(Reed’s playlist for the occasion: O Green World by The Gorillaz)
Music and writing make up the core of my artistic passions. I have done both since I was ten years old, and to me they are the married couple of self-expression: music, the perfect encapsulation of emotion through tone and rhythm; writing, the expression of truth through narrative.
Okay, that sounded a little floaty. But I’m leaving it in.
I don’t want to talk about my favorite music, or my horrible history of songwriting (although those things might come out in other posts). I just want to talk about my favorite music to write to.
Writers, if you don’t write to music, you are a strange and fascinating creature to me. I spent a lot of high school writing in absolute silence because I would always end up writing the lyrics to the song I was listening to into my project. But one fateful day in the middle of college, I realized something.
Some music is instrumental.
I know it sounds crazy. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
All jokes aside, I started listening to a bit of thematic music when I was writing – at first just the score to Inception (a movie which deserves ten separate posts on here). But I’ve expanded not just to movie soundtracks but also videogames, television, and other media. Here’s my list, tailored to occasion:
General writing: the Zelda Reorchestrated full soundtrack for Twilight Princess on repeat. There’s a youtube playlist floating around somewhere, but I usually just choose songs at random.
Writing a world/description: the “Journey” official soundtrack (the game, not the band, dingus.)
Writing a villain: “The Light of the Seven” from Game of Thrones
Emotional content: “Time” from the Inception OST
Writing a furious character venting emotion: “The Last Lost Continent” by La Dispute (Side note: this is mostly spoken-word style hardcore music, so it won’t work for most people)
The interactions of two characters who can’t admit they’re in love: This specific version of “Peer Pressure” from Eternal Sunshine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCRlOQvk4m8
Badass action sequences: “Red Like Roses”, parts 1 and 2 combined, from the RWBY soundtrack OR “Yoru wa Nemureru kai?” from the Ajin opening theme, Season 1
Anytime someone is making a discovery or inventing something: “Sandra’s Theme” from Big Fish
What are your favorite songs to write to? Let me know in the comments!