Music Musings on Monday

Today as I thought about this MMM, I thought, why music? Why when listening to music do I find the clarity to really write?

I think it comes down to two things:

1) Music is writing. The lyrics and the instruments blend together to paint a picture, to tell a story, to pull the emotion out of you and lay it on the floor. It’s a shorter, more intense version of what I want my novels to inspire. If you have ever watched a true musician play they put themselves entirely into the music, their whole body speaks the music, their minds zone in and they are the music. It’s not only mentally exhausting, but it’s also physically exhausting. This is the same process for writing. I don’t sit there and type like a zombie. I actually asked my husband if he thought it was comical one time–but he’s so used to me doing it that he said he never noticed (maybe it’s because he’s a musician (and by that a writer as well) that he doesn’t notice, as it’s also a part of his creative process…or what was–he doesn’t play anymore). I make my characters expressions as I describe them, I cringe with them, I cry with them.

2) No matter the genre, music seems to empty me of everything else. It let’s me zone in and concentrate on what I am attempting to do. I feel everything much more intense when I am listening to music. Maybe it’s because of the intensity of the artist performing it, or maybe it’s because of my husband’s bond to music, and how it connected us that it does this to me. I don’t remember music playing such a role in my creative process until him. Before him it was just noise, but his music and his view of music made me realize it was so much more than that. From that moment on it was a driving force for me.

To some, I know, music is only a distraction when they write. I respect this and understand it completely. As a writer one must discover what gets them in the zone and stick to it. It’s a sweet irony that some of my best passages have been written on something used for music primarily–the iTouch before my iPhone, and now my iPhone.

Do you have something that is your go-to for writing?

So here’s this Monday’s MM:

I’m in edit mode right now, so I am listening to lighter music. This Monday’s Pandora radio is still Dead Poetic. It’s one of my go-to stations, and I cheated and skipped a few songs…opps…

SONG: Image of the Invisible

ARTIST: Thrice

GENRE: Post-harcdcore

FEATURES:

  • hard rock roots
  • subtle use of vocal harmony
  • major key tonality
  • heavy electric rhythm guitars

LYRICS:

We’re more than carbon and chemicals
We are the image of the invisible
Free will is ours and we can’t let go
We are the image of the invisible
We can’t allow this, the quiet cull
We are the image of the invisible
So we sing out this, our canticle
We are the image of the invisible

[Chorus:]
We all were lost now we are found
No one can stop us or slow us down
We are the named and we are known
We know that we’ll never walk alone

We’re more than static and dial tone
We are the image of the invisible
We’re emblematic of the unknown
We are the image of the invisible
So raise the banner, bend back your bows
We are the image of the invisible
Remove the cancer, take back your souls
We are the image of the invisible

[Chorus]

Though all the world may hate us, we are named
The shadow overtake us, we are known

We’re more than carbon and chemicals
Free will is ours and we can’t let go
We are the image of the invisible
We’re more than carbon and chemicals
We are the image of the invisible
Free will is ours and we can’t let go
We are the image of the invisible
We can’t allow this, the quiet cull
We are the image of the invisible
So we sing out this, our canticle
We are the image of the invisible

[Chorus x2]

Raise up the banner, bend back your bows
Remove the cancer, take back your souls

ANALYSIS:

I’m going to be honest, when I wrote In Between Seasons I was already past my Dead Poetic radio phase, and I had already tuned into Underoath radio almost exclusively. Underoath has a much heavier sound than most things that show up on my Dead Poetic radio, and is certainly heavier than Thrice. It worked well for the intensity of InBS, but by far is still one of the lighter things that I have listened to when writing. When I wrote Walking in the Shadows and The Sight I was listening to things like August Burns Red–much heavier–there is hardly any singing, but let me tell you, the lyrics send shivers up my spine, more about that to come on a Walking focused MM. Back the conclusion I’ve drawn from these lyrics–they work very well for the theme of InBs. I have to admit that this song is one of my least favorite from Thrice. It feels like it’s trying too hard to be hardcore. I prefer when Thrice isn’t trying to be hardcore at all–when they sound like alternative rock. I’ve changed the song now, and I am listening to my favorite by them–Atlantic. It’s like diving under an ocean, a deep breath and an overwhelming wave. Atlantic really makes me feel–while Image of the Invisible has strong lyrics the instruments don’t pull me in and under. They hold me stagnant, and it doesn’t quite inspire me to be honest. If you’ve decided to listen to the song (the song title is a link to a YouTube video) do you see what I’m saying? Or does this song move you?

You can heard what I mean about the difference between Atlantic and Image of the Invisible by clicking the first mention of the song name.

I’d like to clarify that I don’t enjoy bands that don’t grow in their music, and that sound the same every song on every CD. I just feel like Atlantic is in a different stratosphere for emotional pull for me than Image of the Invisible.

Is there a song that is go to inspiration for you?

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2 thoughts on “Music Musings on Monday

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