Sunday, May 14, 2006

Chasons Du Mai


Poetry, music, song.
Inextricably entwine the creative process.
How not?

You'll know who I am
by the songs that I sing...

So it's no surprise that writers often comment on the type of music they play to energize the process and drive their imagination. Pensive iPod's. Driving drum-beat disks.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain,
I've seen sunny days I thought would never end...

Heart harmony.
Echos in the soul.

Other arms reach out to me...
The road leads back to you...

Music moves me.
Like some tribal memory, like a spell.
Too gentle on my mind.

The cost of love's too dear...

One reason I can never play any when I work.
Another is I have to be able to hear if my husband has keeled over on the kitchen floor.

Another writer told me that one matchless, beautiful song, Unchained Melody, expressed the essence of his novel.

Oh my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch,
a long, lonely time...
wait for me...

Be still, my heart.
Let's focus, not on cause, but effect.
Is there a song that interprets your novel? Relates to it in a profound and essential way?
One that the lines could stand as epigramical chapter headings?

I had thought If You Could Read My Mind fitted mine.

A castle dark, a fortress strong,
with chains upon my feet,
You know that ghost is me...

Can you find and name your own exclusive, elusive melody?

27 comments:

ali said...

Nope. I keep looking for it, but so far haven't been able to find the 'perfect' tune.

Dennie McDonald said...

Honky tonk Badonk-a-donk??? Naw - kidding... (it's too early in the morning)

Erik Ivan James said...

You've stirred my thinking this early Sunday morn. Good topic, good post. I suspect that most of us have not thought about how our favorite music may be at least implied in our writings. But, I'll bet it's there.

Bernita said...

I'm sure it is, Erik.

What are you doing here, Dennie?
You should be lolling in bed with breakfast on a tray.

Doesn't have to be just one, Ali.

Mark Pettus said...

If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing that I'd like to do,
Is to save every day
like a treasure and then,
Again I would spend them with you.

Bernita said...

Jim Croce.
Affirmation of love.
Thank you, Mark.

kmfrontain said...

Not for every and all writing, no. I can't. I've had cd's or artists that fit a particular novel. I was listening to Gorillaz, Dare, for most of Loved Him 1, and to Skinny Puppy's Rodent DDT mix, for most of the last volume I wrote in my Soulstone epic. Robbie Williams and Gorllaz got in there for Tristan. Seldom do I write to music that is soft, but then I don't take soft subjects either. Hmmm. Classics to write something less stressful for my characters? Likely I'll only end up listening to violent classics like In the Halls of the Mountain King, or Bald Mountain (I think it's Bald Mountain). However...Delibes Lakme Flower Duet; there's something nicely mysterious about that one. :D

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Dennie McDonald said...

are you kidding me - I was the first one up ( made breakfast - which consisted of opening s box of donuts!) - dad got up 30 min later then went to work - as usual here!

Bernita said...

Dammit, Dennie, you deserve a little spoiling now and then.

But does this music capsulize your various novels, KM? or is it what you listen to AS you write?

Dennie McDonald said...

next weekend... I'm going stalking w/ Cece, so all is good!

Bernita said...

Glad of that.
Cece is a sweetheart - and fun.

Rick said...

"I vow to thee my country," AKA the Jupiter theme from The Planets serves as my Catherine theme song, though I also have a medley of other stuff to play while working.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Hah! :-) I love this topic...

Most recently completed novel: Crush 'Em, by Megadeth.

The one before that was the main theme from Last of the Mohicans.

Haven't put a finger on the current one yet and I'm almost done with the draft...

Thanks for the great post, Bernita. I always love to hear what other authors are listening to!

Bernita said...

Excellent, Rick, from what I have deduced about your Catherine.

It's another layer, another focus,another distillation, SW.
Thank you.

Gabriele C. said...

Opera works for me all the time. I do have some operas I prefer with certain projects, or certain scenes, but basically everything in my collection goes. Sometimes also Russian folk songs, German lieds, my Enya CD, and orchestral music.

kmfrontain said...

No, I can't name any music that capsulizes perfectly any of the work I do. Maybe Chicago's Glory of Love, I don't know. Nice lyrics, but not what I wrote any of the stories to. Too soft, the music, I mean.

Martyn said...

Mine would be Northern Sky by Nick Drake. He's singing about a relationship, but the line;

"and now you're here, brighten my Northern sky", always makes me think of those rare moments of complete flow when I'm writing, usually poetry.

Ric said...

Used a clip from Jody Girl, by Bob Seger, in my last novel.

About a busy housewife thinking back to the carefree days of high school.

Captures the mood.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

A tune...Auh....Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye...LOL!

Lisa Hunter said...

I'm with Gabrielle on opera, particularly a snippet of aria in La Boheme: What do I do? I write. And how do I live? I live.

Bernita said...

Hmmm, the question was not what you write by, but what song or songs might serve to symbolize your work - something similar to a musical elevator pitch, I suppose.

Nevertheless, I can see there's an operatic quality to Gabriele's historical sweep and conflict, and Ric explores the nuanced sweetness and regret of memory.
Bonnie deals with verve and violence.

I might say, too uncomplicated, too simple, KM, for your stories.As you say, too soft.

The process itself, like Aurora Borealis, Martyn, from what I've read of your poetry.

I like that, Lisa, works even for non-fiction.

For The Trees said...

There's an electronic synthesizer piece by Gandalf on Real Music records titled "Rythym of the Tides" that really speaks of this current novel. Somehow the ebb and flow of the wordless music just makes the story flow, too.

I very seldom write to a song with words - mostly because I get the words going in a loop in my mind and can't get the damn melody/words out no matter how hard I try. So I put on the wordless stuff and let it flow all around me like water around rocks. Very soothing.

Then there are the short stories I write around a song, that hopefully illustrate a facet of the words...

Bernita said...

Excellent, Forrest - you caught all three.
I have the same problem with the imprint/distraction too.
If I were to pick an instrumental I would go with "Stranger on the Shore" and the sax for mine.

nessili said...

"Black Stairs" by Clannad inspired an entire book. Since I can't find the official story behind the words, I had to make up my own. A beautifully haunting song.

"Coyote Run," off Leahy's In All Things album is starting to ferment in my head as a possible starting point too.

Sting's "Ghost Story" (on Brand New Day) is another song that begs for a story to be told about it.

Bernita said...

Clannad certainly offers fey and fertile ground for inspiration, Nessili.
Thank you.

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