Like a lot of other writers, I listen to music while I write. Creative people like writers often enjoy other artistic endeavors as well, i.e., music, art, or film. Unlike a lot of other writers, I am also a musician. I have sung lead vocal in a few bands, and even played drums in a few. I also play piano. This parallel love of music and writing however, can sometimes cause problems as they cross paths. Often, the music I love to listen to prevents me from writing what, or how, I want to write.
Case in point – Pride and Prejudice. I absolutely love the score to the 2006 version of the film and listen to it often, BUT, I’m not writing anything like Jane Austen or that book. So I can’t listen to it while I’m writing. The composer of that score though, has done many films, and I found one that I can listen to while I write – Atonement. It even has the sound of a person typing on an old typewriter in some of the selections, which can be very inspiring to get me moving on my own keyboard. The composer, by the way, is Dario Marianelli, and I highly recommend him.
Another problem is regular music. You know, with people actually singing and stuff. Can’t do it while I write. I find myself singing along in my head, and of course, that’s not conducive to writing anything. Even if I don’t know the lyrics, my mind will stretch to try to figure out what they’re saying, no matter how unintelligible. It’s a useless exercise.
Besides Atonement by Dario Marionelli, I’ve found a few other scores that work – The Duchess by Rachel Portman is one. Still a bit of a period piece, but there are mysterious selections, which fit into what I’m writing. I need to greatly expand my current selection, and find other mystery/thriller-type movies that might have decent scores.
Writing and music go hand in hand for me, and ‘setting the table’ so to speak, will work wonders with my prose…now I’m off to find another score, and write another chapter.