Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Kurt R.A. GiambastianiAeons ago, when I was young and was still a serious musician, there were performances—I can count them on one hand—when the Muse was with us. We all knew it, every musician on stage; we knew. This concert was special.

Once such concert was when I was studying in San Francisco. It was in an old stone church in off Van Ness Avenue, a grand old place with soaring, pieced-stone walls and a nine-second hang time. We were playing Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique and everything was perfect, everyone was “on.” (more…)

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Obey the Kitty!All Saint’s Day. All Hallows.  All Hallows’ Evening. Hallows Even. Hallowe’en. Halloween.

Not my favorite…well, you can’t really call it a holiday…not my favorite festival. Not even my second favorite. To be honest, my least favorite, which is to say, I really dislike it. A lot.

Growing up, it was just another example of social stratification, another peer-review spotlight that illuminated my inner nerd. You must understand that, back then, at that age, carrying a violin to school on a regular basis did considerable damage to one’s street cred. So did liking to read. Wearing glasses didn’t help. Neither did being sports-deficient. So, being a scrawny, gawky, four-eyed kid who walked to school, a violin in one hand, while reading a book with the other…it pretty much guaranteed that I was going to peg the lower end on the Cool Scale.

Halloween just rubbed it in.

There was only one time where Halloween and I got along. One night. In college.


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A Sixty-Fourth NoteBefore I started to write, I studied music. Classical music, ancient music, and modern; in orchestras (symphonic, chamber, and pit), in bands (marching, symphonic, jazz, and swing), and in trios, quartets, and quintets; as a student, as an amateur, and as a professional; as a violinist, a violist, on the tuba (Sousaphone and miraphone), with bass guitar, on percussion, and as a conductor: I did it all. For the first three decades of my life, music was my sole creative outlet.

When I swapped music for writing, music did not disappear. I brought it with me.

The world is filled with distractions, and it can be a challenge to block them all out so I can concentrate on the world inside my head. Music helps me do that.

Each of my books has a soundtrack. Sometimes it’s related to the subject, building an ethnic backdrop (like the Arabic pop music I played while writing Dreams…) but more often it’s completely unrelated, just providing the beat, the drive, and the mood (like all the Symphonic Metal music I’ve been listening to while writing FC:V). I specifically ignore lyrics—I was never good at picking them out, anyway, so ignoring them works fine. Foreign language and instrumental works are especially well-suited, and movie soundtracks are often the perfect choice, evoking a mood and drama.


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