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Aspiewriter
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10 Jul 2009, 1:26 pm

I was wondering what some writers here play while they write stories. What music inspires them? While I write I like to play Steve Roach, Deep Forest, Enigma, Depeche Mode, Michael Stearns, etc.. Whatever the scene of my story requires I try and find the right sort of music to match. Or whatever music I play first sometimes inspires the story. I once read that a writer that wrote vampire novels (not the Twilight book author but another author whose name escapes my brain) listened to Songs of Faith and Devotion (Depeche Mode album) while writing her novel. I think she said it inspired a character of hers.

What do you play while writing?



kip
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10 Jul 2009, 2:04 pm

I play pretty much whatever I'm into at the moment. I use the music to blank my mind, so it has to be something I'm familiar with.


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10 Jul 2009, 2:14 pm

I listen to Elend (a kickass cacophanous neo-classical band from Paris) and movie soundtracks a lot while writing. It's difficult for me to do anything with lyrics. I like to write in silence too but my family contains musicians who like and play music that is very much NOT my thing...nor does it ever remotely fit the tone of my writing. So sometimes I HAVE to put on music.



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10 Jul 2009, 3:19 pm

I noticed that listening to jazz helps me write. also, some ambient/minimal, mostly Boards of Canada (I wrote my thesis while listening to it and I thought the outcome was pretty awesome :p)


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Willard
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10 Jul 2009, 5:29 pm

Well, music is one of my main obsessions - my mp3 player contains the pop music of the entire twentieth century - all of it - up through 2003, when my research data ended. From those scratchy gramophone charlestons of the 1920s on (the oldest one I have is recorded from an actual Scott Joplin piano roll from the late 1800s), until the Billboard charts began to issue weekly lists in the 50s, when tracking what the top tunes were becomes much easier. If it ever made the Billboard Top 40 charts, it's in there, including all those classic rock standards that were never released as singles, and anything that missed the Top 40, but became culturally significant anyway - The Waitresses' 'I Know What Boys Like' for instance only made it to #52 on the Hot 100, but the (then) new cable channel MTV played the hell out of it....uhm...sorry...toldja that obsession was one of my biggies...

Anyway, I listen to a wide range of stuff, but I do find that often one specific song will attach itself to a particular character or scene that I'm writing and sort of become the soundtrack of that part of the story - and always something that's appropriate for the time period involved. The novel I'm working on now has threads running through three generations, so there's music inspiring it that ranges from Jack Teagarden's version of 'I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You' and Ella Fitzgerald's "I'm Just a Jitterbug' from the thirties, to Bobby Pickett's 'Monster Mash' which charted three times, though this scene is during it's second peak in 1962, to a character in a contemporary timeline who's into Tool and his goth rockabilly girlfriend who likes Elvis and Little Richard.

I got a really awesome creepy dream sequence a few months ago listening to a recording of the sounds of tree frogs at night. Dude.



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10 Jul 2009, 5:34 pm

Great topic! I usually put on I-tunes streaming music, and find something in electronica, trance or hypnotic type genres. Somehow, the music seems to fit what I am writing about. I like to listen to industrial, when writing about my Sci Fi villain. 8)


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Raskle
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10 Jul 2009, 6:20 pm

I like to listen to Nine Inch Nails when I attempt to write.



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11 Jul 2009, 12:21 am

I listen to mostly any type of music, but perferably anime, instrumental, and game.

Actually, I'm creating a short story right now inspired by the music in FF Crystal Chronicles (the one which plays when you meet the two thieves and their moogle in the cut scene, I think.) Anyways, it's suppose to be humorous, but I'm now adding the main plot and make the humorous part a subplot for my short story.

So, any music inspires me, but game music inspires me the most.



Aspiewriter
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11 Jul 2009, 9:50 am

Thanks for those who have posted so far. I find it fascinating so many different pieces of music have inspired so many different stories for people.

I have this one particular character partly inspired by Michael Stearns's ENCOUNTER. ENCOUNTER is of course an album about being out at night and looking up into the sky. And the beginning piece is someone walking, then they see a UFO in the sky. And as the tracks go on, they are within the UFO, so the music becomes darker and a little more unsettling but beautiful at the same time. Then there is a somewhat faster track that makes me think the UFO is flying rather quickly across the heavens with the abductee in it.

I take the music, however, and imagine my character (who becomes the antagonist), and the protagonist trapped within a strange reality.



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11 Jul 2009, 4:04 pm

Uh, playing music WHILE writing? I can hardly even announce key changes, let alone WRITE something. What instrument could even allow such multi-tasking to take place?


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Willard
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11 Jul 2009, 4:33 pm

Aspiewriter wrote:
Thanks for those who have posted so far. I find it fascinating so many different pieces of music have inspired so many different stories for people.

I have this one particular character partly inspired by Michael Stearns's ENCOUNTER. ENCOUNTER is of course an album about being out at night and looking up into the sky. And the beginning piece is someone walking, then they see a UFO in the sky. And as the tracks go on, they are within the UFO, so the music becomes darker and a little more unsettling but beautiful at the same time. Then there is a somewhat faster track that makes me think the UFO is flying rather quickly across the heavens with the abductee in it.

I take the music, however, and imagine my character (who becomes the antagonist), and the protagonist trapped within a strange reality.


Sounds cool - Hunt down a copy of Tomita's "Bermuda Triangle" from 1979 - you'll love it! It's a similar sonic experience that takes you from a UFO splashdown into then below the surface of the ocean, then inside the ship and beyond. If you were ever going to experiment with psychedelics, this would be one of those all-time perfect albums to trip to. :drunken: :alien: :shaking2: :tongue: :shaking: :eew: :rabbit: :hic: :compress: :cyclopsani: :clown: 8O :wink:

http://www.amazon.com/Bermuda-Triangle-Isao-Tomita/dp/B000VI6KXC/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247347463&sr=1-8



Aspiewriter
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11 Jul 2009, 6:17 pm

I think sometimes certain sounds and frequencies are enough to make one trip out, especially with dark instrumental music. Low hums...vibrations...beats...etc...


Willard wrote:
Aspiewriter wrote:
Thanks for those who have posted so far. I find it fascinating so many different pieces of music have inspired so many different stories for people.

I have this one particular character partly inspired by Michael Stearns's ENCOUNTER. ENCOUNTER is of course an album about being out at night and looking up into the sky. And the beginning piece is someone walking, then they see a UFO in the sky. And as the tracks go on, they are within the UFO, so the music becomes darker and a little more unsettling but beautiful at the same time. Then there is a somewhat faster track that makes me think the UFO is flying rather quickly across the heavens with the abductee in it.

I take the music, however, and imagine my character (who becomes the antagonist), and the protagonist trapped within a strange reality.


Sounds cool - Hunt down a copy of Tomita's "Bermuda Triangle" from 1979 - you'll love it! It's a similar sonic experience that takes you from a UFO splashdown into then below the surface of the ocean, then inside the ship and beyond. If you were ever going to experiment with psychedelics, this would be one of those all-time perfect albums to trip to. :drunken: :alien: :shaking2: :tongue: :shaking: :eew: :rabbit: :hic: :compress: :cyclopsani: :clown: 8O :wink:

http://www.amazon.com/Bermuda-Triangle-Isao-Tomita/dp/B000VI6KXC/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247347463&sr=1-8



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12 Jul 2009, 2:03 am

I like to listen to an Aspie guy's music, who posted on WP awhile back. His name is Myrkabah, and he provided a link to 4 pieces of trance music he had done. It has become a sort of theme for the Science Fiction that I am currently writing.


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15 Jul 2009, 7:43 pm

While music rarely inspires me for the actual writing itself, it helps me with some of the overall themes, for example, thinking of what the soundtrack would be like. For example, part of the feel of the novel I am currently writing was inspired by the remix of "Theme of Love" from Metal Gear Solid 4, as used in Super Smash Bros Brawl...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUfKFElJ9sA[/youtube]

...and the theme of Blake's 7, itself a major inspiration for the current iteration of the novel...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auqpstPVdIA[/youtube]

In fact, listening to the latter part of the second video is something of a stim while I am writing, because it helps me remember that this novel is meant to be a rollicking good science-fiction adventure yarn. It's trying to find a balance between high adventure and high concept that's the problem. In fact, for each of the main characters, I sort of assign 'themes' based on music I have listened to, to sort of emphasise what their characters are like.


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15 Jul 2009, 9:00 pm

I tried it last night, found it a bit distracting (but it was one of those web sites that you choose a band, then they set it up as a 'radio' station, and try to send you more songs that 'sound like that'...;) probably not the best choice...;)



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15 Jul 2009, 10:29 pm

pakled wrote:
I tried it last night, found it a bit distracting (but it was one of those web sites that you choose a band, then they set it up as a 'radio' station, and try to send you more songs that 'sound like that'...;) probably not the best choice...;)


Do you mean Last FM? ( I downloaded that for Firefox.) I used to listen to that, and I agree. I would choose a band, and they would play one song from them, and then keep playing random stuff from other artists, that I didn't like.


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