Hollow Bastion (track)
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"Hollow Bastion" is a musical theme arranged by Yoko Shimomura that first appears in Kingdom Hearts.
"Hollow Bastion" is approximately two minutes and twenty-six seconds long [KH I], and two minutes and thirty-six seconds [KH Re:CoM]. Regardless of the game, the piece is played at the prestissimo tempo of 180 beats per minute. "Hollow Bastion" is written in the key of D minor and has a time signature of 5/4 time. The instrumentation consists of harp, choir, organ, strings, clarinet, timpani, oboe, and piano.
The piece is characterized by a recurring syncopated, dance-like rhythm that is set-up in the beginning seconds of the piece. This rhythm consists of the double pairing of eighth notes, with a total of five pairs- or ten eighth notes, total. The grouping of the eighth notes causes the piece to be conducted asymmetrically as the groupings are 3-3-2-2 [three eighth notes, three eighth notes, two eighth notes, two eighth notes], thus allowing this piece to be conducted in four.This is heard and supported by the lower harp part, playing a single eighth note on beats: 1, the & of 2, 4, and 5. This dancing rhythm is not only the main melody of the piece, but is also what keeps the piece energized and continuously moving. The piece opens with the soprano choir members singing a drone note in the background. Around eight seconds the piano enters, continuing the dance-like rhythm first featured on the upper voicing of the harp. This is very short and fleeting, as around the twelve second mark the harp returns, reclaiming the melodic line. Fifteen seconds into the piece, the violins join the harp, increasing the dynamic of the rhythmic phrase. During this section the tenor vocalists join in, continuing the long note drone in the background. This concludes the first section of the piece- otherwise referred to as "A."
In the second section, "B," a new, more ominous texture appears. This occurs around the thirty second mark and is easily felt or perceived by the listener. This section features the strings and bass, in which parallel diatonic seventh chords are used. These chords lack the third scale degree and place the fifth in the melodic line. Starting with the oboe solo- pickup notes to measure fifteen, the dance-like rhythm is temporarily broken up with a quarter note rhythm. This second sections lasts for a total of four measures.
In the third section, "C," the dance-like rhythm from the first section reappears. However, unlike in the A section, the lower voices/instruments move from single eighth notes falling on beats 1, & of 2, 4, and 5, to a tied whole and quarter note. This longer note is a drone that continues throughout the section; it is known as "B3," or the in-scale second line note of the bass clef. This rhythmic difference lasts for four measure before returning to their initial rhythm.
In the fourth section, "D," the previous three sections merge to create a greater impact, in both appearance and sound. This section momentarily shifts from the key of B minor to the key of C major. The last four measures of this section return to the first section's phrasing and progression, allowing for a smooth transition between loops.
"Reviving Hollow Bastion" is a slightly slower and less dark remake of "Hollow Bastion" featured in Kingdom Hearts II. "Radiant Garden" is a remake of "Hollow Bastion" with a more pronounced brass and louder choral arrangement. Featured in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, it is even slower than "Reviving Hollow Bastion".