Broken Mirror

So, this is my best attempt at playing Broken Mirror, a piano version of the song “Small Two Pieces – Restored Pieces,” written by Yasunori Mitsuda and performed by Joanne Hogg. This version was arranged by Jay Semerad and released on the One Up Studios album “Xenogears Light – An Arranged Album,” which they included a copy of the sheet music with if you bought it. I believe that takes care of all the credits. I hope you enjoy seeing rural Japan in the background. The rice fields sadly are out of season, so they’re quite ugly right now, and as you can tell, the day was quite cloudy.

I’ve been learning this song for about a year, now. It’s by far the most difficult song I’ve ever really attempted to learn, and some would say it was a waste of time to start learning it so early in my relearning of playing the piano in general (I’ve sunk so much time into this song). As you can tell, I still have a long ways to go in learning this song, but I wanted to put up this rough draft and write to you some of the meaning that this song holds to me.

However, I reject that this song has been a waste of time. It has been a friend when I’ve had so few others. To me, this song has a much deeper meaning, and every mistake and trial has been a pleasure for the joy of every tiny bit that I learn to play it better.

This song has a twofold meaning, and each side is deep and rich. The first side is from the original song, and if you search for “Small Two Pieces Xenogears” on Youtube I bet you’ll be able to find and listen to it if you want to. As for me, I never played Xenogears (though I did play Xenosaga), but I’ve always been a fan of Mitsuda’s music, especially when you get the voice of Joanne Hogg involved. So I downloaded this song and listened to it some.

Southbound on the 101. I was driving from San Luis Obispo to Redlands. I believe it was Christmas of my first senior year of college. I was listening to a custom CD mix of video game and anime music of my own design and coasting through the emerald hills of the central coast, not a car in sight. “Run through the cold of the night…” These words began to play. And as I listened to this song, it was as though the lands had become resurrected as shall come at the end of the age, and I was travelling along the roads of the new earth to come. I saw myself as travelling with God Himself as company through paradise, not a care in the world, and the two of us were together in a land renewed. To my left stretched miles of vineyards. And vineyards differ from wheat in that wheat is a crop grown for nourishment and survival, while wine grapes are pure luxury and abundance, as shall be that earth. I wept as I drove in yearning of what is still to come, even as I was given as true an earthly imagining of it as many-a-person ever gets. That’s what I describe my visions of Heaven that I have received until now: imaginings. Because they are not visions in the truest sense, for my eyes have seen naught but the creation in front of them, but all the same, I have imagined Heaven in such a way as to bring forth true tears of joy and yearning. I want to be there.

The second meaning of this song to me is thus, and this is of the piano version that I am learning: It is a reminder of all that I have lost and all I have yet to gain. I started learning it shortly before going to San Luis Obispo in February of last year (2008). And I listened to it continually when I was about to leave that place. To me, this song reminds me immensely of that place and the people and love I experienced there. It reminds me of those that I left behind. The storm-like intensity of the middle is a constant reminder of the cost of the answered call. And as I listened to it here in Japan, it was a comfort.

As well, that meaning of Heaven is intermixed, for it shares the same melody, after all. In the last notes, every time I play them, I think, “Let the last note of my life sound for You, Lord.”

Broken Mirror is like an unatainable goal for me, for it seems impossible that I will ever learn it. It should take 5 minutes to play. It used to take me 15, but I’ve managed to get it down to 7. So I hope you will forgive me for posting it here prematurely, before it was ready, but a year is long enough, I think.

Leave a comment if you would like for me to post more of my video game music-playing. I plan to post “To Far Away Times,” another masterpiece by Mitsuda, as soon as it is ready. I finally found a version easy enough for me to learn within a few months, and with that one as well, a clear imagining of Heaven is intermixed.

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