Music…and Writing

It’s amazing the power music can have over a person. The ability to conjure up memories, long forgotten ones, repressed ones and, most often, cherished ones. Then there are times when the memory cannot be accessed and deep emotion is called forth instead, so strong and real it’s like it’s happening for the first time.

I’m sure everyone has at one point in their lives been asked the inane question, “If you could choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?” Frankly I’d rather be neither, but there you have it. Now, if being made to answer I would have to say I’d rather lose my sight than my hearing (knock on wood). I suppose many who know me would be surprised by that, after all it is a well known fact that I am never as happy as I am when I have a book to read. But then with today’s technology books can be accessed in so many ways; Braille is of course the age old option, although I’m not sure how much fiction is published in Braille. Then there is the firm favourite, audio books, my current favourite audio book(s) is the Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry, I actually prefer listening to Fry read them than read myself now (well, except for his Tonks voice, I mean, come on!). But back to the subject at hand, blindness wouldn’t stop my reading. Being deaf on the other hand would mean no more sound; to never again hear the love of your life telling you how much he loves you, never hearing your name called out unexpectedly in the street by an old friend, never again recalling fond memories when hearing a song for the first time in years or making new memories with new songs. Of course there are many ‘never agains’ with being blind too, but none of those seem as important to me.

I was watching a film called August Rush the other day, which tells the story of an 11 year old boy who lives at a boys home outside NYC. He hears music in everything and is convinced music will lead him to his lost parents. The film starts by explaining his parents circumstances and why he’s not with them, and then begins the journey to find them. What I really loved about the film was how fitting the music was, a lot of the themes start out as normal city noise and then it’s all put together, making music the main character of the story and the film. The actually human relationships and plot of the story is forgettable, there are dozens of similar films out there, but as pure entertainment and fluff it’s definitely watchable. But no, it really needs to be watched for the music, using everyday noise as a basis for the soundtrack of our lives, culminating in August’s Rhapsody at the end. So while on the one hand it’s a story about a boy looking for his lost parents, the main story has to be music and how it influences our lives. Did I cry? Well of course, I cry at the drop of a hat remember.

Hmm, well the point of this post was really just to say how much I love music. As always I end up going off topic for a while, but hopefully it all makes sense. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of scores, the Twilight, Torchwood and Doctor Who 1-4 scores being played rather a lot these days. For me it’s the best music to write to, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and I try to download a wide variety of them. In this task my DH helps a lot, he has pretty much all the scores from his xBox games and a few of those songs are ones I’d actually listen to. Then there is the excellent web radio, Radio Rivendell, which plays game and film scores all day long, since we don’t have the internet in our place it is a rare treat for me to listen to, but seriously if you are likewise inclined check it out. It definitely is a firm favourite amongst the NaNoWriMo Fantasy writers, though I find it works just as well when writing Historical fiction.

Talking of fiction, the last few weeks have been filled with sleepless nights, yet again. The Writeroom app on my iPhone is getting a lot of use as story ideas, plots and characters keep invading my brain, and you know that’s great and all. Except I have about 6 stories unfinished that have just stopped, how about I get some inspiration for them, huh? At the moment though I can’t get to most of my files as they are on the mac and in Scrivener, and I don’t have a monitor for it where we are now. I knew using the TV as a monitor was a bad idea, how am I gonna lug around a 32″ flat screen? I’m sure I’ll find a way, where there is a will and all that. Besides I have quite a few handwritten things to type up at the moment, my ‘epic’ Forgotten Enemy springs to mind, epic because it’s now 10 years since I started writing it. I still have 50 pages of handwritten story, the first few chapters actually, waiting to be typed up and the writing is becoming faded so I should get it done sooner rather than later.

Basically, it’s not like I have nothing to do or write. I could even do some house work, let me just hook up the iPod first.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Andrew Webber
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 19:40:10

    “It’s amazing the power music can have over a person. The ability to conjure up memories…”

    SO very true.

    Music tends to move beyond simple nostalgia, it very nearly opens a dimensional space back to the moment you were first exposed to the notes that are leaking out of the stereo, from here, in 2009.

    It happens to me when I hear R.E.M’s 1991 “Losing my religion”.

    I was employed at that time by my uncle to help him renovate his old bluestone house in Richmond, Melbourne. My job at that time was to dig out the 150 years old dirt underneath the house, and then concrete the walls to help underpin them.

    It was cold, wet and dirty work, but it paid well, and I was able to work alone (something I enjoy).

    Every time I hear the opening bars of the song, I remember that time I spent in the dim lit spaces below the house, and the little single speaker radio that we had running there throughout the day…and if I allow myself to stop and allow the music to wash into me, I can smell the Richmond earth, and feel the weight of the barrow as I pushed it along the timber planking to the sunlight – with the tinny sound of the radio buzzing away…

    …for a while – I am 17 again.

    In the notes of that song, I will always be 17 and for that I will always be blessed.

    🙂

    Reply

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