Tuesday, February 07, 2017

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 7: Writing Music

Ahhhh, writing music.

Some writers cannot write while music is playing, but I, fortunately, am not of that breed. I usually avoid music with lyrics while I'm writing, but that is certainly not always the case. So, without further ado, let me share with you some of my absolute favorites when it comes to writing music.


From their website, Audiomachine is "a boutique, motion picture advertising music collective, specializing in original epic music and bone crunching sound design for theatrical trailers, television commercials and video game advertising campaigns." Audiomachine is my go-to writing music. I own every single one of their albums, and I think each track of theirs has 50+ plays in iTunes (with the exception of their newest albums).

I love their music first and foremost because it is awesome—"epic" to say the least. It's powerful, atmospheric, and conveys a number of different tones that are all perfect for writing dark epic fantasy. But I also love their music because I don't really associate it with anything--while I'll occasionally recognize a track of theirs on a movie or video game trailer, most of their music is not on official soundtracks, but on their own albums. This means that, for all intents and purposes, their music is the soundtrack to my writing. That's how I think of it, anyway, and it's pretty cool to (pretend to) have your own soundtrack, I must say.

Their most popular album is Chronicles, and that is a great one, but my current favorites are actually Phenomena, Decimus, and Magnus: B-Sides. If you are a writer of fantasy of any kind, and you remotely like music at all, you NEED to check them out.

Max Richter

Did you see Arrival? Did you wonder what that gorgeous composition was that opened and closed the film? I did, and that's how I came across Max Richter. (That track from Arrival is called "On the Nature of Daylight," by the way, by Max Richter of course. You're welcome.) Richter's music is subdued and subtle, but impeccably composed and capable of moments of great power. When I want music that isn't quite as bold as Audiomachine, I go straight to Max Richter. I've particularly fallen in love with his magnum opus, Sleep--an eight-hour tour de force that I've now listened to many times over.

Soundtracks (particularly from Game of Thrones)

While I enjoy soundtracks to a lesser extent, they do provide some variety to my typical Audiomachine- and Max Richter-induced music euphorias. My favorites include just about any season's soundtrack to the television show Game of Thrones (Ramin Djawadi is incredible) and the Skyrim video game soundtrack (which is surprisingly atmospheric). Both are worth a listen.

Sigur Rós

I've talked about Sigur Rós before, and they are easily one of my all-time favorite bands. The only problem with listening to Sigur Rós while writing, however, is that sometimes I get too into the music. SR creates the type of music in which you need to fully immerse yourself to fully appreciate. I like listening to them when I'm brainstorming and world building, and sometimes when I'm outlining, but I rarely listen to them when I'm full-on composing (unless a song of theirs fits perfectly the scene I'm writing, which has actually happened on a few occasions).

So, if you haven't listened to Sigur Rós, they are an absolute must. They are one of the true sources of beauty in this world. Buy an album of theirs, turn up the highest-quality stereo or headphones you own, turn all the lights off, find a comfy chair, and let their music take you.

No comments:

Post a Comment