Writing

Movie Score Mania

It’s always sort of fascinated me, this connection between music and writing.  You hear other writers talking about it all the time and I was never really one of them.  I can’t listen to anything with WORDS while I’m writing or I won’t actually get any writing done.  Susan always has a playlist for her books and gets her ideas from the lyrics of songs.  I’ve been feeding her Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback addiction for years now.  But mostly I sat on the sidelines and didn’t use music in my writing.

Except for film scores.  Because film scores are…well, not the heart of a movie, but they are, perhaps, the soul.  The music underlying each scene totally gives the tone.  The mood.  And THAT is where music becomes a valuable tool for me.  I usually know the MOOD a scene needs to take, and then I make playlists of songs from scores that fit that mood.  It helps me get in the right frame of mind.  I don’t know why I got OUT of it in the first place except that I am often writing around others and can’t really listen to music.  But I did get out of it.  And then…

I am just gonna call her out right here and say that Claire Legrand is a BAD INFLUENCE.  Why?  Because my huggle buddy, soul sister is as big a movie score addict as I am and she has marvelous taste.

See, I had the addiction under control.  I hadn’t bought a movie score (or indeed, any album) in several years.  I’m all about the Pandora and Accuradio.  But along comes Claire and totally reignites my passion for movie scores.  We share a mutual fan-girl love of Hans Zimmer, along with many others.  And then we started making suggestions and “Have you heard this one?”  And there were several I hadn’t, and THEN I had to go BUY them and….well she’s been responsible for my picking up at least five more albums in the last six months.

This morning it’s the score to Game of Thrones by Ramin Djawadi, which she recommends in her post today.  I didn’t care for the HBO series (too much gratuitous nudity) and I haven’t read the books because I’m not a huge fantasy person, but the music, the music is AWESOME.  It is, as she states in her post, redolent of the theme for Rohan from The Two Towers score by Howard Shore.  It’s EPIC and by God I need a HORSE to ride off into battle on!  I swear, if Elodie winds up with some kind of medieval weapon as she’s hunting the bad guy today, I cannot be held responsible.  It’s ALL CLAIRE’S FAULT!

Are you a music while writing kinda person?

9 thoughts on “Movie Score Mania

  1. I use musical scores to write to, as well. If Iisten to a song with lyrics, then I end up singing and forget to write. But classical music and movie soundtracks are all fair game. Sometimes, however, I will listen to a song with lyrics BEFORE I start writing (maybe as I’m rereading a scene) to get back into the feel of the scene I’m writing. Then I will switch to non-lyric music and just write.

    One of my wips is a romantic fantasy set in the desert. I have a lot of belly dancing music I’m using as my personal soundtrack along with stuff from the Prince of Persia soundtrack.

  2. I write medieval fantasy, and I find that Within Temptation’s music is awesome for getting me into the mood of the scene I want to write (some of it is power/symphonic metal while they also have slower, sadder songs), but I tend to find that if I listen to it while I’m writing I end up being distracted by the words, so I just listen to it before writing.
    A while ago I stumbled across music from Two Steps From Hell, a group who does mainly instrumental music for game and film trailers. Some of their songs are brilliant and have that perfect epic fantasy atmosphere. I also like a few songs from the Final Fantasy games for writing. My story is fairly dark, so the sadder/more depressing the music is, the better hehe I often find that music can actually inspire scenes, or whole stories (as was the case with my current project).

  3. Like you, I can only do movie scores or classical pieces. Anything with words sidelines my writing while it’s on. I listen to a lot of music with lyrics when not writing, and lyrics or the general story of a song can and has inspired my own writing. Different tools for different purposes.

    Hans Zimmer is one of my favorites, too. 🙂

  4. I can’t listen to music with words, either. Way too distracting. Classical music is probably my favorite to write to. But my very favorite sounds aren’t music. If I’m writing something spooky or intense, I love a good thunderstorm. Unfortunately, you can’t make the weather cooperate. You can get sounds like that on the internet, but it’s just not the same as the real thing.

  5. It depends on the mood and where I’m writing. If I’m holed up in my room, then I’ll turn on something like A Fine Frenzy or Ray Lamontagne. James Morrison is great, too. I honestly never thought of listening to a movie score. That would be very cool, I think. For me, music helps drown out all the other distractions.

  6. Hi Kait,

    I am so a write-to-movie-scores kinda of gal, especially for my fighting scenes. I need to have that intense frame of mind when I write them and scores from Transformers or 2012 or Clash of the Titans (the new millennium version), Lord of the Rings (naturally), even the Pirates of the Caribbean. Basically anything instrumentals, not to mention my favorite movies. I do find that my writing is more productive when there are no lyrics for me to sing (badly) to.

    And as for Hans Zimmer, can I just say the score for “The Holiday” is genius? Just my opinion. Great post, by the way.

  7. Interesting that I read this at the end of a writing session with the Vivaldi still playing in the background. My Muse applauds you, she loves old classical and this is the place where her and I agree.

    I’m the sort of a cross between you and Susan. I find themes in lyrical music, usually it jumps out and tackles me to the ground like Dino would Fred in the Flintstones, yet when I sit down to write I can’t have anything with words playing. One time I typed three lines from a song into my WIP, then stared at them in confusion, a pink elephant moment.

    Give me Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi or Gemini and I’m set for the day. The Muse loves it all and who am I to complain with her.

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