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Monday, April 1, 2024

Essential Pony Musicians 02: Evening Star (Marcus Warner)


Welcome to part 2! Today we will listen to the music of Evening Star aka Marcus Warner, the DnB DJ / composer extraordinaire.

There are many different types of pony musicians. Some make electronic, others make rock or metal, and other still go acoustic. But there are a few artists who needed to express themselves through nothing less than epic orchestral music. One of the most notable of these is Marcus Warner, known in the fandom as Evening Star.

Evening Star burst onto the stage on August 6th, 2012, with his remix of At The Gala. While not one of his most iconic works, it immediately demonstrated his strength: hard-hitting, melodic drum-and-bass. Compared to the original, his version is slowed-down, with a strongly melancholic feel. At the same time, the drum keeps up a rapid pace and provides the necessary energy. His other remixes, Smile, Smile, Smile and BBBFF also feature this paradoxical style.


Days after his first remix he would also upload his first original song, Fleur de Lis. Since the song features no lyrics, it’s not immediately obvious how the song is tied to the character; though I can imagine how the piano befits a pony as classy as Fleur. Likewise, the dark, orchestral sound of Beautiful Night definitely evokes the figure of Princess Luna.


He would quickly explore genres beyond DnB. The Scootaloo-inspired songs One Day I Will Fly and First Flight are mainly piano pieces. Crystal Ponies dabbles in chillstep, using vocal chops for a calm, nostalgic effect. Aloe & Lotus explores a quintessential eastern sound.


While most of his songs would still be instrumental, Evening Star compose a few vocal songs. The first one of these was Reach, reminiscent of Aviators’s music. The Land Of Equestria is a masterpiece anthem that (in my opinion) stands as one of the best MLP fan songs. Princess Of The Sun has that optimistic, carefree vibe of the end of a perfect day.


In the social spheres of the fandom, he did not seem to have much of a presence. To my knowledge, Evening Star has not performed (or attended) any convention, and his only in-fandom collaboration is with NomNom on Searching Eyes, a piece written for the Plug DJ 2012 Halloween Event, of which I struggle to find a decent reupload.

Unfortunately, not all things last forever. After Magical Mystery Cure, the pony fandom went through somewhat of an existential crisis, with many fans and creators leaving for one reason or another. While he had already uploaded numerous non-pony songs, one of Evening Star’s last original, explicitly MLP-themed songs dates from November 28th, 2013, and is called A United Land. A painfully ironic title, yet the song brims with pride and conviction. It definitely demonstrates how far he’s come as a composer.


From here on, he would put emphasis on his professional career. Evening Star became Marcus Warner, he created a new channel for non-pony music, and he was getting ready to release an album, Liberation. In his mandatory update video, Marcus explained these developments, thanking his listeners for helping them get where he was, and reassuring his listeners that he would keep producing pony music.

Time passed, but not much came of the “more pony music” promise. Four and a half years later, he would do a second update video, in which he gave some background information on his career as a musician and his inspirations; but mainly the purpose of the video was to explain the music of his former alias (since Google had merged his two channels, his pony music was now on his main channel too).


Marcus couldn’t hide the fact that he looked back on his pony era with an overtone of cringe. But while the occasional question about pony music aroused embarrassment, he still must have been proud of his early work. In fact, ultimately he kept his word, and brought Evening Star back one last time. As Friendship is Magic ended in 2019, he thanked his fans by releasing his Reprise EP, an album with re-records of some of his greatest works.


With FiM over, that was probably also the definitive end of the Evening Star 'project'. Marcus continues to create music: his most recently released project has been Twice Above The Atlantic in 2022, an album/documentary about his university life and road trip across the USA. Currently he is working on Legendarium, of which he's already released the first song, Chihiro. In total, he made 32 MLP songs in his ~1.5 years of activity in the fandom.


Songs you should check out:

One Summer’s Day
Certain songs are so drenched in atmosphere and emotion, they have the power to make time truly stand still. One Summer’s Day is said to last eight minutes, but put on some headphones, close your eyes, and by the time the song fades out, you will swear only two have passed. It’s equally heavy and serene, and you can almost sense the smell of an apple orchard after a long, hot day.


Since DnB was Evening Star's bread and butter, I have to recommend this one. Elemental takes inspiration from Celestia's pet phoenix Philomena, and it samples some of the princess's dialogue from the episode A Bird In The Hoof. The drum rhythm and piano melody are addictive to listen to, even if it is, in his own words, "rather melodramatic".

Starswirl The Bearded
Technically this was the last pony song he made, and with it, Evening Star went out at full force. The ominous chanting of the opening, followed by a 
thrilling section of drums and strings, conveys the image of a mighty sorcerer at work. He even put an electric guitar in there, and it fits perfectly. Starswirl is orchestral music that is telling a story by itself. He re-recorded the song for Reprise EP, which is the one linked above.


Thanks for all the music, Marcus, and best of luck with your career as a composer.

- DuxTape



  1. Reprise EP is absolutely phenomenal, and anyone who hasn't heard it is missing out on some of the most groundbreaking orchestral music the fandom has to offer. It's still incredible to me that Marcus Warner gifted us with those final pieces.

    1. Part of me wishes he'd still release it in CD form. Slim chance, but a man can hope.