January 20, 2008

The Amazon strikes again

This morning, in the aftermath of last night's concert shenanigan's, I'd have to sum it up as I like Bon Jovi but am annoyed that the venue and mix turned what should've been a great concert into a reasonable one.

But moving on, as I was consuming caffeine and trying to wake up this morning, the girls started nagging about music for the Witch book and how it wasn't right yet. Picky, these girls.

I write to music 90% of the time, so yes, they're right, the music needs to work for the book. But this book is hard. I posted last year about needing witchy demon music but just haven't found it.

It's weird. My contemporary stuff is pretty much written to rock/pop and a bit of country. Songs that tell me something about the character, their story or the mood they're in. The odd bit of High Focus or Brain Power when I really want to just zone out and pump out words.

But with the paranormal and fantasy stuff, things have started to change. It started with Wolf 1, where I was walking through Borders in Carlton with the VT and heard a song that was instantly the protag from the book. (Angel by Massive Attack, if you're interested). There was just something about it that caught a sense of menace for me. But the rest of that book was still rock/pop etc.

Then the muse started throwing up other UF and straight fantasy ideas. And putting together the soundtrack for the biggest of the fantasy ones, led me to Lisa Gerrard and Vas and Adam Hurst in amongst the more contemporary stuff. That soundtrack is still a work in progress.

By the time I got to Wolf 2, the girls insisted I needed big chunks of the Pirates of the Carribean 3 soundtrack in there (what pirates have to do with werewolves escapes me but it works for the girls, so I will not argue).

And then, I started trying to put together the Witch book soundtrack. The girls pointed to Massive Attack and said "kinda but not quite". This is not helpful. I don't listen to much electronic/dance stuff. Never have. Never was a clubber or raver or any of that stuff. I know bits and pieces from the radio, bits and pieces from movies. I own some Moby, some chillout stuff (but chillout is so not what the book wants) and some new age stuff a la clannad and enya and riverdance and secret garden and various meditation-y stuff (and ditto re so not right) and that's about it. I don't know this music so I can't say I want some x and y and z. Frustration. Keri writes to Enigma a lot but that isn't right for this either. Not dark enough. Some of the stuff for the fantasy book is close in mood (particularly the Adam Hurst) but not the right sound.

I couldn't even figure out why I suddenly need this sort of soundscapey/ambient/instrumental music for these books until it hit me today that it's because I don't just need it to evoke the characters but I need it to evoke the WORLDS (which seems completely obvious NOW of course). With these books, unlike the contemps, we're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy, so I need stuff to take the brain away form here and now as well as tell me about the characters. Writing, btw, is complicated.

Rock and pop still mostly works for the Wolf books because that world is pretty much here and now with added beasties. There are some tech/medical/social differences because of the beasties but it's not far removed.

But the fantasy books are whole other worlds, hence the otherwordly music I found. And the Witch book is here and now shoved forward 30 odd years with magic. Lots of differences. Oh, and demons. So I need sound that evokes the future and the weird stuff. The demons themselves and why I insist on bad guys that freak me out are a whole 'nother post.

Anyway, witchy demon music. Hard to find when you have no clue about ambient/electronic stuff. But then this morning, like I said, I was drinking caffeine and thinking and reading blogs and the ever brilliant Heidi (who is the one who introduced the Cherries to Curio and for that alone is a writing goddess) was talking about her wip music and mentioned Delerium. Which I duly investigated on iTunes and, hallelujah, that is more like it. I will be purchasing some Delerium for sure.

And then my brain finally kicked into gear and thought "you know, if you google dark electronic music,you'll probably find stuff" (told you my brain was broken for the last few months of last year). So I did and have spent two hours or so checking out lots of strange things this morning and compiling lists for future reference. A lot of dark ambient stuff but then also a reminder about people like Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Though Vangelis has some particular emotional resonances for me, which I discovered today when I kept having to stop the iTunes previews because they were making me nervous and sad. Which, no doubt, means the girls will insist on it at some point. Oh joy. And really goes to prove that music is an emotional key for me and that's why I use it to write to.

I've also got a list of soundtracks to acquire. I like soundtracks, well, scores I guess, generally. Again, not quite right for this - too orchestral and full blown I'm thinking but good for future use hopefully.

But enough with the long rambling. I have the start of witchy demon music. I have a collage that's taking shape. So now I need the words to start piling up as well.

Time for butt in chair, hands on keyboard of the non-blogging variety.

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