.

When writing, soundtracks are my go to. It is easier for me to concentrate without words to distract, and there’s nothing like writing a battle scene to an epic battle soundtrack. At other times, my taste is extremely eclectic and varied. Recently, I had a huge “duh” moment when I started listening to music while working out. (Yes … I know most of the world listens to music while working out, but I always hated messing with earbuds. So annoying!) But once I started listening to music, I was blown away by how much it affected my attitude and what I was able to accomplish.

(Yes, I know, “duh!”)

To me, though, it was just another glimpse of the power of music to inspire, encourage, strengthen, and embolden. Because music has that ability, it was really easy for me to imagine a world (Leira) where music (the Song) actually has power.

Because even in our world, music is “magic,” and we just don’t always see it.

What are some songs that inspire, encourage, strengthen, or embolden you?

Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.

Amazon: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper

Barnes and Nobles: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper


About the Author

Texas author, Kathrese McKee, writes epic adventures for young adults and anyone else who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is committed to exciting stories, appropriate content, and quality craftsmanship.