1. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Music an inspiration

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by AVCortez, Mar 28, 2013.

    the 'Saddest song you've ever heard' thread made me think of this.

    When I wrote my high fantasy novel, I listened almost exclusively to fantasy sound tracks - primarily lord of the rings. For fight scenes I would switch to a bit of power metal.

    "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin gave inspired me to write about Orcs in my world. I come from the land of ice and snow.

    A sci-fi short I wrote recently was created while I listened to Twisted Sister.

    When writing I almost always have music going (not during editing, though). For some reason my minds eye can focus a lot better, I also pick tunes based on the subject matter I'm writing. Ghetto beats for criminals, epic metal for epic battles, southern gothic when working up a dark character or torture.

    Has a song ever inspired you? Do you use music to help get the brain-sparks flying?

    Right now I'm listening to Ornaments of Gold by Orphaned Land. Conjures images of an army marching to battle, not sure why; it's mostly chanting, and the rest is spoken in Hebrew (I think).
     
  2. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    yes, almost continually i will have something or other playing, normally Metal (in the form of one of its multiple sub genres) playing...
    have you maybe tried Progressive Metal for some of the more battle type sections rather than epic metal? Progressive has also a heavier element (Djent) and has been influenced a lot by other genres....
     
  3. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When me and KaTrian write, we always have music playing in the background. We have specific playlists for specific books and even specific songs for specific scenes or characters. Like most of our characters have their own "theme songs" we listen to when we either write or proof read their first appearances etc.

    Now that I think about it, our current main work, Solus, was actually inspired solely by this song:
    Minibosses - Metroid.

    It's music from an old video game called Metroid. The atmosphere of both, the game and especially the song just capture (to me) the essence of loneliness and the darkness of space (kinda like the musical equivalent of the movie Aliens). Whenever I listened to it, I just got this strong sense of being alone in space, in some big, dark, defunct space ship or whatever, in a naturally hostile environment never meant to sustain life, and I kept wondering "how, how on Earth could I ever convey the feeling I get from this piece into writing?" Lo and behold, Solus was born. We worked in the same office at the time so come lunch break, I sat KaTrian down and told her about the inspiration I'd gotten from the song and then we just started bouncing ideas off of each other while maintaining a firm hold on the "theme" I got from the song: darkness, loneliness, this bleak sort of hopelessness and despair, things a person might feel when they are lost in space. Literally.

    So yeah, I suppose you could say music influences our writing. :D
     
  4. CommanderEVE
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    CommanderEVE Member

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    I cannot write without listening to music.

    For my latest chapter to a fan fiction/ spin off, I have been listing to the album, 'In Search Of The Abysses Of Passion' by Harnes Kretzer.

    http://harnes-kretzer.bandcamp.com/album/in-search-of-the-abysses-of-passion-ep

    And:

    The album, 'Future to Fantasy' by Noir Deco (I love that name, because I love both themes).

    https://soundcloud.com/noir-deco/sets/future-to-fantasy

    I listen to these because my work is quite dark, almost Gothic.
     
  5. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Honestly I find prog a bit tough to sit through. I haven't listened to much, it's got a big following so they must be doing something right. Just not my bag I guess. I mostly stick to death, doom and power metal.... but folk metal takes the top spot; Ensiferum, Falconer, Turisas, Alestorm.

    Never played metroid, but Samus is the worst character on Super smash bros 64. Both to play as and against :p.

    Commander, I'm not a massive fan of ambient stuff unless I'm.... in a different state of mind... But I can dig it, really liking the end of "in search of abyss.." How does ambient music help your writing? Does it put you in the right state of mind, so to speak, or do you literally draw inspiration from it?

    Just realize I completely forgot to mention the greats; Beethoven, Bach, Mozart. I worked out the ending of my first ever novel when Fur Elise came on... Spoiler alert: After fighting their way in, they walk in on the villain playing a haunting tune on the piano <- one of the many reason this novel will never see light of day :p.

    I do find I think more clearly when I listen to classic, but ironically not as imaginative. I often listen to it before bed or when editing for this reason. If other people feel this way, check out the vitamin string quartet, they have an amazing catalogue of covers. Everything from movie soundtracks to punk rock.
     
  6. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hah, this reminds me of the time when I told my band mates that a couple of my friends are coming to listen to our practice session to give us feedback/suggestions (we had a gig coming up). While we took a break and waited for them, our drummer asked me who the friends coming over are. When I told him one of them was Sami from Ensiferum, everyone's jaws dropped and they were frankly a little panicky about having someone of his caliber come listen to us play. :D A great guy if there ever was one, especially for listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra or John Dowland at 4 in the morning, dead drunk.


    I've never played Super Smash Bros but if she sucks there, I highly recommend you give the original 8-bit NES game or the 16-bit SNES version, Super Metroid a go. Great games. :cool:
     
  7. crash123go
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    crash123go New Member

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    I always try to listen to REAL music, not just business music. Real music is that kind of stuff you hear and you can totally tell that the artist is about the music and the lyrics are deep and their not about the pay check. That kind of stuff always gets my creative thoughts flowing
     
  8. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Haha, that's fuggin awesome! I just wiki'd him and he wrote Victory songs, man! I'm surprised you could even pick up your instruments. I love every song on that album from into to victory song. Deathbringer from the sky, raised by the sword, Ahti... When I listened to "one more magic potion" for the first time, all I could think was; is the kind of music I should have been listening to my whole life... Victory songs and Iron have been the source of so much inspiration for me, in both art and literature. Listening to unsung heroes as I write this.

    ...She only sucks because I don't know how to play her and is a massive pain to fight.

    What kind of music do you guys play? you on sound cloud or band camp?
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    when writing a novel set on the beach at puerto vallarta, i kept mariachi music playing much of the time... and when writing about a greek cruise, had bazouki music going... it keeps me 'in' the places i've been that i'm writing about...
     
  10. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    I listen to Enya, Gregorian chants, some movie/game soundtracks, lots of classical, and 'Another One Bites the Dust' while writing. My setting is rather sacrosanct and epic in general, so the soundtrack helps keep me in that mindset. (Another One Bites the Dust is just there for motivation.)
     
  11. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I listen to music while writing 100% of the time. Including brainstorming sessions. I switch between some of my favorites: Bach, Handel, Schubert, Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Grieg, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Brahms and others.

    Something about classical music gets me in the right state of mind. And is for me the best music to "listen to from afar" while writing. It has gotten to the point where I don't listen to anything else anymore--even when not writing.
     
  12. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Pogues have a huge bearing on my book but in such subtle ways that ony a real fan would get the sense. I thought I was doing it a lot and read some scare stories here about possible copyright (because I took 4 lines from one song) so I wrote to the writer, showed him the kinda stuff I was doing and he said "Go ahead - don't forget to mention me in the acknowledgements" How cool is that?

    But yeah listening to the Pogues while writing or in the car gives me great inspiration, especially for charachters.
     
  13. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh yeah, me and KaTrian had practically all of Ensiferum's (or Enska's, as us Finns call 'em) album's on the playlist of our first story which was a medieval... well, fantasy, I suppose, although it was firmly rooted on realism, just took place in a fictional universe sorta kinda like medieval western/northern Europe. One More Magic Potion? Haha, quite a few times we drank beer (fine belgian monastery ales, German weiss biers, the good stuff) while writing/proof reading and it really was a hoot and Ensiferum's music complimented it all perfectly! It's just too bad (from my perspective) that they're always busy touring or recording so it's hard to find a suitable time to have a get-together even once a year.


    There's a link to our Soundcloud page (Google also finds it with "soundcloud" and our name, "niavka") at the bottom of my signature. Our music is basically rock mixed with metal, funk, renaissance music, punk, and just a touch of prog. Yeah, I know, the description sounds awful, but give it a listen and you'll get a better idea where we're coming from. :D
     
  14. slamdunk
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    slamdunk Member

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    I lissen to a lot of 1 hour techno remixes or a full album by someone when writing (its distracting having to change song all the time).
     
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  15. ANightDude
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    ANightDude New Member

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    Music is a HUGE inspiration to me as I write... I can work without it, but I know I work so much better with it. Music that fits the current mood of what I'm writing, especially movie scores, really give me a boost and an extra hit of that energy I need and might be lacking.

    Interesting to see everyone coming to the same conclusion. I wondered if I was alone when it came to writing with music. Music may the biggest inspiration as to why I write in the first place.
     
  16. CommanderEVE
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    Both. My writing style is very melancholic, descriptive and philosophical/ metaphorical. I sometimes use metaphors to describe emotions and thoughts of my characters, and my writing always reflects my own mind and thoughts. I feel that Dark Ambient is my writing 'theme tune’; it also gets me in the mood to think deeply. I am also crap at writing, but if I concentrate and take my time I can do it. But it takes me 6 hours to write 1,000 or so words that I fell fit.

    But believe it or not, I am a fan of Death Metal, as well as many other sub-genres of Metal. I listen to Metal when I am doing my artwork or processing my photographs, but never for writing as I have noticed that I cannot work with anything that has singing in it.

    The bands I like are:

    Strapping Young Lad/ Devin Townsend
    Cannibal Corpse
    Whitechapel
    Dying Fetus
    Gojira
    The Birthday Massacre

    And a lot more.
     
  17. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    The pogues aye? Do you listen to flogging molly? I fulfilled a long held dream and saw them live about a month ago. Absolutely phenomenal, a band I've been listening to for more than ten years now. I had the same experience with the artist Andrew W.K. I wanted to use one of his song's in a project (was not going to be used for commercial gain), so I sent him a message on myspace of all things and he fired back with an awesome email telling me to go for broke.

    Yep the magic brew is great inspiration until you've had ten... Weiss bier, is that wheat beer? I've never known. Back when I did drink, Schofferhoffer (spelling, no idea) was where it was at. But when I was in germany (for oktoberfest of course :p), they only sold them in these 'chick-drinks' where they mixed the beer with lime and strawberry concentrate. I asked a bartender if they were any good and he said something along the lines of 'it's like drinking sugar.'

    Hey, you guys are actually all right! Really digging glory, I've never heard a band quite like yours. I've always liked what I'd call funkier hip-hop (KMD, NWA), I'm gonna have to add funk-metal to my listening. The recording quality is surprisingly good and makes me wonder; are you signed?

    Commander, I've never been able to get into cannibal corpse. Townsend is great though. Do you even listen to Dimmu Borgir?
     
  18. Lotgrinder
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    I had a short story about the last day my Mother ever hit me or my little sister.

    The story involved a confrontation, the abuse, and me eventually hitting my Mother for the first time ever to defend my sister.

    I ended up running out of the house barefoot in winter and hid in a local park for a couple hours before I decided what to do that day.

    I had left the story dormant for years, as it was not one I really wanted to finish, then I discovered this song...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvZ6smSQcU0

    I ended up titling that story "Down In The Park" and did a lot more writing about that day/events that lead up to the day while listening to the song.

    So, to answer your questions, FUCK YES music inspires me with everything I do.

    I want some of my ebooks to contain Youtube links to songs I was actually listening to AT THE EXACT TIME IN MY life a story was going on.

    I'll be at the gym, think about a previous experience in my life I haven't wrote about, I'll come home and turn on some music that I was listening to ten years ago...

    And it's like BAM, THAT MUSIC PLAYING is the key to accessing my subconscious and it brings back all the thoughts, the visions, the emotions, etc that I was experiencing ten years ago.

    Definitely helps me write.
     
  19. Lotgrinder
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    Lotgrinder Member

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    Oops, somehow my post got double posted, mods can delete this one.
     
  20. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That does sound awfully... sugary. And yeah, weiss bier = wheat beer. König Ludwig was my favorite of the weisses back when I still drank alcohol. It's been something like three years since I last drank more than half a glass, mostly 'cause the pain meds I take for my back have changed my taste buds so that alcohol just sends shivers down my spine, and not the good kind.


    Thank you! We too have trouble finding similar bands to gig with so we usually end up sharing the stage with metal bands. We actually recorded that in our practice space (a cellar under a sex shop, of all things). So no, not signed yet, but we have a few things brewing. We'll see once we get that album finished (the songs you listened have yet to be mastered so the sound quality and balance should get a tad better when we get that done).


    As for ambient, me and KaTrian aren't big fans but there are a few exceptions to the rule. Nurse With Wound has some good stuff (Salt Marie Celeste, a 60min dark mood piece, is great when we work on the part where one of our protagonists is exploring a massive, defunct space ship all alone) and when we need some truly dark stuff, All the Dread Magnificence of Perversity by Gnaw Their Tongues works for sci-fi stuff while for medieval fantasy, De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet by Abruptum is just perfect background music to a haunted monastery.

    I'm not sure if it qualifies as ambient, but Armenia by the East-German (yes, it's that old) band, Einstürzende Neubauten really brings in a dark, tortured atmosphere.
     
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  21. CommanderEVE
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    CommanderEVE Member

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    Yes, I do. And I listen to Behemoth.

    ---------

    Lotgrinder, Gary Numan is another artist I also like to listen to when writing. You should check how his albums, ‘Berserker’ which is very rare, and ‘Cold Metal Rhythm’, which can also go under the name of either ‘New Emotion’ or ‘New Anger’.
     
  22. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    If the men and dwarves of Middle-earth made a metal band together it would sound like this:

     
  23. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    That's the worst. At least it wasn't self-inflicted... Or is your back pain the source of drinking too much? Perhaps 15 beers and an episode of Wrestlemania made you think leaping from a roof, through a table was a good idea :p. I was on stomach ulcer medication for about three months. I can't even remember what my doctor called it, wasn't quite an ulcer, but would become one if I kept drinking. I had a beer about a week ago, but aside from that, three months without a drop.

    That's not so bad, you definitely have a metal vibe going. Yeah, I wondered that. Save your pennies and get a good audio technician. I've seen bands use hack engineers to master their work and the result has been no better, sometimes worse, than your stuff. It's a real art form that a lot of people outside of the industry (and plenty in :p) don't really understand... I don't particularly get it either, I just notice that raw recordings tend to sound quiet and gutless.

    When you're in your car? Feeling safest of all?

    Haha, and if the uruk hai did:

     
  24. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Nice.
     
  25. CommanderEVE
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    CommanderEVE Member

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    Yes, if I had a car.
     

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