Friday, July 8, 2011

My Music and Me

If this music doesn't get you going,
you must be dead.
Ok, I'm not the most musically-inclined guy.  I can't play an instrument of any kind (beyond a few notes on a piano), and I am not much of a connoisseur of music.  But I do have my favorites, and my mood and mental state can be influenced by what I am listening to at any given moment.  Certain types of music, and more specifically, certain pieces of music, bring about certain behaviors and moods.

For instance, the scores to the Rocky movies still manage to get my blood going.  And I'm not just talking about "Gonna Fly Now" (though that one does indeed get me going...just like practically anyone else with a pulse).  The training montages from just about every one of them is great.  Particularly "Going the Distance" by Bill Conti from Rocky II, and "Training Montage" by Vince DiCola from Rocky IV.  Not to mention the various songs from those movies.  I mean, who doesn't feel like throwing a punch when they hear Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"?  And "Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty from Rocky IV is just awesome.  I hear these songs and I just picture in my mind's eye Rocky wailing away on a heavy bag (though that may have more to do with having seen all of them dozens of times each).

When I am writing, music is both a boon and a curse sometimes.  I tend to like silence when I write, as my brain is easily distracted.  However, the right music can help me along nicely.  When I write (especially when I write action), the scene tends to play out in my head like a movie.  And every good movie needs a soundtrack.  When it's fantasy/sword & sorcery I'm writing, I find that the soundtracks to Gladiator, Troy, The 13th Warrior and Conan the Barbarian are all particularly helpful.  I also like the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack.  However, sometimes the music needs to fit the genre.  If I'm writing modern action, I prefer a heavy metal soundtrack.  Something with a lot of bass and electric guitar riffs.  Metallica works well, though I do tend to head back to the 80's for some of it.  The afore-mentioned John Cafferty did some great songs, such as "Voice of America's Sons" from Cobra, and "On the Dark Side" from Eddie and the Cruisers.

I also prefer certain music when I am just not doing anything.  I own all of Enya's CDs and will often just play her songs on my iPod when I need to relax.  In that regard, Loreena McKennit and Clannad are also good.  And sometimes I will put on those soundtracks I mentioned.  Gladiator is quite possibly the most emotionally charged soundtrack I have ever heard.

My first "favorite" album.
If you looked at my iPod you'd probably laugh.  I doubt there is much of anything on there (aside from a couple of soundtracks) that's less than 10 years old.  And most of it is probably closer to 25 years old.  I'm a huge fan of the 80's (I'm sure I've mentioned that a few times here), and this extends both to movies and music.  Heck, I even have a pair of black and white checkered Vans that I wear.  But my teenage daughter has a pair just like them, so that's not so bad.

Anyways, enough rambling.  Time to hit Play, and get on with the day.  Happy Friday, all!


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm like you, I generally like silence when I'm actually writing, but I do use music for inspiration and sometimes when I'm rough drafting scenes, especially battle scenes. Then it's heavy metal all the way. I should try the soundtrack approach. I have the 13th warrior soundtrack but not many others.

Tom Doolan said...

Go with Gladiator. The battle sequences are particularly good for action. :)

Tom Doolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.