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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Musical food for the writing mind

   
Author Topic: Musical food for the writing mind
Brad R Torgersen
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Anyone else like this? Gotta have music playing while you work on The Work?

I've been like that from the beginning. When I did late nite community radio, I used to tell the listeners, "Music is the fuel of imagination." I think that's still 100% true. And even though I can't do late nite community radio like I used to, I still keep the tunes going when I am pounding keys.

At this very moment I've got Andy Summers in my ears. "The Golden Wire." A vastly undersold electronic guitar jazz album from 1990. Absolutely gorgeous stuff. I have never tired of it, not in the 18 years I've owned it.

Other artists commonly in my ears....

The Art of Noise
Bill Douglas
Jethro Tull
Harold Budd (and Brian Eno)
Vangelis
Depeche Mode
Hans Joachim Roedelius
Tim Story

I am a big fan of ambient, electronic, atmospheric music. Not necessarily New Age, though I first got exposed to the genre(s) via New Age radio show Musical Starstreams, back in the late 80's. Now, my tastes tend to be darker and not nearly as bubblegum as the New Age pioneers, like Ray Lynch. Even Vangelis seems a little dated to me sometimes, but certain Vangelis works are epic and timeless.

What about all of you? What gets your creative mojo going?


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AWSullivan
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This is interesting.

My day job is a software developer, which is pretty boring stuff most of the time so some techno/electronica music to break up the monotony is nice. I can't listen to anything while writing though.

I do get a lot of inspiration from music and I might turn on the song that inspired an idea just before I sit down to write but once its time to write I need relative peace.

~Anthony


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alliedfive
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I've gone back and forth on music with words and instrumentals. I think lyrics can be distracting, but instrumentals in the right tone of the scene you're righting can help.

Any other fantasy writers out there that listen to the LOTR soundtracks while writing?


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snapper
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I have a satellite radio so have a variety of things to listen to. There is a great classical station (pops)That I spend tons of time on. Then there is the classic hard rock (buzzsaw), the 90's alternative (lithium), and the new alternative (octane). These are my favorite of stations.
Of course I also like to listen to the NFL talk radio station. At this moment I am listening to Bubba the Love Sponge, If you don't know what that is, you better not ask.

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InarticulateBabbler
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We've been through this before, a couple of times:


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KStar
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Snapper, you work while listening to Bubba the Love Sponge? HOW? Haha.

[This message has been edited by KStar (edited September 19, 2008).]


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snapper
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Well I'm a clown so I need to research for clown material
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aspirit
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I'm like Anthony. Music distracts me while I write, but it can inspire me at other times.

IB, I remember the last time this topic came up. Newbies may want to share, though.


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Robert Nowall
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Right now I'm listening to my iPod play out through a Grundig Sattelit 700 radio through a cheap FM repeater that has a kink in it that keeps dropping one of the stereo channels. Once I worked through all the problems, I wound up with about twenty-two hundred songs on my iPod, and I'm only about a hundred songs from the end of a random play.

Right now, it went from the O'Jays "Back Stabbers" to Hank Williams's "Settin' the Woods on Fire."

So you can see I've got fairly widespread tastes in music.


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philocinemas
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Sometimes I have the TV on while I write - go figure. However, I drive about an hour a day, and I usually listen to either classical music or audiobooks during that time. I definitely don't write and drive - NOWAD!

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited September 20, 2008).]


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Lyrajean
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I usually listen while writing rahter loudly, much to the annoyance of roomates, neighbors, family and cat.

Itunes has negated the need to listen to whole albums at once but here's the current playlist more or less:

Shima Uta -The Boom
Door -Kirito
Ageha -Tourbillion
Last Song, Tsuki no uta, kimi ga oikaketa yume, The Returner Kono yoru ga owaru mae ni, et al. -by Gackt
Powder Snow, Icaross, Last Letter -Pierrot
War war zone -Kreva
English Ladye and the knight, et al. -Loreena McKennit
Thank You -Dido
Everything you Want -Vertical Horizon
Satallite -DMB
Ordinary World -Duran Duran
Umbrella -Rihanna
Beautiful Things -Andain

The Orb
Juno Reactor
Heavenly Voices anthologies
Seiben
Judgement of Paris

Needless to say I'm a music junkie esp. darkwave (goth), electronica and J-rock...


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marchpane
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I love music, but I find it hard to concentrate on writing - or indeed anything else - while listening. As others have said, though, it can inspire me or help get me into the right mood for writing.

Classical can work, sometimes, or stuff like Sigur Růs. I have a CD of 13th century polyphonic chant - mostly Middle French love songs - which is fuel for the imagination. The side effect is that people think I'm weird, but I can live with that.


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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
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For me nothing but

Led Zeppelin
and
Pink Floyd

When I am at work. The music just goes grate with army life.

RFW2nd


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Rommel Fenrir Wolf II
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Ps:

I havenít forgot about you guys, I have been busy on other sites and sleeping 15 hours a day. I know some of you have been wondering were Rommel Fenrir Wolf II is?
Well I am here, I am always here there and everywhere. Why would I leave my favorite bunch of misfits and writers alone long?


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OlsenOlsen
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I listen to Sigur Ros a lot, but I also listen to Explosions in the sky when I write. If anyone likes to listen to instrumental guitar, check Explosions in the sky out. They play the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. Its phenomenal.
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KStar
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Wow! I listen to Sigur Ros too! They are my writing music. They are actually my all-the-time music though. I should have known from the "Olsen Olsen" (love that song by the way).

Music is one of the most important factors, for me, to achieving successful writing.

The novel I just finished is based around the Silversun Pickups song "Lazy Eye", kind of unintentionally. I had the idea, and was about 1/3 done when I heard the song one day. It fit perfectly and helped me formulate a good ending.

I am querying agents with it, and funny enough an agent that is very interested lists musical influence as something they look for in a novel.

Other than that, I find myself listening to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack a lot.

[This message has been edited by KStar (edited September 22, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by KStar (edited September 23, 2008).]


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Robert Nowall
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Ah, I see a lot of names and titles out there that I'm unfamiliar with. I don't recognize any name or title or tune in Lyrajean's list, for instance.

This is no reflection on that material as music---it's a reflection on me, that I'm, essentially, both old and filled up on new music experiences. I lisened to everything on the radio and records and early MTV in my younger days, and wound up liking and listening to a wide range of material.

But long about 1985, the input of new material trickled to a mere drip or two. Occasionally something gets into my skull, but my tastes are fully formed. I like what I like, and that tends to be older stuff, or new stuff by older acts. Once in a while I pick up a song or two that's brand new, but that's rare.

(This has happened to my SF reading as well---I don't read SF in the volume I used to, and I'm more likely to pick up a reprinting of an older work, but occasionally something new does catch my eye. Yet I still desire to write new stuff...)


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aspirit
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I was born when you started to fill up with preferences, and I recognize only one song from Lyrajean's list. I don't think age is the reason we're unfamiliar with the names and titles from other Hatrackers' music lists.

[This message has been edited by aspirit (edited September 23, 2008).]


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Rhaythe
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In no particular order, a small sampling for my "mood music" playlist:

Individual Songs:
- Paul Oakenfold's "Zoo York" (a Requiem for a Dream remake)
- Lacuna Coil's "Ghost Woman and the Hunter" and "Falling Again"
- Crossfade's "Breathing Slowly"
- Fuel's "Angels take a Soul"
- Within Temptation's "Final Destination"

Artists I'll put on Random:
- ES Posthumus
- Harry Gregson-Williams
- Hans Zimmer
- Flowing Tears
- Steve Jablonsky


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Brad R Torgersen
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Autumn is officially here in the northern hemisphere!

Time to bust out all my Fall Favorites!

(I am weirdly seasonal with my music...)

Thanks, Summer Tunes, for keeping me company.

Ahhh, welcome, welcome, Fall Favs... Long time, no listen.

"Let me bring you songs from the wood..!"


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Devnal
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If I'm listening to music at the time im writing, The Tragically Hip will always pop up sooner than later
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Cheyne
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Devnal- I was thinking of The Hip all the way down as I read the posts. You must be from Canada! Do you know....?
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Robert Nowall
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Yup, there's a cultural difference at work as well---there are a lot of music scenes (and just about every other kind of scene) going on all over the world, and only rarely does some bit of music (or anything) from one scene break through into another.

They told me, way back about 1985 actually, that only three songs from Japan ever hit the American Hot Hundred, that only one of these was in Japanese, and only one ever hit Number One on the chart. Maybe others have made it since then---there's been a lot of anime and Japanimation, with accompanying good music, floating through---and I would hope some American listeners would respond to it and get it on the charts.


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Lyrajean
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Okay, seems I've won with most esoteric musical tastes...

Just FYI: everything by Gackt, Kirito, Tourbillion, and Shima Uta are available on itunes for download!

You might be hearing more about Gackt in the US in the next year or two as he's currently making a hollywood movie with Demi Moore and Josh Hartnett.

He's kind of old news here (and he's geting a bit old to be a Japanese rock star by conventional wisdom), but it will be interesting to see if he makes the crossover...

Overall I agree with your sentiments about musical tastes fossilizing over time, my tastes do not reflect what really young Japanese or Americans are listening too, but what was current 7-10 years ago when I was in my 20s!


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Cheyne
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You won? Was there a contest? Who was the judge?
Today's esoteric is tomorrow's banal.

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BagelsWithCreamCheese
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I'm that way, too, Mr. Torgersen. Weezer's Blue Album always sounds best in early autumn, and I think I've only ever listened to The Green Album in late June.

And I'll probably never listen to The Red Album again for the rest of my life.

[This message has been edited by BagelsWithCreamCheese (edited September 30, 2008).]


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