Monday, August 24, 2009

Writing and Music

Music is one of those things that just seems to go with writing. Like peanut butter and jelly, or peaches and cream, or Fred and Ginger.  Combine music with writing, and you can transcend the ordinary, stimulate your sense, and inspire your mind.

But how that music affects your writing is as different from person to person as different foods taste to different people.  (Hmm.  I think it might be lunch time... all these food references!)

One of my greatest inspirations comes from one of the strangest places: industrial techno.  I started listening to is while writing Hacker Dragon. The gritty, visceral nature of it has proven to given me a very strong motivator for my writing; not everything, but I never write a battle scene without it! Not all industrial, either... I actually have a penchant for the German stuff. Front Line Assembly is actually one of my favorites.

On the other end of the spectrum, there's Enya. Seriously.  I love Enya. She goes back to a part of me that's been writing for decades. She can keep my brain flowing, without intruding on my words.  Gentle inspiration without overflowing. Marie Brennan (Enya's siste), too, has that effect. 

Hearts of Space
often provides me with a random assortment of unexpected gems. Sometimes, it's total crap, weird new-agey lame stuff, but occasionally there's some really spectacular stuff. I used to listen to Hearts of Space on PBS with my dad... there are dozens of recorded tapes of HoS programs around this house. Black, with tiny hand-made labels in my dad's neatly scrawled, cramped hand, and lovingly taped on the front. I love those tapes.  Even though the quality is deteriorating now, it still brings back fond memories of staying up until midnight on Sunday to listen with my dad.  Music is a tactile thing, for me.  Some people have olfactory memories. I never really have. Mine are auditory. 

Music can stir memories that translate into powerful scenes when I'm writing. 

What kind of music inspires you?

No comments: