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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 01:34 am:   

Neil Williamson said on Jeff V.'s board some time ago: "I've yet to sample BLACK CHERRY, but I use FELT MOUNTAIN a lot as background music for writing."

I'm not sure if this was talked about before, but what music do you listen to while you're writing? And how much does it affect your work, esp mood-wise? I'm curious.

Cheers,
Luís
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Des
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 01:46 am:   

I listen to a lot of classical music from the ancient to the noisy! People can judge from my stories whether this is soaked up by them or not!

Actually my stories as I write them (or as I used to write them, certainly) actually affected the music (and not the other way round) and made the music somehow different to listen to emotionally and intellectually. Does that make sense?
des
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Liz Williams
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 02:20 am:   

I tend to get very obsessed by particular albums and play them non stop (which doubtless drives my neighbour round the bend). With GHOST SISTER, it was Lisa Loeb. At the moment it's Goldfrapp, Amos, Elvis Costello and 10,000 Maniacs.

Mainly it's rock, folk, Celtic, Cuban, jazz or classical, more or less in order. I have eclectic tastes. Sometimes it's a bit more esoteric, eg Diamanda Galas.

Yes, it does make sense, Des.
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 06:11 am:   

It does make sense. Sometimes writing (or in my case reading, or thinking) about something opens up a new perspective on the music you hear.

Best,
Luís
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 10:54 am:   

I'm particular to atonal classical when I write. Give me early Arvo Part, John Cage, Terry Riley, etc. There's a certain "groove" into which this particular kind of music sets me, allowing my thoughts to run more freely. Now, I've been inspired by radically different music, but for the act of writing, give me atonal classical. Ambient electronic music works well also, but it must be dark and brooding. Jumpy music sets me on edge while writing, kicks me out of the groove.

Forrest
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Des
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 12:21 pm:   

Forrest, tried James McMillan, Thomas Ades, Anthony Turnage etc.?
You're a man after my own heart in this respect. Atonal (and dincopated) allows the frets and flows to bounce off each other.Des
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 10:19 pm:   

No, yes, and no. I'll have to pay a visit to the library, methinks.

Forrest
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Kage Baker
Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 08:27 pm:   

I need background music without lyrics, generally, unless the singer has such mushy enunciation that the words aren't a distraction. Roxy Music's AVALON is a good example. What's he saying? Who the hell knows? Mood without precise meaning, transparent and willing to take on whatever definition I want to impose. In my case, that particular album is inextricably linked in my mind with certain events that happened, years back, in a bar on Catalina Island, due to the fact that an endless tape loop of it played on the bar's Muzak all that evening. When I want to evoke that particular mood, nothing will do it like AVALON.

An exception to the no-lyrics rule was John Gay's THE BEGGAR'S OPERA, an old double LP set I bought in my early 20s when I was tracking down all things Dreigroschenoper. BEGGAR'S OPERA has spoken dialogue as well as 18th-century political satire set to period popular music and folk tunes. I dug it out of storage when I was writing "What the Tyger Told Her". The tunes set the mood, but the cadences of period speech seeped through also. Very productive.

For Best Performance in a Sustained Literary Emotional Crisis, though, nothing beats PASSAGES, an album by Phillip Glass and Ravi Shankar. It's a great album. Shankar keeps Glass's damn arpeggios from overpowering everything. It has one of the most haunting openings I've ever heard: gentle, profoundly elegiac, mystical in a subdued kind of way. A lot of Graveyard Game was written late at night, with only that album for company. All of Lewis's inevitable drift toward his fate, his guilty voyeurism, chivalry and loneliness, was informed by that melancholy alto saxophone.

Any of the music of the composer Ralph Vaughn Williams is good for stoking the muse, any old time. Likewise some of the Narada world music collections, especially the "Celtic" series. And Loreena McKennitt is another favorite in the Mushy Lyrics category.

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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 03:46 am:   

Anything. Literally. Learn to write to the sound of your toddlers fighting over a piece of candy like two poodles after the same bone, and you suddenly find yourself supremely unpicky about what music is playing on the headphones, just as long as it's loud enough to drown out reality so that you can create a different one.
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 08:12 pm:   

Ah, Kage, glad you brought up Loreena McKennitt. Another favorite of mine. Except I've memorized a lot of the words to her songs, so have to keep myself from singing along. If the volume is low enough, though, it provides great background drone.

Forrest
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Frag Ed
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 06:34 am:   

Hi all,

Just thought I'd let you know about a new web and PDF zine I've helped put together called Fragment.

It is aimed at bringing down some boundaries in - and between - music and fiction and one of the features in issue 1 discusses such ideas in more depth.

The URL is http://www.fragmentmagazine.co.uk

Subscription to issue one is free. Hope you enjoy it.
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Cornelius Kappabani
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:42 am:   

Good evening!
While writing song lyrics I listen to my own compositions or to no music.
While writing stories it various - depends on the mood I'm in. Sometimes I need music to write and sometimes I need silence or the sound of the world outside my room - generally I'm writing from dusk 'till dawn.
I try to underline my own mood with the music so it can be quiet different in style. Actually I listen to Philip Glass - Kundun, Tom Waits - the songs Hoist that Rag, How's it gonna End, Make it rain from the album Real Gone, Akutagawa - Village of eight Gravestones(marvelous movie) and Elliot Goldenthal - Final Fantasy while writing a quiet gritty,dark and melancholic tale.

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