Thursday, May 3, 2012

Music to Write To

So many of us writers perform our magic with music in the background. For some, it's to drown out some of the outside noise. Others use it to help capture a certain mood and use as inspiration. For me, it's BOTH!

Below is some of my absolute most favorite stuff to write. My books normally have tons of action - always something happening, so I think my musical inspiration reflects that. I need dramatic, intense tunes to awaken my muse.

Yoshida Brothers "Storm." My current project (just sent off to the publisher Monday) is heavily influenced by Asian mythology. Since I love the fusion of old and new, "Storm" is just a perfect song to get me hyped up and ready to write something with action. Right at the 1:38 mark of this video, the song just explodes!



2 Cellos "The Resistance." As you can tell, I love stuff that turns the classics upside down on its head. The music in this piece is contemporary enough even for non-classical music lovers to enjoy. This song is aptly called "The Resistance," and is a cover of Muse's dystopian-laden song by the same title.

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Nero "My Eyes." Had to get a little electronica on here! This song is dramatic and dark. A good tune to listen to those who love dark paranormal, horror, or science fiction.





Epica "Dies Irea." Epica takes a classical song and just shreds the hell out of it. If you want music to write a fight or battle scene to, you need to listen to this "epical" song. It's great music to fight demons to!





Craig Armstrong "Escape." My final song is AMAZING. This song was used in the pilot episode of Dark Angel and has also been used in film trailers for Spiderman 2 and Daredevil. A few Premiere League and Rugby teams will play "Escape" for their entrance music. Craig Armstrong has composed scores for tons of movies including Romeo + Juliet, Kiss of the Dragon, and The Incredible Hulk.

Why? Because it starts off subtle, but the drums remind you of soldiers entering the battlefield. You just imagine warriors carrying their weapons, saying their final prayers, and tasting death.

33 comments:

Brinda said...

I love your selections. You're right. That first one does rev up at that 1:30 mark. I also like the cello sound done with the Muse song. I'm a Muse fan to begin with. I'll have to add these to my playlist.

Laura Eno said...

That's quite a collection! I've gotten out of the habit of listening to music, preferring sounds like waterfalls or chants but the moods aren't there. I'll have to rethink my choices.

Julie Dao said...

AWESOME. I haven't heard of any of these songs/groups, so I'll definitely be listening and adding to my writing playlist! Thanks for sharing, Jay!

Jay Noel said...

Brinda: Sure does. Love the dueling cellos too. Very intense.

Laura: I LOVE waterfalls, but I listen to it to help me sleep (along with the sound of rain and whitenoise). Gregorian chants are good for clearing your house of negative energy too.

Jay Noel said...

Julie: You are very welcome, Julie.

Matthew MacNish said...

Holy crap. That first track is so dope. It probably helps that I'm a sucker for Kanji/Hanzi.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Epica "Dies Irea" - you totally rock Jay!!!!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Thanks for introducing me to the Yoshida Brothers. I really liked that piece.

T. S. Bazelli said...

The last one gave me shivers. Aweseome!

Ciara said...

I'm a dance music kind of girl, so I haven't heard of these. I loved the Cello music, though. I know, I'm so uncultured. :)

Rusty Webb said...

And I'm totally not in a place where I can listen to any of this stuff. I'll come back later to check it out.

Kelly Barnes said...

I've been looking for music to use for an interpretive pantomime, and "Escape" by Craig Armstrong is now on the short list.

I liked "The Resistance" as well.

Vero said...

Great music, Jay! And you kinda beat me to the post by half a day > I rage about it on my blog, but I still love your taste in music!

It give a sort of life to the jumble of words inside of us, doesn't it?

Joshua said...

Definitely to drown out noise, especially those of the voices in my head. Nothing with lyrics, though, otherwise they start singing along. Usually some Rachmaninoff or Philip Glass.

Jay Noel said...

Matthew: Nintendo used one of their song in their initial advertising. Their music is fantastic.

Alex: I knew you'd like that one.

Michael: You're welcome!

T.S. I listened to some of his other work. It's amazing. Perfect backdrop for writing an adventure story.

Ciara: I am too. Big electronica fan here. Tiesto and BT are my faves.

Jay Noel said...

Rusty: Understood, Captain.

Kelly: Glad I could help.

Vero: Sure does. I'll check out your post then!

Joshua: Exactly. I have issue with lyrics. They can throw me off too.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooh i particularly liked the Storms song

Leigha David said...

I dig all of these music choices! And as much as I love Nero, I can't believe I haven't heard "My Eyes" until just now. Amazing!

My background music usually consists of Two Steps From Hell, Within Temptation, Delerium, or whatever has me inspired in the moment. Right now I have "Sleepless (feat. Savvy)" by Excision and "Satellite (Seven Lions Remix)" by Oceanlab on repeat.

I honestly don't think I could write without music to fuel my muses. :)

Tiyana, aka 'Yoyo' said...

Very dramatic!

My lil sis just introduced me to 2 Cellos the other day--intense!

Jay Noel said...

Sarah: Whenever I listen to it in the car, I tend to speed!

Leigha: We have identical tastes in music. LOVE "Two Steps From Hell." I have it as a channel on Pandora.

Tiyana: They were also on Glee. Isn't that funny?

nutschell said...

for me its both as well. I usually write to jim brickman or some other instrumental music. Music with lyrics distract more than help:)
Happy weekend!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Jenny Morris said...

I use music all the time. When I'm writing I will pick songs off the radio and sort them by the character that would listen to them. It really helps me get in that characters mind.

Jay Noel said...

nutshell: I love Jim Brickman when I'm trying to chill out and relax. But I need some real killer stuff when I write.

Jenny: Huh, that's a great idea!

The Desert Rocks said...

I need morgue style silence. Must be why I moved to the desert. In fact, I think we have a roof rat.

Mr. Shife said...

Dude. Awesome songs. Thanks for sharing. I think the first one and the last one are my favorites. I really dig that "Storm" song, and this is going to be added to the iTunes collection as soon as possible.

DEZMOND said...

I've always loved me epic music! I'm planning on doing a post on best epic movie songs one of these days :)

Jay Noel said...

Eve: So now you're writing to the sounds of little pitter patters above you?

Shife: Awesome. Just try not to speed while listening to "Storm" when you're driving.

Dez: That would be a great post!

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for sharing all these videos; I haven't listened to any of these pieces before, and they're amazing.

Jay Noel said...

Eagle: You are welcome!

Nina Chipper said...

Yea, as for me it's both. There are times that it is really good to write with music but sometimes it can irritate you. Depends on how you control your mood I guess.

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! These are some powerful tunes. No wonder you find them inspiring. I love to write to music and pick a selection based on what the story calls for. I wrote 60's tale about a guitar player and a nurse just returned from Vietnam and listened to a lot of rock music from that era.

Jay Noel said...

Melissa: That's so cool. I think music can really inspire writing - especially the way you used it.

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