Bringing a Story to Life – Music to My Ears

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Where words fail, music speaks.   – Hans Christian Andersen

 

Even as a writer I find it difficult to adequately describe the impact music has had on my life.

 

 

 

Listening.  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t listening to music.  From 8-track tapes to mp3s, listening to music has been a significant part of my life.

My first concert was Rod Steward at Pine Knob Amphitheatre.

Watching.  I loved watching Name That Tune.

I was always impressed by contestants who could name a song in three notes or less.

I loved the MTV shorts in which viewers were to guess the year, of three choices, based on musical trivia.

I rarely answered got it wrong.

Playing.  I played b-flat clarinet in a band and an orchestra.

I played clarinet for 13 years.  I also learned snare drum, took piano lessons, and fiddled with tenor sax for awhile. 

I love music, and playing an instrument can be relaxing, but it’s not my gift.

Living.  Some people recall where they were when a certain event happened.  I can recall where I was and what was going on in the world based on what songs were on the radio.

Alas, I don’t spend much time listening to radio anymore but that doesn’t mean music is any less of a gift for me.

Entertaining.  A number of movies have used music as a way to move the story forward.

High Fidelity is a fun, tongue-in-cheek example of the role music can play in someone’s life.  Electric Dreams shows how music can bring people together.

Throughout Metatron’s Army: Advantage, I use music to ground the character, and the reader, by providing perspective.

The Metatron’s Army series deals with multiple universes and multiple timelines, making perspective important.

Writing.  Shortly after I began working on Metatron’s Army: Advantage, certain songs popped into my head.  When they continued to mentally repeat, over and over, I compiled a play list.  Within a short time, I had my own soundtrack.

It was uncanny how the songs matched the scenes, the characters, the plot elements.

This has continued right up until the current work, Metatron’s Army: Positional Play.

Fourth in the Metatron’s Army epic.

Interestingly, the songs pop into my head before I even start writing.

Yet they perfectly match the mood and action of what I’m working on.

I’m not consciously creating the soundtrack.

There is no forethought that goes into choosing a song.  

Sometimes, I haven’t heard a song for decades.

Recently, a song popped into my head in the middle of the night.  It was from the 70s and at first I only heard the melody.  It took me until the morning before I remembered some of the lyrics.  Fortunately, I caught some shut eye in between.  I did a lyrics search on Google to get the name of the song then went to YouTube to watch/listen to it.

Not every song makes it into the playlist.

I read the lyrics of the 70s song while listening ,to determine if there was a relevance.  This time, nothing stood out and the tune didn’t end up in the playlist.

Instrumental.  Although the tunes in the playlist I made all have lyrics, the music that best defines the series, to me, is instrumental.

Coincidence or not, Nigel Stanford’s Solar Echoes, perfectly defines key scenes, including the opening of the book which matches nicely to Entropy, to me.

The music in the book trailers is also instrumental.

I have just released a new trailer for Metatron’s Army: Advantage.

The other trailer applies to the overall series.

Though I’m working on the fourth book, the second, Metatron’s Army: Bishop Pair, will arrive Spring 2017.

**  This is The Moody Blues is one of my all-time favorite albums, along with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer Works, The Beatles Rubber Soul, and Fleetwood Mac Rumors.

 

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