Tune Into My Madness

So I’m sitting there, typing my WIP into my WriteMonkey, grinning at one of my many screens at da job while trying to look mighty busy with super important revolutionary byte-vs-pixel-business, when I notice a new blog post pop up in my iGoogle widget.

Jay Noel, the Mechanica freak who’s been parading pure temptation in the form of steampunk goodies all through the A to Z, beat me to it and posted samples of his writing soundtrack. And they even sound good. Damn you, man.

*bookmarks the youtube clips in shame*

But hey, I’ll still post mine or my name is Red Spike the Vengeful, and it’s not.
I always listen to music when I write. And when I work, and blog, and do all those other quirky things with my computer, some of which should better remain sealed within one piece of software or another. I listen to music because I live with a constant soundtrack in the back of my head, and because the office I work in is too noisy and the TV at home is too loud.

But the main reason I listen to music when I write is because it’s the most effective and enthralling way to convey mood that we hairless monkeys have come up with ever since we’ve dropped out of the trees. Music is amazing! It sucks you right into a 4 minute long world of beauty, possiblity, unbridled emotion and energy, and spits you back out forever transformed.

Let me set one thing straight though. Music doesn’t itself inspire me. I don’t get any new plot ideas from songs, or suddenly understand the sentiments of one of my characters because a certain guitar makes my lip quiver, or a heated drum solo makes me pound my little fingers on the desk so hard the cracking of my knuckles plays its own remix. I do, however, become more focused with the help of the right tune, and churn out bigger wordcount for the same buck.

So here’s a sampling of my WIP’s soundtrack. If you’re an innocent and sweet all-pretty-flowers-and-glittery-ponies kind of person, back away slowly. But if you’re a bit on the crazy side, like I am, and like I believe more writers should be in order for their awesome writerness to be unleashed, then you’re going to enjoy these bits.

I’m a passionate listener of industial, alternative and gothic metal, and when I’m particularly giddy and having a splendid day, I sprinkle some metalcore on it. Whether these genres say something to you or not (or more likely, scream it into your face while smacking you with a whip made of your own hair), just humor me and give these samples a try. They pretty much represent the dominant moods in my WIP, which, if you remember, is about cruel freakish aliens, destructive humans and overall a lot of… mneah, I’m not gonna tell. Listen to its vibe for yourself.

 

The action-packed sequences where most of the massive damage gets done, happen with this kind of rhythm and background.

Muse – Citizen Erased

There’s a lot of open conflict that’s not physically violent, and though the text of this song doesn’t fit at all, the rhythm very much does.

*crosses fingers hoping you don’t understand German and spoil the effect*

Unheilig – Sternbild

In those rare moments, when the people caught in the scorching hell-hole they’ve created stop to realize they actually harbor deeper feelings, their inner tune sounds something like this.

Anberlin – The Haunting

But mostly, for the greater bulk of my WIP (and the stretch of my years-long-chewing at this monstrosity) the vibe grows right out of the insanely beautiful Massive Attack discography. I’m starting to really like the idea of incorporating a full-Massive-Attack soundtrack into the ebook version of the thing when it gets published. Ah, sweet delicious symbiosis…

The little editor on my shoulder just dropped his flaming trident in a fit of hysterical laughter.

*big round trembling eyes*

Massive Attack – Risingson

If you were to pick a themesong for your WIP (or already finished work) what would it be and why does it rock your world?

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15 Replies to “Tune Into My Madness”

  1. You crack me up! We must be on the save wavelength with our brain power or something.

    LOVE Muse. Big fan. And Citizen Erased just makes me want to bash somebody in the head. (Sorry, I took years of martial arts training and should know better). I think the people behind Muse are VERY angry at the establishment. Just a hunch.

    Missive Attack is haunting stuff.

    Damn, wish I knew some German! Maybe my wife can translate.

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    1. Muse has been a long time companion of my ears. I just love their… let’s say energetic approach to music. But Massive Attack is absolutely my favorite tune when I write.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Nice, Vero.

    Music has the same impact on me when I’m writing. It sets mood and doesn’t do much else. I blast it in my ears.

    The one I’m working on now has Muse’s Uprising, My Heart is Broken by Evanescence, and Scary Monster and Nice Sprites by Skrillex vibrating through it.

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  3. Nice little selection! I saw Anberlin a couple of times when they were still playing in sweaty little Florida punk clubs. I’ve never been crazy about them, but they have a few songs I like. I go through spurts when I’m into Muse, too, but I have to be in the mood for them.

    I’ve been thinking about posting an entry about my routine as well, and music is definitely a huge part of it. I mostly listen to orchestral, ambient, and electronic music when I’m doing the actual writing (lyrics tend to distract me from the task at hand), but I get myself into write mode with a rotating playlist of various stuff, usually motivational songs that gets me focused and pumped.

    I’m with you on the “constant soundtrack” thing. Music is an enormous part of my life. It was my first love, truth be told! It’s amazing what music does for us, isn’t it? Whenever someone says “magic” isn’t real, I tell them to listen to music. 😛

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    1. I’m also only fond of some Anberlin songs, mostly those heavier on the instrument side like the one above. The lyrics don’t bother me when I write. They could be about fluffy clouds and radioactive two-beaked-ducks for all I care, all that gets through to me is the rhythm and the interplay of instruments. And maybe the lead singer’s tone.

      I definitely can’t imagine living without music either. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, J.W.!

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  4. Well apparently I am the glittery-pony-sparkle girl in the midst of all you camo-wearing, club wielding thug types. And, yeah, my Internet connection is too slow at home to enjoy these gems, so I’m imagining the throbbing grind of heavy guitars and screams.

    I can’t do music when I write. I influence too easily. Sigh. Do I still get to be a cool kid?

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    1. Haha, of course, Jaye! 😀 We’re not really cool, we’re just weird and loud. 😛

      You might still enjoy Massive Attack if you ever get the chance, it’s not screamy or grindy at all, quite the opposite. 🙂

      I understand the need to shield yourself from distractions. For me, TV is the most annoying distraction. For you it’s music, and you’re totally right to shun it then. Nothing must come before your fiction.

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  5. Ever heard of a soloist called Sixto Rodriguez? His music would rock my world…

    I tracked you down from a comment you left on “The Writer’s Voice” contest. You never entered the contest?

    Highly developed character you say? Definately what I am all about. The fantasy world is nothing more than the crucible in which I form people that I hope everyone knows (though some are people we would prefer not to know).

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  6. OOOooo……… This is fun. I’m getting ready to leave for the day, so I won’t be able to listen to all the vids at once, but I’m oh-so-curious! (Listening to Muse – Citizen Erased track now.)

    When I write, I SOMETIMES listen to music. Usually I’ll choose something that blends nicely into the background (like Brian Eno’s Music for Airports). Sometimes I’ll play light French pop – because I don’t speak French and won’t be distracted. (I’m like J.W. with regards to listening to lyrics while writing.)

    I tend to think of my characters as having theme songs. I’ll have to put together a post on that!

    PS, can I like glittery ponies AND classic masters like Slash? (The way he handles that guitar….) >:^}

    PPS, my S.O. heard me playing the vids you have posted. He’s just responded with a little Rammstein. I had better stop. LOL… 7ish in the morning is too early for Ramstein.

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    1. Oh, I like Rammstein, they’re awesome! Not really in the know about Slash, but they sound very melodic from what I’m hearing on Youtube.

      Character soundtracks — that’s an interesting concept, and great if they flow naturally out of the story. I’d be curious to hear those.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment so early in the morning! 😀

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