A light to our shadows: Alan Walker’s “Faded”


About a year ago, a Norwegian teenager released an electronic ballad, which has soon become a worldwide hit: peaking in the top ten in most of the countries it charted in – and often reaching the summit.

But I think that in Alan Walker’s Faded there is more than you can tell by eye. I regard this song as an amazing hymn to the night: to me, in fact, Faded is a journey into the depths of the soul – a journey which tastes like a dream, and is thus enabled by the night.

Alan Walker has stated that this song can be either about searching someone or something lost, or about feeling lost. The video for Faded shows a young, masked man (Shahab Salehi), wandering in a dystopian world, while the singer (Iselin Solheim) repeats, almost obsessively, the question: “Where are you now?”

But the point is: who is this “you”? May it be the real Self, emerging in the dark, when you can take all your masks off?

Everything is in ruin, in the video. Everything is devastated. So much so that the main character tries to protect himself with an improvised breathing cover. No wonder, then, that a desperate, powerful cry suddenly bursts out: “I’m faded!”

Faded in the waters: shallow waters, at first, then deep like the eternal silence of the sea, where Atlantis lies. Waters as deep as a dream, able to raise some buried truths – finally opening the mind’s eyes.

And the hurricane strengthens, and the monsters run wild inside of you, and your heart is set on fire. But then, little by little, the warrior spirit roaring inside us settles down.

The search is over. But the goal – like every goal -, once reached, turns out to be heartbreaking.

The dream is ending, now. The main character of the video can show his face. Yet, his action remains outstanding, because what really matters is its meaning: this young man has finally found himself. He can awaken, now. Once faded in the night, he can come back to life. No fear, no concerns: at that very moment, and for a single moment, he’s immortal.

Because, through the darkness, there’s no boundary between dream and reality. When you’re faded, everything can happen.

Faded. A light to our shadows.


When the night falls…


Some nights seem a waste of time. You stare at the darkest horizon, feel life throbbing – and damn, why? Why can’t you just follow your heart along that unnamed river, leading to nowhere?

Your mind wanders, through the realm of possibility – and, what a wonder! It’s you who, thus bescreened in night, stumble on your own deepest counsel!

Because night brings out, gives rise, uncovers the truth we are unaware of – the secrets we don’t even know we have, we don’t even dare to tell ourselves.

The dreams reveal some shrapnel of the unconscious, buried in the diamond of time: where past gives future its hand, and places merge, and everything may happen.

I’m just thinking out loud in the desert. Through the shadows, the impossible takes shape.

When the night falls, the warrior spirit roaring inside us suddenly settles down. Our troubles seem smaller, distant, meaningless. And we’re on the edge of the infinite.

When the night falls, we can take our masks off – just be ourselves. Thus, no night is really lost. Because, when the night falls, we can taste true happiness.