Alan Wake Explained – Lesson 1 – The Sound of Creation

Alan Wake Explained – Lesson 1 – The Sound of Creation


you Welcome, the purpose of these lessons is
to examine themes that are present within literature, science, theology, and
other disciplines and then apply it to the story of Alan Wake. Using this method, we can allow for a better understanding of the characters universe and Lore
found within the game. Since Alan Wake was released in 2010 by
remedy entertainment, the most common reaction to the ending that I have heard
is so what happened? As alluded to in the opening scene, the player walks away with many unanswered questions. Being caught up in the mystery of a narrative only
makes the final reveal that much more satisfying. So what happens when the
ending doesn’t tie up the loose ends and literally concludes with a question and
an ellipses. Rather than focus on what happened let us begin by investigating
the mechanisms at play within the fiction. Understanding how a fictional
universe functions is critical to understanding the lore.
Alan Wake is, at its core, a story about artistic creation. So first we must
examine the nature of an artist’s mind and the act of creation itself. in order to assist in this pursuit we
will seek the counsel of a poet. One definition of an act of creation is
defined as the act of bringing the world into an ordered existence. This mostly
refers to an act of universal creation. The concept of creation I want to focus
on is expressed by the Roman poet Ovid in lines 5 through 9 of his first book
of metamorphoses. In it Ovid states that chaos came before
creation. Unlike some theologies that describe the
creation as ex Nihilo, (out of nothing), Ovid describes a different state of
being. His definition of chaos refers to the
sum total of all matter in the universe disconnected from one another.
Imagine if all subatomic particles the universe were disjointed having not yet
bonded to create the very first atom. This is his description of chaos. To help
visualize this think of a nebula before and after the process of forming into a
planetary system. A cloud of dust and gas that slowly condenses and forms into
astral bodies is a version of this creation. In this instance the act of
creation would be to bring the chaos of the world into an ordered existence. Ordo Ab Chao. So what is the mechanism that facilitates this creation? A good
scientific discipline that deals with this phenomenon is called Cymatics.
Cymatics, whose root is derived from the word for wave in Greek, is the study of
visible sound and deals with the phenomenon where liquid or particles
will align to geometric shapes when exposed to a specific harmonic tone.
Usually this is achieved by placing particles, like fine sand or powder, on
a surface and using a harmonic frequency to cause the surface and the
particles to resonate. The german musician and physicist Ernst Chladni was
able to uncover dozens of patterns that changed based upon the frequency of the
tone and shape of the surface. These images became known as Chladni figures. To tie this concept into our definition
of creation the sand would be the disjointed components and the sound
would be the mechanism that brings order from chaos. Various cultures describe the Creator as
speaking, singing, or in toning the universe into existence. One popular
example of this in fiction is in C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew. When
Digory, Polly, Uncle Andrew, and others first arrived in the universe that would
eventually become a Narnia it was nothing but darkness. Queen Jadis even
comments that, “This is an empty world. This is nothing.” Within that chaos lay
the seeds of creation the universe remained this way until a voice began to
sing. “In the darkness something was happening
at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Diggory found it hard
to decide from which direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from
all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the
earth beneath them. It’s lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth
herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was beyond
comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he
could hardly bear it. Much like in Cymatics, the resonance of this singing
voice shaped the chaos of this empty world into what would become Narnia.
Remember though if there is a song there must be a singer. “If you had seen and
heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars
themselves which were singing, and that it was the first voice, the deep one,
which had made them appear and made them sing.” The first voice is the creator. The
song is the mechanism that allows his creation, in this case Narnia, to be
formed. In this sense the universe is both
formed and held together by the song. This idea closely parallels Nada Brahma.
Nada being a Sanskrit word for sound while Brahma is the creator God in
Hinduism. Translated this means the Sound of God,
The Sound is God, or The Universe is Sound. In this example the chaos state
would be the Shunyakasha and the sound that resonates with matter is the
primordial Aum. To elaborate on the act of creation we turn to the book of John
chapter 1 verse 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. Of course if you want to get more
meaning out of this we should look at the language the New Testament was
written in before English, Greek. When we do we replace Word with Logos
instead. While Logos does mean word it can also be translated as Reason, Logic
or Plan. In this sense it is not just a Word, but a Word that conveys a logical
intention. This is why many theologies relate that the universe was spoken or
sung into existence by their respective creators. A word is a sound that conveys
meaning and intention. That intent resonates with the chaos state of matter
and forms it into what we experience as the manifest world. This is by purest
definition an act of creation. Before addressing how all of these
concepts relate to Alan Wake let’s recap. All acts of creation consist of four
parts. The Creator, The Creation, The Method, and The Components. For a
universal creation the four aspects are as follows. The God Figure, The Universe,
The Word or Cosmic Intention, and Chaos. For the Cymatic creation the four
aspects are The Musician, The Chladni Figure, Resonance, and Sand. By taking this formula for creation we can translate it to an act of artistic creation. Being an
artist, Alan engages in his own manner of creation. As such, he would be considered the creator of his novels. His creation within the game is Departure. The method of creation that he utilizes is the written word or Literature. To fill in the last
variable we have a question. Where does the inspiration an artist calls upon for
their work reside? It comes from within. Every conscious being has an internal
World of Chaos called the Subconscious. Within the subconscious lives the
disjointed thoughts, memories, emotions, regrets, fantasies, and fears that we
have attained throughout our entire lives. Alan’s gift as a writer stems from his
ability to gather these shattered fragments from his subconscious, shape
them and project them into the world so others can experience and enjoy them.
Instead of forming universe from matter or forming geometric shapes from sand, an
artist has the mental fortitude to get thoughts emotions to form them into a
painting, a sculpture, a poem. The method in which they do so is identical. After all,
every artist is the god of their own creation. For now I will conclude lesson
one of Alan Wake. In the next lesson we will analyze Alan’s personal
subconscious in more detail using his nightmare in the prologue as a template.
See you then.

7 thoughts on “Alan Wake Explained – Lesson 1 – The Sound of Creation”

  • Mate, that voice is smooth as butter! Alan Wake's lore, universe and themes are so damn good. I think the way this video is presented and told is seriously great! Can't wait to see this series continue, keep up the good work mate 🙂

  • Syllabus for Lesson 01: The Sound of Creation

    In this Lesson we will examine Creation in its entirety using Cymatics, C.S. Lewis, and Theology as examples. During this time it will be established how all of the examples share common attributes. The Lesson will conclude with addressing how the Template of Creation we have discussed applies to Alan Wake as a character. This concept will be further expanded upon in later Lessons.

    Free discussion of the material presented is invited in this comment section.

  • Absolutely fantastic video, you clearly know your stuff!! Amazing commentary and discourse. I've subbed, lets stay connected!

  • Holy shit did the movement in this game suck and the gameplay get repetitive. Alan couldn't jump more than 3 inches, the platform jumps were garbage and his asthma running +the taken were so stale in types(there was 4: chainsaw,weak ones,fat ones and fast ones) with no backstory to them(who were they? how did they turn into "ghost zombies"? what was their plan, world domination?). But my biggest issues was how you could only have the shotgun or rifle, why not both?They had two types of "grenades" and the weapon resets in each chapter. But besides the issues the game was alright in story, does it need a sequel? Eh not necessarily.
    Also your mic is super soft, very soft is volume.

  • Your voice! Very calming… thank you for the video 🙂 I liked the description you gave!
    I have never heard of alan wake before, but now I'm very interested.

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