Thursday, March 19, 2009

Soundtracks or Music and Creativity

Back over a month ago I was having a chat with DS1's art teacher. He was suggesting that DS1 listen less to his ipod while working to allow the creativity to flow unhindered just for a bit. That led to an interesting discussion and one that was at the forefront of my thoughts.

I know several writers have clear sound tracks for their novels (click on the names for the link) - Julia Williams and Elizabeth Chadwick and I know Julie Cohen may not have a soundtrack as such but music plays a key part in writing for her.

Now I can't listen to music during the first draft unless it is classical music I am so familiar with that it soothes and in truth goes through me. It does not take an active part of my brain to interact with it. However I have discovered during this rewrite of August Rock that music has really hit me. I will hear a song and think -YES!! Whether it is the lyrics or the tone or the voice its self something has jumped out and said August Rock. So I know have a sound track for it which is growing. I find that listening to it helps me carve more definition in the story.

Now going back to the discussion with the art teacher and DS1, I mentioned this aspect - the carving-fine tuning and the teacher said that he could see that working and possibly being helpful at that stage. DS1 looked a bit sceptical but he was willing to give it a go - although I think it meant surgical removal of the ear buds!

Also playing into this is the comment that I made to DH after seeing the Watchmen the other night. I thought it was a brilliant soundtrack. The music truly enhanced the film for me. I can say the same of the soundtrack to Twilight which thanks to dd's fascination I have seen four or five times (The baseball scene with the Muse's Supermassive Black Hole is stunning). Are there any films that you feel the soundtrack has either killed the film or set it on fire?

For the curious the sound track for August Rock is:

Broken String - James Morrison and Nelly Furtado
Breakeven - The Script
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
Gotta be Somebody - Nickelback
I'm With You - Avril Lavinge
Greatest Day - Take That

Do you have soundtracks for your work? Do you listen when you write?


Nell Dixon said...

I had a signature tune for Animal Instincts - It was the Sugababes and I know how I feel about you now. For Crystal Clear I have a soundtrack,
Radio Nowhere, Girls in their summer clothes and waiting on a sunny day - all Bruce Springsteen. I love it when you call - The Feeling, All summer long - Kid Rock, Photograph - Nickelback and What I go to school for - Busted.

Flowerpot said...

I can't listen to anything while I write - I have to have utter silence, but I'd never thought about a soundtrack. I'll let you know!

Captain Black said...

One word: prog!

ChrisH said...

Like Fp, I need silence for the initial rush... but that's an interesting idea about using a soundtrack to fine tune. Might have to give it a go!

JJ Beattie said...

I can't write or edit to any music at all. Must have silence. (I'd also prefer an empty apartment!)

Debs said...

I can't listen to anything when I write, apart from the dog snoring,.

Yummy Mammy said...

I can't listen to anything at all while I write, but I do have a very clear soundtrack running around in my head for everything I write, and only yesterday I even blogged about a band I like and I'd chosen a track on their new album. In my own mind I've also picked an old tune and know the band I want to do the cover version.

It's great living in dream world sometimes :-)

Fiona said...

I can only listen to classical music when I write but I prefer silence.

Before I write, when I'm thinking through a scene, I play sad old pop songs. Midnight Train to Georgia has me blubbing into my notebook.

Un Peu Loufoque said...

I can not work with music on, I need if not silence then only background buzz of life. Watched Wallander on DVD ( we don't have UK TV here) and the sound track was dire for me, real music to slit your wrists by and intrusive!

Tam said...

I think I'm so used to drowning out distractions I wouldn't hear any music if I had it on.

That said, music is a big part of my teen book and I'm currently amusing myself picking out songs for the (as yet uncommissioned) film :-)

julie Cohen said...

I do a soundtrack on iTunes for every book. Mostly I don't even hear the songs while they're on, it's just to program my brain into thinking about the story.

The embarrassing thing is that the songs are generally so naff and unhip that it would be quite embarrassing for my readers to know most of them. :-/

KAREN said...

I don't mind music in the background when I'm writing, but it has to be very, very quiet otherwise I get distracted!

The English Writer said...

I think alot of writer's have a soundtrack when they write, I certainly do, and I'm a huge fan of Julia's (Williams) book soundtracks, she has immaculate taste in music! But I can only listen to Classical too when I'm drafting otherwise I become too distracted! Although when I wrote "A Love That Makes Life Drunk" I was actually listening to The Kooks and Angels and Airwaves.