it shows in the prose

When I write, I listen to music. Instrumental, usually. So that I can mostly tune it out – mostly. But the sort of music is important, and I spend a fair amount of time choosing what I’ll listen to. It depends on the story. It depends what I think will go with what I’m writing.

When writing the Thundercurrent, for example, I listened often to New London Consort’s arrangement of “Dum Pater Familias” – and the rest of Sinners & Saints. There was also a fair amount of Pao Casals. I think it shows in the prose.

When writing Public Key, I had four go-to albums: Ethiopiques Quatre (Mulatu Astatke), Luke Abbott’s Holkham Drones, and Robbie Basho’s Bashovia. Not bad. Not bloody bad.

BBV was a novel about music. Moreover, musical variation; moreover, musical snobbery. So I listened to all the music. All the music FOREVER. But when writing, I had some fall-backs: Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation being primus inter pares. There was also some good Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces. Questionable Content connection regretted.

I haven’t sat down to a novel in almost two years. But I’m trying to devote more attention to The Sweat Of The Brow – I CERTAINLY HAVE THE TIME! But it’s been a challenge to find accompaniment. The tone I hope to set is quiet but lively; slow but energetic; passionate but restrained – not repressed, just cushioned. Most of the time.

I’ve tried a few things. Bert Jansch. Nat Adderley. Talk Talk. The Sea and Cake. The National. Elmore Leonard. Wes Montgomery. Lots of close calls. Nothing quite right.

Today I had an epiphany. And it’s working out very well.

Art Tatum. The Capitol years.

And here’s back to it.


~ by davekov on 21 October 2012.

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