|Appears On||The Afterman: Ascension|
|Produced By|| Coheed And Cambria|
|Followed By||Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute|
The Hollow is the first song on the 2012 album The Afterman: Ascension.
At 1:07, a recurring piece of music is played. This same melody later appears in the saga on the tracks The Broken, Everything Evil, God Send Conspirator, The Ring in Return, The Light & the Glass and Keeping the Blade.
Sirius Amory: "All-Mother, are you awake?"
All Mother: "I am always awake. What do you require of me?"
Sirius Amory: "You'll stay with me won't you?"
All-Mother: "I'll be there every step of the way."
Sirius Amory walks determinedly across the bridge of his spacecraft, preparing a few last minute cross checks with the craft's computer main frame, the soothing, artificial intelligence he developed specifically for this mission. He calls her All Mother and as she's programmed to do, she takes the task of protecting Sirius very seriously. There is not a moment All Mother is not monitoring Sirius' vital signs, taking notes of any changes in the atmosphere around the ship, navigating precisely where they need to go for various reasons.
Most importantly, the All Mother will be able to do all of this and more from the comfort of a mobile apparatus; a suit crafted by Sirius to take him beyond Heaven's Fence and directly into the blazing sapphire light known to him as the Keywork. His spacecraft, The Meriwell, named after his beloved wife, Meri, is too fragile to traipse into the Keywork's energy, and, like its namesake, will remain a safe distance behind.
Not that this is the decision Sirius would have made for his wife. In his final moments at home on Valencine, he pleaded for her to join him on this journey into the unknown. "It will be our lives' greatest adventure!" he assured her. Yet, the only thing she could consider was the possibility of something going wrong…of being forced to watch as her husband was hurt or lost or worse. Instead, she begged him to call off the entire endeavor, to remain home with her and turn his research toward more reasonable avenues.
Staying home, however, was never a real option for Sirius. This exploration was the thing he was born to do. For as long as he can remember, he's felt a magnetic pull toward the Keywork, the glowing beams that envelop the worlds of Heaven's Fence like an all-encompassing question. It was the very reason he became a scientist, thrusting himself into breaking down all the current and accepted theories about small interplanetary gravitational fields. Along with developing seemingly far-fetched hypotheses of his own, Sirius disproved research which others in the scientific community had spent their lives pursuing, making him one of the most controversial-researchers in all of Heaven's Fence. But this is how Sirius thrived most efficiently. When left to his own devices and without others consuming his mental energy with their own theories and needs, he had always felt most productive, most comfortable.
The one exception to this was Meri, who had been a driving force in his life since the day they met, over a decade before on Hetricus. She had always been his biggest fan and the person who understood his brilliance long before anyone else could. Now she had refused to join him and though he hadn't had time yet to allow the seriousness of their last fight to sink in, the idea that she may not be there waiting for him when he returns has begun to creep into his psyche.
It was less than thirteen months ago that he had--after sleepless nights turned to sleepless months and years--at last found the missing piece. It had been staring at him all along. A star seemingly planted in the middle of a portion of the Keywork, its emission calculations elevated ever so slightly, giving away its location. Then, he found another, like a needle in a haystack of energy. He used the distance between these two to approximate where the others may lie, finding a total of seven. Seven perfect stars serving as points to connect the beams of blue light. They have since been named after him The Stars of Sirius, concluding that the structure served to hold all seventy-eight planets of Heaven's Fence in position and quite possibly, provide the worlds with the essential mineral and chemical elements each needs to sustain life. Sirius believed it could unlock the mysteries of humankind. His Keywork.
The scientific community did not support this theory. They still do not, even at this moment, as Sirius is suited up, striding through the fog that tends to accumulate in the bottom portion of the aircraft, earning it the nickname of The Hollow. Every day of his existence has been building to this moment, but for the first time, the reality of the potential consequences rises up within Sirius, heavy as the bay door that stands between him and the Keywork. He wonders if this could this be his final breath. There's a chance he won't last more than an instant out there, incinerating the second he comes in contact with the energy. For the first time, the familiar system he's spent a lifetime discerning seems alarmingly alien, but even so, the allure of the unknown is far more persuasive to Sirius than fear. And so he continues on.
The bay door opens, letting in free-flowing gas which mixes with the fog, reminding Sirius of walking into a storm. His steps are synchronized with the robotic song of All Mother's voice in his ear, setting his course into the Keywork, where the gaseous indigo may welcome him with open arms… or gnashing teeth.
'The Hollow started with one line that I'd been playing around with. Sometime later, I was at the studio and began fleshing it out on John Medeski's Steinway piano when Josh wandered into the room. We started noodling around on the keys together and it hit me that maybe we could bring the "new and the old" together, much like we did with "Keeping the Blade ." So we transposed "The Ring in Return" melody into what I was working on, while maintaining the foreboding beauty of what we wanted to capture with "The Hollow." I wound up finishing it at The Big Beige on a Wurlitzer, another musical element we thought we should bring in from the past.
With each note, The Hollow is meant to express the feeling of anxiety about not wanting to head out into a great new world alone. The idea of the All Mother was something I'd been considering for a while and had even thought about hiring a voice actor to do it. I'd thought about getting my wife, Chondra, to try it, since she's often there and involved in many facets of Evil Ink and the Coheed universe to a lesser degree--but it was Josh who wound up suggesting her to do it--which solidified to me that it might work. It did.'
Even though this is not the official "The Hollow" music video it does show the story behind the song.