As soon as my new short story, “Phantoms”, goes live, so will this blog post. “Phantoms” is a story about communication, friendship, altruism, and fun despite big differences, but it wasn’t born from an intent to write that kind of story. As it’s often true for my stories, it was simply born from listening to my favorite music, and in this case, my inspiration for this story was Low Roar, who very unfortunately passed away just recently.
I’m going to assume you already read the story, so be warned of spoilers.
I didn’t strictly base the story on the entire song: the title, rhythm, and mood of the song are what inspired me the most; yet the ghosts of the story still fit very well into the lyrics. The opening verse is the one that strikes me harder: “Please I need new parts”. The ghosts don’t have a well-defined shape, nor memories, and are barely able to speak, they’re looking for friends so they can finally pass on. Yet the story isn’t meant to be sad, well maybe it’s a bit melancholic, but it’s mostly nostalgic and, personally, still manages to make me smile a bit. I don’t know what brought me to write that story, they just pop into my head and I don’t stress it too much. I wonder what part of my subconscious is trying to surface. It’s a story that warms me up, and I hope it can make everyone feel like this too.
Low Roar, Ryan, was an artist able to convey his feelings in such a special and unique way. His ethereal voice, his introspective lyrics, his enveloping melodies, they’re the manifestation of his entire being, listening to his music is an experience that nobody else can even hope to replicate. Loneliness, struggle, sadness, uncertainty, longing, strength, gratitude, love, these are just some of the emotions he managed to convey, just the ones I can find a name for.
Like many of us, I found his music thanks to Hideo Kojima and his game Death Stranding, and since then I kept listening to it over and over. It’s inspiring, introspective, it’s something I can find myself in. I often dreamed about having his music in my projects, and “Phantoms” is my way of thanking him for his music. The phrase “ghosts hovering over my fridge” is another reference to the title of one of his songs, and there’s something else too that I’ll announce in the future.
I still can’t believe that these words will never reach him, the news of his death was devastating, I didn’t want to believe it, I just couldn’t. I’ve been blessed by his music by coincidence, if I didn’t play Death Stranding I wouldn’t even have written this story and my whole creative vision would be very very different. So thank you, Ryan, for letting us inside your heart. You won’t be forgotten, your light will keep shining inside the hearts of us all. You changed me deeply without ever giving up on your authenticity, and this is the best compliment I could ever give to anyone. I’ll miss you, we all will. “Your true thoughts they can’t be heard, they’re too beautiful for words”.