Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Music & Writing (and some eye candy)
Here's your eye candy. I can explain.
Steve Almond's latest book has a soundtrack. Joe Hill's latest book has a soundtrack. A friend just sent me the soundtrack for one of his WIPs (which is currently and temporarily in my possession). Why the heck don't my stories have soundtracks?
Except they sort of do. I am, as my friend Lisa would say, a "binge listener." She and I both have a tendency towards "binge reading," in which we discover (or re-discover) an author we love and then devour everything that person has ever written. Or we fall in love with a certain type of book and then obsessively hunt down other books that are its match in some way. I am also a compulsive re-reader, so for big swatches of time I will read nothing but short stories from post WW2, or nothing but intellectual chick lit, or nothing but Stephen King/John Irving... you get the idea.
I take this to a greater extreme with music. I have trouble listening to music while writing because other (less literary) parts of my brain start yammering at me to pay attention to the lyrics or -- even more likely -- to step away from the computer and start dancing. But when I do listen to music while writing, I am very likely to put a single track on repeat. You'd think I'd get very sick of these songs, or perhaps go mad, but I don't. When something works, it works. And I stick with it.
Often, these songs are from movie soundtracks. (Ah, finally we explain the eye candy.) My current song is by Crawl, End Crawl by Four Tet, and you'll hear it as the end credits are rolling on Quantum of Solace. Another favorite end credits song of mine is Drive Away from Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Other soundtracks in my possession include but are not limited to: American Beauty, Strange Days, The Frighteners, Center Stage and Coyote Ugly.
Yes, Coyote Ugly is a terrible movie. Don't judge me. Sometimes you have to look beyond something bad in order to see something good. I used to choreograph to this music. Now I write to it. (And I still choreograph when I have the time.)
What are YOU listening to?