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The Night Begins to Shine

My kid introduced me to the DC Comics show Teen Titans Go! a while back, but I didn’t get into it until I saw the 40% 40% 20% episode. I know it’s not the first time The Night Begins To Shine by B.E.R. is played on the show, but it’s the first episode it’s a feature, and it was so good I had to find out more.

There’s a 4 part special centred around this song in season 4 and everything about it is magical. The song has brilliant melody, harmony, lyrics, and timbre. This magical 80s-inspired song transports people to another dimension – a brilliant fantastical version of an illuminated night, where the characters transform into rad 80s inspired characters. Influences from Mad Max, Transformers, Voltron, and more, are perfectly incorporated into this alternate dimension. They get B.E.R., Fall Out Boy, and CeeLo Green to join the cast and sing some awesome versions of the song, followed by J-pop band Puffy AmiYumi, who sing the main title song of the show, adding to the already strong anime influence.

I can’t say enough good things about it.

Starfire best explains The Night Begins to Shine:

A musical arrangement written and performed by Carl Burnett, Franklin Enea and William J. Regan, also known as B.E.R., that resides magically in your soul and can transport the listener to an alternate dimension, inspired by the album art of the 1980s.

The Dragon puts it most succinctly:

The Night Begins to Shine gave birth to an entirely new reality, warping space and time around itself.

This pretty much sums up music in my life, including this particular song. Going by the fandom of these feature episodes, I’m not the only one.

Since my kid and I had listened to all the versions of the song approximately 736528 times, I decided to create my own version.

I’m not a singer, so I only sang my favourite bit of the song. I wanted to pay homage to the show by adding some original animation influenced by the magical land in Teen Titans Go! to my usual nightscapes and landscapes.

Here’s my space-ambient version of The Night Begins to Shine:

For the geeks out there: I recorded it in Ableton Live, and sung into my phone for its unpolished microphone. I hired an artist to create the fantastical creatures, used Terragen to create the land and sky colour, After Effects for the neon grid, my own photos of the moon and Milky Way, and put it all together in Premiere Pro.

Clearly I’m no expert at animation, but it was fun to be able to do it 😀

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© 2021 Anna Papij

Anna Papij acknowledges the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people as the traditional owners and continual custodians of the lands and waters this business is conducted on. She pays respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

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