Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writing and Music and Oscar Scandal

First, the scandal - the Academy has barred "Hurt Locker" Producer, Nicolas Chartier, from attending Sunday night. Chartier sent emails to certain Academy voters, asking that they vote for his movie and not a $500 million dollar film. (Meaning Avatar.) The Academy stopped just short of removing "Hurt Locker" from the running.
Of course, if it does win, it will be like Barry Bonds' HR record - tainted.
What was Chartier thinking?
Sunday night will be interesting...

Okay, now on to my regular post!

Music is an inspirational art form. I enjoy listening to it almost as much as I enjoy playing it.

Most writers don't listen to tunes while writing for fear of distraction, but I always write to music. While working on my book, Cassastar, there was always music playing.

I like metal and progressive rock, and the fast tempo of bands like KillSwitchEngage and Shadow's Fall kept action scenes flowing. Guilt Machine's "Green and Cream" was perfect for space battles! I could almost see the Cosbolt fighters in action, diving down on the enemy with lasers blasting.

The story centers around a war, which meant there were moments of tragedy as well. Channeling emotions isn't my best trait, so I tried to play slower pieces during those scenes. I'd play some Redemption or older Dream Theater during those times.

For the writers who follow my blog, even if you don't listen while you write, is there music that inspires your work? Has a song ever revealed a story or scene to you? Or is it just my obsession?


Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm a big fan of prog/power metal, so when I write I've usually got something like Kamelot, Falconer or Iron Maiden on in the background (Iron Maiden is usually my best for doing academic work, the others for fiction).

What I like about Power metal when writing (as a fantasy writer) is the worlds that are created in the song, and act as an inspiration to the story. I wrote a short story based on Kamelot's song Karma, where a nobleman has become corrupted with an unseen evil and contemplates suicide to save his land from enveloping darkness.

Unknown said...

I found it interesting that you listen to different music for different scenes. I hadn't really thought about it, but it makes a lot of sense. Music can be uplifting, calming, energizing – basically any emotion out there. ♫

It's not just an obsession of yours; I've read other writer/author blogs where listening to music while writing is inspirational to them also.

I wish you a wonderful day, Alex! March 4 is like a holiday for grammarians; it's National Grammar Day! ☺

Anonymous said...

I seldom have the priviledge of silence when I write. Too noisy around here. But I can function in contolled chaos. No problem. I'm not sure I would know what to do if I did have that luxury.

Oh, stop by. I have an award for you.

Stephen Tremp

Sarah Ahiers said...

I have a scene, in an as of yet unwritten WIP, that matches up exactly to Linkin Park's Papercut. CANNOT WAIT to get to that point so i can blast it

Summer Frey said...

Oh boy, music. My favorite topic. I mostly listen to film scores when I write, though for my sci-fi WIP I actually like to listen to AC/DC, Skynard and Zeppelin.

My musical tastes are expansive, so each "soundtrack" for each idea is quite varied.

That's crazy about the Hurt Locker dude. If he had faith in his product, he wouldn't resort to that kind of underhanded-ness.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, you are so right! Be cool to read your story to the Kamelot song.

Crystal, music is perfect for mood setting.

Thanks, Stephen, I will!

Falen, cool!

Summer, that's how I feel - my story had its own soundtrack.
And that producer is lucky his movie didn't get yanked.

Arlee Bird said...

If the music is too energetic or wordy I will often get distracted by it. Most of the time my writing music of choice is classical, with a preference toward chamber music by Schubert. Yesterday I was playing a CD by the Eels which was kind of nice. If I play pop music to write by, it normally has to have something to do with what I am writing. For example, one WIP takes place in the early 70's and when I'm dabbling with it I like to put on the Allman Bros. to get in the spirit of the setting.
Tossing It Out

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like to have music playing as well. It needs to be something really emotional, though. And I think in terms of a theme song for my characters. For Heather in Book V, it's "Passion" by Stream of Passion.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Arlee, that would certainly help!
I guess I should've mentioned that I often have the TV on as well. Good thing I can focus, huh?

Diane, that's a cool song.

The Old Silly said...

Interesting about the scandal. As for music, as a musician who, like you, loves to listen to and play (I also compose and record) music, I DO get inspirations for writing literature from that art form, but unlike you, I write in silence - other than the sounds of nature. It's the Zen training. When I eat, I just eat, when I sit, I just sit, when I listen to music, I just listen to music, when I write I just write. One mind, no distractions. Oh - and when I multi-task, I just multi-task. (wink)

Works for me.

Marvin D Wilson

Anonymous said...

Oh definitely. I still have an entire playlist on my laptop for a novel I stopped writing years ago (and the odd thing is I still add new music to it if it feels like the same atmosphere). Within that I've certainly got particular songs that belong to particular scenes - I suppose our brains attach real memories to songs, so why not unreal ones?

That said, this evening I'm trying to revise a short story while listening to the local radio station in case my road gets evacuated. It's very bizarre and probably not working very well...

Helen Ginger said...

I do prefer silence when I write - it's not often easy to come by around here, though. There have been times, though, when I would "collect" three or four songs that fit the theme of my book and play those.

Straight From Hel

DEZMOND said...

that really is a disgusting scandal at the Oscars. There was another one today when they decided to remove Sacha Baron Cohen from the ceremony because he was planning to appear on stage dressed as a blue-skinned, female Na'vi who would pull open "her" evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron's love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer. :))
So that will not happen on Sunday :)

Yes, music is always inspiring. I always visualize music and songs, and that's why I love videos so much. I don't listen to music while I'm translating books (it would be too distracting) but I do listen to music while I'm doing interior or fashion designs or while cooking, because the music helps bring my creative visions out in the open :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Music is one of my passions as well. I do my best thinking to music. When I'm writing I tend to have iTunes on as well. I have about 1000 songs and just hit shuffle. I don't match mood to music, and I keep thinking I should make playlists. BUT I like my variety!

B. Miller said...

I listen to a playlist I've created as I work on the novel. It's got Murder By Death, Deer Tick, The Eagles, CCR, and the Fleet Foxes on it, among a few other things. Sometimes it's better for me to work in silence though - I guess it just depends on the mood I'm in.

Also, Alex, I gave you the "Circle of Friends" award in my latest blog post! You should surf on over and check it out. :)

JournoMich said...

I agree with Crystal--interesting that you change music for different scenes! However, like Stephen, I rarely have the joy of a silent writing space (2 young kids!), so when I do, I don't turn on any music!

I have never been very inspired by music in my writing, anyway. In life, it is definitely a mood changer, but not in my writing. Maybe I should give it a try today? My kids love music so we are always turning it on and dancing around.

Really sad about The Hurt Locker scandal. Pathetic.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're a simple man, Marvin!

Hampshireflyer - road evacuated???

Dez, I'd heard about the Cohen skit. I'm good with it being dumped, as I've never found him funny.

Jemi, sometimes variety is good!

B. Miller, thanks! That's twice now for that award.

Michele, maybe it would be the inspiration you seek?