Music in Ramaxia

Ramaxian music, called femvel, is an auditory medium combining ancient Femati compositions found in the Femati’xirpaxul, with the music of the pre-impact helovx brought back to Ramaxia by scouts of the Second Ramaxian Gen.  Femvel exists for pleasure or ceremony but is mostly enjoyed as entertainment.

Many femvelaki (musicians) create music for themselves and do not derive an income from their compositions. Prime Femvelaki are employed to create lyrics and music for broadcasts, films, and institutions that require femvel (bluzsh, bonding houses, restaurants, and square-gardens). Femvelaki exist in every caste, with some producing specific sounds native to their castes culture.

The Femvel Collective in Vanda is an organization of recording companies, labels, and publishers, that distribute music to broadcasters in Pikalit for a fee; the FC once controlled the rights and sales of all recorded femvel throughout Ramaxia until the advent of the interHive in 2150.

Intragux allowed for the uploading of individual works and performances, which were then picked up by audio broadcast stations in Pikalit for rebroadcast. The Pikalit Communication Service (owners of the stations) sidestepped the Femvel-Collective continuously to deal directly with unsigned femvalaki. When the PCS began offering contracts to femvelaki still bound by FC contracts, the situation ended up in the hands the Fourth Office of the Committee.

CM Tee Banto decreed that the Pikalit Communication Service was not authorized to offer even unsigned femvelaki broadcast contracts until the musicians gained membership in the Femvel Collective.

In 2165, the issue came to the Cloister on its infamous Third Session of the Year (when any member of the citizenry can enter the Cloister with a legal matter that affects Ramaxia). A femvelaki pleaded that she should not have to pay a fee to the Femvel Collective (via its membership) to have her songs played on PCS stations. After heated motions between the Chamber and the Fourth Office, the Cloister enacted the Femvelaki Exchange Act. The Act considered shared works on the interHive to be self-produced and thus existed as broadcasted expressions of art. The PCS could continue to rebroadcast these works so long as the creators allowed them (upon compensation if need be).

The Femvelaki Exchange Act led to a gradual drop in FC memberships as femvelaki dealt directly with broadcast stations without paying a fee to the FC. In the years that followed, the FC created new streaming stations on the interHive featuring only those femvelaki that were members.

Femvel contains genres with a cross-caste appeal, yet most forms are preferred (and performed) by distinct castes.

Styles of Ramaxian Femvel:

  • Citvel is the most popular form of femvel in Ramaxia; it is eclectic, borrowing elements from other styles, but retains the core elements that define it: they’re short and written in a simple format, employing repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks.
    • The genre is dominated by Zaxveloki, talented Zaxiri that sing and write their own songs (unlike the Zaxvel employed by Hizvaki in many bluzvel pieces).
  • Bluzvel is a broad range of percussive digital-sounds created for dance-based environments like the Bluzsh. It is mostly produced for playback by Hizvaki (Hizaki that digitally mix and create sounds with vocalists and an array of digital and programmed sounds) for live ‘parties’ where a Hizvak creates a continuous track from one recording to the next.
    • Bizvaki also produce Bluzvel, but their mixes are influenced by pikavel, and pre-impact helovx beats.
  • Pikavel is a fusion of speech, prose, poetry, and singing, that developed on the lines of the Artery among laboring Bizaki of the First and Second Gens. Bizak of the Fifth Gen incorporated rhythmic music commonly to accompany their melodic chants.
    • Today, lyrics are delivered over a beat or without accompaniment, but the style remains rooted in the Pikalit-Triad, despite its popularity among other castes.
  • Marxvel is very similar to pre-impact helovx “rock music” because it is centered on the bido and the thumper (stringed instruments developed from the helovx guitars brought back by the Second Gen). The sound of a kyrs-bido is supported by a kyrs-thumper (the helovx bass guitar), with percussion from a tonux (membrane-percussion made from shell and hides genetically engineered for the purpose of making tonux – seal, penguin, and shark hide created in a lab); tonux sets also contain dirtoxian or tharspin cymbals. These three instruments form the core of marxvel bands, and sometimes include a vocalist/songwriter that doesn’t play an instrument.
    • It’s called marxvel because it’s enjoyed primarily by the Marixi; and performed by bands of Bizak, Hizak, and Marix femvelaki.
  • Vandosh developed as an “alternative” to marxvel, employing the same instruments but with distorted bido and thumper sounds, kyrs-board sounds, and traditional helovx string and horn instruments and transgressive lyrics with defeating, unsympathetic, and sometimes defiant, themes.
    • Vandosh bands are typically led by Hizaki or Bizaki songwriters but can contain Femvelo-trained Subaki femvelaki, and the sound is native to the Vanda domes where marxvel is somewhat popular.
  • Femvelo is pre-impact helovx classical music, with trained femvelaki playing the piano, and members of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion family of helovx instruments. It is a field dominated by Bizak and Subaki musicians called Bizvelo or Subveloki–their castes have the patience and state of mind to master classical helovx instruments.
    • Though most compositions are now written by Hizak composers, the art of Femvelo was learned from collections scavenged between the poles.
  • Veloko is the synth sound native to the Femati, emulated by the original subjects in the decades following their awakening. It employs kyrsmechanical instruments to create digitized algorithmic sound. It is known among the helovx is ‘mechanical soul‘, because it’s highly synthesized melodies create a state of mild hypnotism and heightened consciousness.
    • It is a style prevalent throughout Ramaxia in rituals (the Primary March, Self-Termination Ritual, and Bonding Ceremonies), and exists as a subculture sound in specialized clubs.