Friday, June 11, 2010

The Power of Music

Time and time again, when my motivation is gone, and I believe I’ll never be able to write another word, music comes to my rescue. Just hearing a song that could play as score under my story, all of a sudden inspires so many ideas I can’t write them down fast enough.

For a 1940’s prison escape movie I wrote, I listened to the soundtrack for Brokeback Mountain over and over again. A couple of the characters were from the south, and the haunting guitar helped me come up with images (a boy on a swing, a woman jumping on a bed throwing money up in the air,) that I never would have found on my own. One song on the CD, by the composer Gustavo Santaolalla, inspired the entire climax of the movie, in which the doomed men trying to escape are overcome. Every time I hear that track, I see the scene in my head.

For a project I’m finishing, which is set in the desert, I listened to Eddie Vedder’s score for Into The Wild. Again, his music inspired scenes, helped me add depth to the characters, and allowed me always to reconnect to the emotions in the story when my well ran dry.

I’m starting a project and looking for a new soundtrack. Something spooky, and Irish, and dark.

I hope I find it. I’ll need it to help me when I’m lost.

What do you listen to when you write?

The Wings (Brokeback Mountain)

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