Friday, November 27, 2015

Château Soleil Update 9: What Are You Listening To?

Current word count: 90,672
Chapters done: 28/52
Projected length: 168,391 words

Every writer is different, but I'm one of those that likes to have music playing while I write. And I get rather particular about what music plays. I have dozens and dozens of instrumental albums, and I've pulled out the best two-and-a-half thousand songs into a playlist that's nearly five-and-a-half days long. Even then, I have my favorite albums that I'll just fall back on instinctively. The last major writing project of mine I wrote almost entirely to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.

I started out this book the same way, but I soon discovered that it wasn't setting the appropriate tone. Instead, I started listening to Trouble Will Find Me by The National. Curiously, this is not an instrumental album, but I don't find the words distracting. It's up-tempo but still very melancholy, which is a much more appropriate tone for the book I'm working on now. And I'm familiar enough with it that I can tune it out, but then when I do pay attention, I'm able to replenish the well a bit.

So now I'm looking for other albums that will do that, because I've listened to Trouble Will Find Me twenty times in the last three months and I don't want to over-rely on it. Contenders will need to be up-tempo but downbeat. Distinct but not distracting. Rich and ignorable. And creatively engaging at basically every moment. Not a tall order at all.

Here are a few I've tried, with mixed results: Radiohead's In RainbowsNow Now's Threads, deadmau5's Random Album Title, Seal II, Led Zepplin IV, and of course Dark Side Of The Moon. That latter, oddly enough, failed utterly because the album is way too dynamic. To work, an album needs to sit at more or less one volume, otherwise it's just too attention-grabby. (Still a great record, though.)

Nothing else is quite up there, but the hunt continues. The hunt, after all, is half of the fun. Right now I'm trying So Long, See You Tomorrow by Bombay Bicycle Club. So far, it's got potential.

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