A writer’s life – Soundtracks

One of the big challenges to writing is getting meaningful ideas to flow.

Sure, you can generate ideas at any time, but there’s something about triggering a level of alpha state, and allowing connections to form in a more organic way, that can provide deeper insights and juxtapositions.

Music is obviously a well-known way to transport you into a different emotional state, and I can’t help but smile thinking of Stephen King rocking out to Metallica when he’s setting up one his characters good and proper.

For myself, I find it difficult to write when the music has lyrics, i.e. someone else’s words, so I favor pulling out 3 or 4 soundtracks from films in the genre I’m writing, and letting them fill the room and my tortured thoughts! :-)

Currently playing on repeat:

1) The Dark Knight, Collectors Edition

Dark Knight Soundtrack Cover

Stunning soundtrack from Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Image is from the regular edition, but the Collectors Edition is awesome, full of textured, relentless, pounding percussion and airy string motifs.


2) Silent Hill, 2006

Silent Hill Soundtrack cover

OK, OK, so I’m writing a moody horror action flick currently, and this fits all to perfectly.

Akira Yamaoka is synonymous with the Silent Hill franchise, and I’ll be looking at some of the game soundtracks soon, but this hard-to-find 38 track edition from 2006 is well worth seeking out. Delicate mournful piano flows into dragging chains, animal sounds, screams, and asynchronous pounding rhythms.


3) The Others

The Others Soundtrack cover

Alejandro Amenabar’s soundtrack is a gentler affair than Silent Hill (really? you think?), but no less effective for channeling your own inner voice, and the triumphant crescendo of “A Good Mother” always gives me goosebumps.


4) Conan

Conan Soundtrack cover

Basil Poledouris’ created one of the most memorable soundtracks from my childhood, which possibly explains my love of thundering percussion! :-)

Anyway, back to the writing!