Do you make use of music when writing or reading? If so what book/album combinations are most memorable for you?
Many of my favourite books I have read over the years are unbreakably associated with particular albums. When I re-read the novel, I hear the music, and likewise when I hear the music I remember the novel. This bond is especially strong for me as I have a mild form of audio-visual synaesthesia.
I see sounds.
Different sounds cause different visual patterns. For instance if I hear a sharp sound I can see a criss-cross parquet style pattern (usually in black and white, but sometimes in colour). This normally only happens strongly when I am in the dark, but it can happen in very noisy rooms too. That might sound like a disadvantage, but it has always helped me pinpoint sounds and weave them into my (over active) imagination.
Despite that slight difference, I still assume I am not the only one who tightly binds books read and music listened too.
Of course, this means that music influences my writing greatly. I use it to reinforce the emotional core of a scene when I am writing it. I put together playlists based on the tone of the chapter I am about to write, though I might end up using that playlist for several chapters or more.
I mostly listen to tracks without vocals as I want to be careful not to unconsciously parrot what I have heard, though there are exceptions - mainly for music that is more complex and thoughtful.
Read on for my playlist!
- Scenes with an emotional theme: I go prog rock/post rock here with all the albums by VAST, "Element" and "Blood Red Tape" by Portal, A Perfect Circle, Faunts, as well as the amazing soundtrack to "Alan Wake" by Petri Alanko.
- Scenes with a high tech theme: I go EBM here with "Mass Effect 1 and 2" soundtracks (including the extra ME2 soundtracks), the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack by Daft Punk, all the albums by Mind.In.A.Box, Rotersand, VNV Nation and the "Mirror's Edge" computer game soundtrack by Solar Fields and Lisa Miskovsky, the "Neotokyo" soundtrack by Ed Harrison.
- Scenes with a horror theme: Goth and eerie choices here with "Floodland", by the Sisters of Mercy creeping in here, along with the soundtracks to the film "Session 9" (such a fabulous unnerving score) and the computer games soundtracks for "Dead Space" and "Dead Space 2". When the theme was less horror and more creeping fear, I listened to "28 Weeks later" by John Murphy.
- Scenes with a grand theme: "The Assassins Creed 1, 2, Brotherhood and Revelations" soundtracks were perfect here. Jesper Kyd is an amazing composer.
- Scenes with a espionage theme: "Splinter Cell Conviction" by Michael Nielsen,
- Scenes with an action theme: The Epic Score series, "Vendetta" by Jo Blankenburg, the soundtrack to "Bangkok Dangerous" by Brian Tyler (terrible, terrible movie, great soundtrack), "Medal of Honour" by Ramin Djawadi (mediocre game, amazing soundtrack). For something a bit more crunchy I listened to "Spray" by Sulpher, "Fallout" by Front Line Assembly, "Hybrid" by Gary Numan.