Writers need to keep our attention focused on the page in front of us, this is tough when we live in buildings where sound proof vaults are against the fire code.
It’s hard for us to describe tranquil meadows, when our upstairs neighbors are jousting on rolling chairs. It’s hard to write about winds whistling through ancient ruins, when frat boys are catcalling from the balcony across the street. It’s hard to stay on task, when the pothole of death sends another hubcap into an orchestra of car alarms.
Music can be a writer’s best friend. A stopgap for the noise pollution around us. A check against the gridlock orchestra laying on their horns, against the food court percussion section scraping the food out of their instruments, against the mouth breathing choir in line at the DMV. Music provides a way to tune out all that chatter and turn up your internal monologue. It adds tone to discord, order to abstraction.
When I write spooky stories, I prefer songs that draw out the tension, rather than rush to the crescendo. I need my conductor to move with a slow and steady hand. To lure my mind into the cellar, to tug me down a long narrow corridor of nightmares.
I prefer atmospheric soundscapes to orchestral scores. I prefer rain and thunder to a bombastic brass sections. I prefer synthesizers to string sections, programmed beats to kettle drums. I prefer beats because they repeat. They keep my mindset consistent. They give my words a rhythm. Continue reading Soundtrack for Writing→