Illumination is the latest epic release of film composer, Michael Maas, an amazing talent hailing from Germany.
Specializing in piano and orchestra compositions, Michael’s passion pours from every enchanting note. When not working on his own albums, Michael writes film music for dos brains, Immediate Music and Really Slow Motion Music & Sound Design.
Michael is currently working on an amazing upcoming industry release, “Piano and Strings Edition”, in collaboration with composers, Martin Hasseldam, David Christiansen, Sandro Schmidt and Stefano Fasce.
In the spirit of art influencing art, we joined forces in an epic collaboration where writers were given the opportunity to set their words to Michael Maas‘ inspiring music!
During this epic music-driven flash-fiction challenge, writers created a story based on their favorite tracks from “Piano and Strings Edition” and “Illumination”. They could select up to two songs, with each song yielding a tale of no more than 150 words. The stories and inspiring track titles were posted in the comments section below.
Michael Maas, along with the gifted composers contributing to the “Piano and Strings Edition” industry release, read through all the entries and chose their top three favorites. The winners will be awarded mp3 files of the five selected tracks from the exclusive film industry release “Piano and Strings Edition” as well as Michael’s new album, Illumination.
Top 3 Winners
Nick Johns with Rise to Fall
C. Lee McKenzie with Revenge of the Earth
Lisa Shambrook with Remember Me
Congratulations to the winners and to all the incredible writers who participated in this collaborative challenge!
If you’ve become a slap-happy fan of Michael Maas‘ amazing music, his Illumination album is available on emusic, Amazon and iTunes!
Surrender your senses to the inspiring world of Michael Maas, where imagination is illuminated by the power of music.
Stories inspired by the music of Illumination
By Samantha Redstreake Geary
15 thoughts on “Michael Maas’ Illumination”
Here is my flash fiction to the track “The Conclusion” :
There was certain crispness in the air that I had never felt before. I cautiously lifted up my head to look up. The sky’s hue had that of a hazy azure tone; a flock of birds flew just above us in a V-formation.
Was this it, I wondered. Had we lost control? People were still hunkered down under cars, benches or whatever else that they could find shelter. I didn’t need to ask any of them what they were feeling, because I could clearly see it written all over their faces.
I leaped on top of a nearby compact car to get a better view. Through the hazy fog that made its best attempt, I could see the golden rays of the sun cutting their way through to help provide our source of illumination for all of us to follow. I smiled, knowing that we had reached the conclusion.
okay. take two. (thanks a million, Sam. and yes, you may laugh.). Just FYI: the flash fics are connecting. =D
Cubitus — Part One
We ride up the grassy slope to gage the geography. Our horses snort dragon plumes in the frosty air. It has come to this. The inevitable battle forged not of our making.
I see them coming. They charge over the horizon in a mad rampage, their commanders signaling. The muffled thunder of hooves vibrates the ground.
I raise my sword, the dawn sun shimmering along the honed edge. “Ride!”
Kicking my horse into motion, my warriors follow to meet them.
The clamoring clash of weaponry and agony break the peace of the winter’s morn. No injured will litter the field this day.
I see golden helm the great Lord Helisme. It is as I fear. He leads the enemy troops.
Slashing the foe between us, I gallop forward my sword ready.
Our swords ring in a sick harmony, knocking us off our horses. We recover and face one another.
Gift of Life — Part Two
It breaks my heart to face him this way. I want nothing to do with this war. I cannot gaze into his eyes now knowing I must kill him.
The last time our eyes met, we gazed longingly at the other from across the room. I wanted to reach out, to hold him, but I could not.
Nor could he despite the want written on his face. It blazed from his eyes, tearing at my soul
Only inches stand between us as we stare upon the enemy, an enemy once pledged to marry the other.
Steel meets steel as we parry blows meant to kill. We each look for a weakness in the other’s defense. Tears burn as I strike true when he recognizes my particular move.
It matters not for his sword has struck true as well.
Our hands link one last time as our gazes whisper our love.
Okay, I’m in early this time around. I’m taking a break in September, so I had to be among the first to post. I loved Revenge of the Earth, so this is how I interpreted it. Thanks again, Sam for the challenge and the fun.
The last of her clan, she stood in the treble of dawn light, the hope of bird song faint, but still there–a perfect octave below. At the first drum-drum, of war, she gathered her cloak around her swollen belly. The soldiers were coming again, and this time they’d leave no one alive.
They’d promised that.
They always kept their promises.
This she knew.
In the early season they had taken the boys and the men as they’d promised.
In the middle season they had taken the elders as they’d promised.
Now it was late season. They were come for her and her child—the last hope of the clan.
As boots struck earth in the rhythm of death, she opened her arms and turned her face to the sky.
“Mother,” she called. “Save us.”
Sky rumbled overhead in the deep base that pumps the heart.
And Earth sang, “Yes!”
Revenge of the Earth [Of course, this one called to me :)]
Below my knees flows a force, a hero and mother like no other. Gripping its blades of grass and bites of gravel, breathing in its scent of soil and rain, my soul prays for mercy.
“It’s time to go, Mai.”
My bleary gaze falls on the man hailed as savior. How can he be when I have to desert all this marvel? I weep into the rich loam, clutching it in my fists, embedding it in my pores. “Who will love her?”
“We will. Always.” He peers at a horizon, blue and gold, about to be lost to the ages. “To save her, we must go.”
I can’t stop petting the lush grass, my heart sinking under it, knowing how much Earth sacrificed for us. It’s obvious she doesn’t want us here anymore, and it’s time we listened. “I’m sorry.” I truly am.
One final inhale, and we board the starship.
Here’s my take on “Gift of Life.” Thanks, Sam, for another great writing challenge and more totally amazing music!
I will never breathe again. Not a breath that is meant for me. Air fills up my lungs to keep you alive. I will never see again. Not a sight that is just for me. Light fills my eyes so that you can see the green grass in July, the reddening leaves of the fall trees, the bright white of January snow. And for as long as I can, I will show you only what is beautiful. The world will rip you away from me soon enough and you will know the way a flower wilts in the summer heat and how the birds flee against the sting of winter wind. But for now, I will show you the bulb rising through the frozen ground at the first warm breeze of spring and I will hope that when you must, you will remember how to begin again.
Baby of mine.
Love these pieces… here’s mine:
Huge, ivory wings trembled as he lifted higher, rising through misty wraiths of memories, and he shivered in the cold, crystalline dawn. Heavy sighs wafted as his breath mingled with daybreak’s swirling, frosty veils. Still climbing, fighting his overwhelming desire to rest, he passed through dawn’s penumbra out into morning’s gilded rays. Dew shimmered across his age-worn wings, and muted bows cast soft reflections across his iridescent scales.
The dragon drew strength from the pale golden light and ascended, lifting higher with every gust that caressed his wearied wings. He circled, and rose above the mountain peak before bursting out of the feathery plumes into the glorious azure sky.
One last time he soared, rising into the sun’s intoxicating warmth, before gliding, floating, dropping and landing in soft, virgin snow. There, the spent creature, the very last of the magnificent Krystallos, released his final breath… a spiral of lost snowflakes…
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Thank you for orchestrating yet another great challenge Sam.
Such amazing pieces and beautiful music… 🙂
This is my contribution inspired by the track : Far Away From Home
The nudeness of a brand new day descends, exposes the prone figure on a cold hard surface.
Discordant sounds in noir monotones reverberate within a chamber of lost hope.
Involuntary twitches are subdued by a shiver of warmth from staccato bursts of honey-dappled sunlight. It nudges the weary soul; probing, searching, penetrating the very core of a fragile consciousness. A sliver of life, weak and resistant, shimmers and pulses… coaxed by the tenuous link as it seeks an obscure and long-forgotten familiarity.
Flimsy memories adrift on a ripple of water, spread to form a meandering stream, climb steadily into the mountain, gain momentum and culminate in a roaring river of crystal clarity.
A shattered soul bursts forth, with startling coherence, dispersing innumerable shards… releasing a myriad reflections, frame by frame, which coalesce into a single breath of time…
Loved the music, Samantha.
My text is inspired by the track: Belarius
The dusky, grimy and somber life, which is surrounded by torture, and twinge are about to end.
Man has realized his potential and is rising from his own pool of affliction and scourge by wiping his hands with the hope of a new dawn.
This daybreak is assuring man that he is powerful, intelligent and can shape his own future thus, asking him to forget his past by building new bridges that can link up man of all classes and form a thick mesh of unity.
This will revolutionize each soul to a change that will give each human a taste of freedom to hold the reins of their own life. Thus, allowing him to enjoy the bounties of nature without any restrictions while enjoying the taste of being a mortal.
I’m really enjoying this Samantha. Thanks so much for doing this. Mine is inspired by Belarius (hearts to ruchira because your text is so beautiful!!)
Gone were friends and family, ships far away, safe from the invading horde I had to face…
The last mage.
Nila’s kiss lingered with a ghost’s caress. Gentle. Hungry. Her passion etched into my heart. I licked my lips and inhaled her sweet scent. Inspiration to survive.
“Come to us when you’ve given them hell, my love,” she called as the winds pushed her ship out to sea.
My feet pounded the ground as I raced to the other side of the island. I paused at the cliff’s edge, glaring down upon the snarling monsters below. They gathered to the beat of several drummers. Organizing. Intimidating.
Spirits of mage masters past filled me. Their powers overflowed from my pores like ribbons of light whipping in the wind.
Not alone after all.
“And yes, love,” I whispered. “These beasts shall find their end at my hands and hell cometh with me.”
Rise to Fall
Damn them, and their noon day temple laments, I’ll have none of their simpering prayers. Do they expect repentance, regret?
“Bring me water – and sweet wine to drink!”
Revenge shall be my response. I command here. Armies in shining hordes do my bidding from one end of the known world to the other…
All fear me… and with cause…
Tyrant they name me; those rebels and traitors masquerading as friends. Every one that betrays me shall know my wrath, my retribution, the righteous fury of my justice…
“Water! Are you deaf?”
Their names will be stricken from memory across the Empire, never used for infants throughout all eternity. Their bones will be burned, crushed and scattered in the winds, their lands salted and their women enslaved. What they’ve done to me will seem as nothing…
“Ignore him, Soldier. Thirst is what kills them on the tree – if they’re lucky.”
Morpheus and the Dream
I had a Dream.
One of Gods, Demons and Mortals.
Gods were Pleasure; Demons were Pain;
Mortals were in between – suffering under them.
In this Dream, I lived a World where Legends became Realities.
A World where I worked behind the dark with my light.
However, my Dream was ending.
I woke up to a changed World.
Gods are gone; Demons destroyed.
They wiped out one another, and themselves.
Only then a New God and Demon arose from the ashes.
Out of the Old World came the New.
Yet the same Mortals are still crying with same pleasures and pains.
But Hope is here and near.
For I’m Morpheus, Lord of Dreams.
Neither god nor demon anymore.
I am become Dream itself. Creator of Worlds.
With dreams, Mortals can be free from pleasures and pains.
In dreams, People can create Legends and Realities of their own.
Ever after always…
Written by The Oldenyouth.
Ashes, Bones, Carcasses and Death.
The Age of Dinosaurs has come to an end.
The Asteroid that struck Earth earlier had obliterated all.
Volcanoes have cremated whole valleys; tsunamis gorged up lands.
The scenery is worse than all Hells, and the Heavens above turns dread-dark.
Planet’s ruined. Life’s dead, or is it?
Despite such destruction, three survived:
A baby raptor, an adult minikin mammal and one old turtle.
The raptor lost a family.
The mammal lost a home.
The turtle lost a good memory.
The Land’s empty… yet widely open too. As are the Sky and Sea.
The Raptor stopped crying then gazed at the Sky; The Mammal explores the empty Land; The Turtle sees an open Sea.
Age of Dinosaurs is no more, but New Creatures will arise.
The Survivors will form a new chapter in Life.
The Conclusion is just the Beginning.
Earth is not yet dead.
Written by The Oldenyouth
Katie is done. She won’t be counting his beers, knowing the turning point and when all reason disappears. She will no longer cower in fear until he passes out. He’s snoring on the couch, one hand still holding a can, puddle on the floor, when she leaves.
It’s a long drive across the country, but as the miles behind her pile up, her heart began to sing again, and she sometimes smiles at the people she meets. Dry desert gives way to mountains. She climbs them. Plains give way to forests. She drives through them. Forest at last give way to water.
She’s elated to find the key is still under the drain spout. She throws her bag into her grandmother’s empty, dusty A-frame and heads for the dock. Peace at last. Dangling her feet off the edge, she feels it. Home. She is far away, but she is home.
150 words exactly, to the track, “Far Away From Home”
Tina @ Life is Good
How fun thanks for doing this. Bellow is my submission for:
Piano and Strings Edition, 5. Remember me (fet. David Christiansen)
With every wave crashing, in my dream I could see you less and less, every second that slipped by I woke up more and more. Little by little you slipped away, I knew this was the last time I would get to see you.
“Thank you! Thank you for your friendship, your love, your help!”
“You made a difference in my life” I yelled, hoping you will never forget me.
A little more in the distance now… with your hand extended, my heart singing “I am sorry, please don’t forget me, I’ll never forget you!”
I woke up, the window had flung completely open, I could smell the salt of the ocean as it settled on my broken heart. “I loved you, I did, never forget that” I whispered and closed my eyes hoping to fall asleep again and see you one last time.