More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting In The Mood: Music As Inspiration

I do not write in silence. As the mum of two fantastic toddlers only 16 months apart, I fear I no longer have that luxury, anyway. That's okay. It isn't like I did that to begin with. I have always had music blaring while I wrote. Now, with my ear buds in, it's almost louder than my 1 1/2 year old.

Way back when, however, the pulsing beat of Nine Inch Nails matched the pounding of my fingers flying over the keyboard; the pen on notebook paper has always danced to Van Morrison's Moondance. (That particular song is always used for romantic scenes. There is something in the way he rolls his tongue at the end. Shiver.) Techno, New Age, Jazz. Even Billy Idol. Rebel Yell brings to mind an illicit romance, where the guy comes to the window to try and convince the girl that he isn't bad boy all the way through. Kinda Romeo and Juliet. Except they are wearing leather. And there is pounding on the floor.

I've a CD collection that spans centuries. 18th century sea chants. Medieval/ Renaissance lute music. Lots of movie soundtracks. The Carl Orff extravaganza  of O Fortuna that is featured on Excalibur, for instance, is perfect for a sword fight.

Who tickles your writer's fancy? Who do you turn to when scenes need that extra umph? Here is my playlist, sans Van Morrison. His tongue rolling inspiration needs to be purchased.

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Deborah Blake said...

I actually can't play music while I write--I'm one of those weird people who needs quiet. I can have background music like Bach or Mozart, but anything that has words and too much of a beat distracts me. So no playlists, alas.

driftsmoke said...

When I'm concentrating on the infant stages of a novel (or any project), I like to listen to instrumental. I can't work to lyrics at this stage.

99 Most Essential Baroque Masterpieces
Piano Favorites from iTunes
Collections: Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Chopin, and Pachelbel.

Once I get into character, however, I need my music to create ambiance. Nothing does that better for me that popular music:

Sex scenes: Closer by Nine Inch Nails, Lover Lay Down by Dave Matthews Band, Let Yourself in for It by Robert Palmer

Fight Scenes: Baba O'Riley by the Who, 30 Days in the Hole by Humble Pie, Flower by Moby

Falling in Love: Portland, Oregon by Loretta Lynn and Jack White, Crash into Me by Dave Matthews Band, Green Eyes by Coldplay

Climax; The Ride by David Allen Coe, Rooster by Alice in Chains, Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers

Atmosphere: Shambala by Three Dog Night, Seed of Memory by Terry Reid, Edie (Ciao baby) by The Cult

Robin said...

How could I forget Crash by Dave Mathews. That is a great sex scene song, definitely.

Saranna DeWylde said...

I used to think I needed music to write, but with my ADD, it would take so long to establish the mood or find the right groove. I've found I am accomplishing much more without my tunes.

But, back in the day, I would use some pretty dark stuff.

Sex? Hehee.
Closer is the number one pick there. A Good Friend and A Bottle of Pills by Pantera is great for Grudge shagging. "I fucked your girlfriend last night..." Yeah.

I was very taken with HIM for awhile. Resurrection is the theme song for my characters in Werewolves Prefer Blondes. "We've been slaves to this love from the moment we touched... I touched your face and all life was erased, you smiled like an angel falling from grace..." It's just a good kick in the taco.

I tend to use darker songs.

Down With The Sickness-Disturbed
Tonight-Nina Gordon
Phantom of the Opera theme
The demon-sounding chorus of O Fortuna (I love Orff)
Pantera again with Cemetery Gates for the angst, Walk and Cowboys from Hell for fight scenes. I almost can't sit still long enough for those because I used to listen to them before going behind the walls for shift at the prison.

Angst- I Grieve by Peter Gabriel. (They played this when Papa Kent died in Smallville.)

Writer Girl said...

I too use music, but it depends on the story I am working on. For The Hooded Man, I listen to a lot of Clannad, Celtic Ladies, Enya and such. Also the Riverdance sound track.
For Daughter of Fire, I actually listen to It is the online version of the local radio station on the Big Island.
For Behind the Veil, I listen to Hakim and such, lots of bellydance breakbeats and other Arabic music.

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