Does Your Story Have Its Own Soundtrack?

We’ve talked about at the role that music plays in the story in fiction, as well as examined the Irish Trad music that accompanied much of the writing of Irish Firebrands, and ended up representing specific scenes in the story; we’ve also looked at the influence that Wagnerian music has in my background, and how it’s come to have a part in the writing of my work-in-progress, The Passions of Patriots.

I believe that the practice of listening to music throughout the process of writing Irish Firebrands was instrumental (no pun intended!) in preventing writer’s block. From what I’ve read at other Indie Authors’ blogs, if they write to music (vocal or instrumental), it’s to works that have distinctly identifiable artists, themes, genres, or cultural origins.

Today we’ll talk a little about tapping a source of music that’s not already identified with other particular forms or artists, and using that music to come up with a unique “soundtrack” for our own literary art.

Kevin MacLeod’s INCOMPETECH.COM is an excellent source for mood music to accompany any artistic endeavor – and he offers his compositions ROYALTY FREE. This is amazingly generous of the man, because what he’s got on his websites counts into the hundreds of works that range in length from just a few seconds, to the duration of a typical popular song, and even performances that rival the length and complexity of the movements of major orchestral works.

The great thing about MacLeod’s music is that it has no strings attached to other works of art, as do songs performed by vocalists, or the works of classical composers, or the soundtracks of motion pictures. The pieces you find on the website are simply snippets of feelings captured in sounds – a talent for musical expression at which MacLeod excels.

The works that appear at INCOMPETECH can be searched for genre, mood, and other qualities. All pieces have their own descriptive names, but they’re not labels that will necessarily interfere with the listener’s own interpretation of the music. This makes them valuable for constructing “soundtracks” to accompany the writing process. MacLeod often gives us the benefit of his creative impressions of many pieces, he usually lists the instruments (or choral accents) that are programmed into the performances, and he also provides suggestions for how to loop, mix, or otherwise manipulate much of the music. The tracks are downloadable in MP3 format.

I spent a few hours listening to and downloading selections that “spoke” to me: a 90-minute playlist to accompany my creation of The Passions of Patriots. This new collection makes the third set of inspiring musical works I’ve collected to help me visualize scenes and give cadence to dialogue for this particular writing project. I can listen to them uninterrupted during keyboard time, and also play them at night, to help seed my subconscious mind with “memories” of events in the Parallel Universe of Fiction.

Check out Kevin MacLeod’s site, and see what he’s got that can help smooth your creative path in the world of Written Artistry.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Does Your Story Have Its Own Soundtrack?

  1. One wishes it were possible to write a symphony timed to the moods and length of time it would take to read a novel. Just putting themes to a set of children’s books is a major chore, as I have discovered. It is immensely satisfying, though. I have said that a good fantasy quest novel is akin to writing a symphony or vice versa.

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