Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Musing About Music

This discussion came up on, and I thought I would share it with the rest of you. Well, those of you who are not following that particular thread.

The question posed was: "What inspires you?"

For myself, music was and is hugely important in informing my writing. There is just something about music that touches me deeply, changes my mood and transports me into another time and place. There are very few kinds of music I dislike. I listen to everything from Enya to Evanescence, Mozart to Metallica. There are a few songs, however, that were especially informative.

The single most influential song for my main character was:

Street Spirit - Radiohead.

Every time I hear this song, I cry. There is something so powerfully melancholy, so forlorn, detached and lost about this song. It never ceases to move me.

Other songs that move me are:

Solace - Vanessa Mae
Red Right Hand - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Now We Are Free - Hanz Zimmer, sung by Lisa Gerrard
Pachamama - Mike Oldfield
Zombie - The Cranberries
Dolphins Cry - Live
Lightning Crashes - Live
Unforgiven II - Metallica
Memory of Trees - Enya
Come Here Boy - Imogen Heap
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
Human Beings - Seal
Youth of the Nation - P. O. D.
Breathe - Prodigy

The entire album Fallen by Evanescence moves me and pretty much anything by Linkin Park is also profoundly powerful. I'm currently addicted to their Minutes to Midnight album.

Enya is also someone I listen to religiously.

I was also introduced quite recently by a friend of mine (thanks K.C.) to a group called 12 Girls Band. They are a group of 13 performers (only twelve of which appear on stage) who play classical Chinese instruments, but adapt modern songs. Let me tell you, they sound spectacular! He also introduced me to the awe-inspiring violinist Vanessa Mae, and while I don't like it all, some of her compositions are amazing (hence her appearing in the above list).

I introduced that same friend to Bond, a quartet of musicians who take classical compositions and mix them with electric, techno and world beats and they also are amazing.

Long story short, I never write without music. All kinds of music feed into my imagination and take me to places I never thought existed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all musicians for their contribution to my imagination, and my sanity. You all (quite literally) rock!

Now, here's something for you all to discuss. What inspires you (in whatever it is you strive for)?


Anonymous said...

I like Plants and Animals from Montreal and Lyn Myles from Ottawa.
Catherine in Kingston

S. M. Carrière said...

Thanks Catherine!

I'll be sure to check them out.

K said...

"Symfonia pieśni żałosnych", or the Symphony of sorrowful songs, Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 by Henryk Górecki is incredibly powerful. If you can listen to it without tears then seek medical attention for your tear ducts.

Whether it can be used to produce a written work, I do not know. It leaves me feeling so melancholy that it's all I can do to not find a ledge to stand on, let alone pick up a pen.

I think the problem is, of course, that what I write I write because I feel no-one else has, or can said what I want to.

I cannot take someone else's emotionally inspiring music and use those emotions to create something. It somehow feels oddly fraudulent, even though I'm writing a book, nor lyrics. Call it a quirk, if you like.

S. M. Carrière said...

To each their own... though I often find that I must be melancholy in order to pick up a pen!