Posts Tagged ‘soundtracks’

As a music major, I never really listened to music for the lyrics; I could rarely understand the singers anyway. (That’s why, during the final seasons of BSG, I missed the fun when they started quoting “All Along the Watchtower,” but that’s beside the point, really.)

Naturally, therefore, music has been incredibly important to my mind. It’s always been there, providing a soundtrack to my life, driving me onward or soothing my savage breast, lifting my spirits or challenging my assumptions with new and unusual combinations of sounds and tonalities.

When I switched from being a working musician to a struggling writer, music continued to play a big part. A very important part, as it turns out.


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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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