Well hello there! It’s been a long couple of weeks. Winter has hit where I live, and I swear it’s twice as cold right now as it was last year. (Apparently that’s not actually true – I just seem to feel the cold a lot more than I ever used to. It sucks.)
Really, all I ever want to do in winter is curl up under my blanket with a big mug of hot chocolate and read a good book while listening to some good music. Yes, I read and listen to music at the same time. Complete silence bothers me.
Of course, I have favourite things to listen to while reading. Usually instrumental music or ambient stuff. (If you haven’t already, check out http://www.ambient-mixer.com. It’s a free library of ambient sound and is fantastic for working, studying or reading a book. The ‘Hufflepuff Common Room’ is a particular favourite of mine.)
But, there are certain things I love to listen to while writing as well. Yep, ambient stuff is great, but I also search high and low for songs that relate to what I’m writing about. On rare occasions, however, I find something remarkable. And entire album that works for the book I’m working on. Those albums are often played while I’m writing. So I thought, for this weeks blog post, I would share with you 5 of the albums which are currently on my rotation. Let’s see what we can find…
Kamelot is one of my favourite symphonic metal bands, and they have a lot of songs which make it into my writing playlist. This album stands out for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I actually own the CD, so I listened to it quite a bit in the car when I first got it. (Yep, I still buy CDs. There’s just something about holding a physical copy of my music, you know?) But secondly, almost every song on this relates in some way to one of the stories I’m working on. I can’t actually say much on that until said story is released, but you know…
This is another symphonic metal album, but a completely different era. This album, as the title suggests, has a lot of nature-related lyrics, but it also has a real fantasy feel about it. Because of that, I love to use this when writing fantasy. This is also an album that relates quite well to another of my stories – which I can’t tell you about yet. Sorry. (Well, not really.)
I love movie soundtracks. I really do. And I love to write to them, because there’s no words and sometimes that’s really useful. This is my current go-to instrumental album at the moment. There’s a bit of everything on this soundtrack, there’s the nice pretty stuff, the epic orchestral pieces, and then there’s that piece A Long Strange Trip which just makes me feel really uneasy. Which is kind of the point of that piece, so I can’t help but admire that.
This album is, in my opinion, just plain cool. Hidden Citizens have taken a bunch of pop hits and turned them into ‘epic trailer versions’. Which really, is a lot of fun. It’s also extremely creative – taking a song like Hungry Like the Wolf and making it, well, epic, takes some skill. And I love to listen to this in scenes where I’m trying to create tension or build up to something.
You know, I was planning on using a pop album for this last spot. But apparently I don’t really listen to pop when writing – go figure. (I don’t actually have any sort of genre preferences, but apparently when writing I do.) So what shall we have instead? Christian Rock. Because why not? (Side note: I’m not Christian, this stuff can be listened to by anyone of any religion. It just happens to be the genre.) This is an album that just generally makes me feel good – it’s overall quite positive and uplifting, and many of the songs have a really good beat. So when I’m on a roll and just want a good beat in the background, this is one of the albums I go to.
So there you have it! The titles of each album should (if I’ve set this up correctly) link you to the spotify page of each album, so if you feel like checking any of the albums out, just give it a click. And if you have any albums that you think would be great to write to, definitely let me know! I’m always on the hunt for new great music. And who knows, maybe there’ll be another instalment with some very different music…