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» Music to Write By
 Posted: May 5 2013, 11:16 AM
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I'm one of those people who often likes to write to music. Sometimes I pick an album that reflects the theme of the text I am writing while other times I choose a piece that represents the mood I am trying to achieve. Occasionally in the context of a particular scene I'll find a piece that I think fits it perfectly and put it on repeat until I've finished writing that scene.

As of the posting of this thread, my current writing project is the Derelict short story. The music that I've most often been listening to over the course of this project has been Michael McCann's score to the game X-Com: Enemy Unknown. I'm particularly fond of the Main Menu theme which strikes me as both mysterious and heroic with a futuristic bent, aspects that I think X-Com and my story share.

You can hear Mr. McCann's music at his website here. That link brings you to his sample page for "various clips" most of which are from X-Com. The track "Enemy Unknown" is the Menu Theme which I had mentioned.

Some of you may have read my character background of Mary Bexley. She was one of my roleplaying characters from a few years back whom I'm considering developing into the protagonist of a novel at some point in the future. Over the course of time several musical tracks have inspired me toward this end. Most recent was the "Success Montage" from Danny Elfman's score to the film Wanted. I'm not sure why but something about it just cries out "discovery" to me, which is a core component of Mary's motivations. She wants to be an explorer and an adventuress. She's always looking to see what's beyond the horizon. I think the answer lies in the title, "success" implies achievement and Mary is a person motivated to always be doing more or to be progressing to a new and better stage. Invention for Mary is no less heroic than that implied by McCann's fanfares above.

When in a more sombre mood, and when she's seriously perplexed by something and is determined to find a solution, the "In Memoriam" from Bruno Coulais excellent score to the excellent film Les Choristes (if you haven't seen it, by all means, go rent it on Netflix or something) I think fits well. I found a link on YouTube showing a live concert version here. To me this track calls to me of determination and in this respect perhaps better fits Mary's elder sister Agnes. Nevertheless, hearing this I can envision her walking down the streets of London, carrying books in the crook of her arm with the intent of poring over them in a candle-lit library, searching for some key in the dusty pages to unlock what secrets elude her.

Mary's story will ultimately include a Lovecraftian monster. Hans Zimmer composed a (disappointingly0 few tracks for the game Crysis 2. This one I found suitably creepy.

Anyway, I've established this thread for myself and others to share what music inspires us. It's sort of like a "What I'm Listening to Now" thread except that the music in question either motivates us or serves as a representation for our creative endeavours. Feel free to share your own such. I will periodically be updating the thread, myself as I write new scenes and develop more characters.
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 Posted: Jun 15 2013, 07:56 AM
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That's some good stuff. I'm not one of the people who can write to music, unfortunately - I tend to get too distracted by it.

Part of why is I really like to listen to all the nuances in a musical piece, part of why is that I dabble with being a musician so I subconsciously try to transcribe any piece I'm listening to whether I want to or not, and part of why is that I've also done some work as a mastering engineer so I subconsciously start commenting "ergh, that part could've been mixed better" or "that would've sounded better with the 8k band dropped a third of a dB and the stereo rotation panned a couple degrees to the left," and occasionally, "WHO THE @#^&* PUT THE #&(*ING LIMITER ON THE OUTPUT BUSS? I'D LIKE TO STRANGLE HIM!"

But anyway, again, nice selections.
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