Thursday, March 27, 2008

Writing by Soundtrack

I interviewed Brett Battles for the soon-to-be-online SpyThrillers.org, and he mentioned that he often writes by soundtrack.

I've always liked soundtracks. For years, I kept a little journal of the music composers of movies, and my impressions. (Mostly so I could write off the movie ticket for tax purposes.)

I have no evidence for it, but soundtrack composition seemed to decline in favor of pop songs. There were so many movies that had no actual original composition, that I eventually stopped the practice.

Quite sad.

And then, they began re-using the same soundtrack for a couple movies, and that would get annoying.

But Brett got me thinking, and so I iTuned and CD-burned The Other Boleyn Girl. It's dark, a little tortured, and has plenty of screaming violins--just the mood for my WIP.  The music is so "background," that it doesn't distract me from writing and set my analytical music mind into high gear.

Have you ever written to soundtrack? Do you ever buy soundtracks of original composition (not compilations of tunes they stuck to a movie)?

Do you have a favorite soundtrack? A movie you remember, where the music just made the mood of the movie?

8 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 3/28/2008 10:20:00 AM  

Yes, definitely!

Braveheart.
The Piano.
Pride & Prejudice (new one).
Last Temptation of Christ.

Edie 3/28/2008 10:32:00 AM  

No, I write best in silence. Music distracts me. And my dog is out so often (like now) that I need silence to hear her "take me inside RIGHT NOW bark."

Travis Erwin 3/28/2008 11:01:00 AM  

I write to music a lot but no soundtracks come to mind.

Congrats on the accolades over at bookends! that has to feel really good.

Erica Orloff 3/28/2008 11:45:00 AM  

Totally a soundtrack chick.

Road to Perdition (moody piano)
Once (Glenn Hansard)
Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon
Jesse James movie (the Brad Pitt one)

I have a lot of soundtracks on my iPod.

Melanie Avila 3/28/2008 11:57:00 AM  

I listened to one soundtrack on repeat for most of the writing. Happy Endings. Maggie Gyllenhal sings three songs and her soulful voice kept me in reflective mode (important for memoir).

My other two were Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits and Peter Gabriel's So.

Liz Wolfe 3/28/2008 12:42:00 PM  

I don't listen to music when I write. Never thought of it actually. I'm probably just not a musical person. I enjoy different types of music, but I've noticed that I don't really go out of my way to listen to music. I have some minor hearing loss so maybe that's why.

spyscribbler 3/28/2008 02:20:00 PM  

Writenow, I'm going to look up all of those; I remember they were awesome!

Edie, I'm kinda like that, too. I have to be careful of the music I choose, because I consider listening to music a "whole" activity, not a background thing. This is a new experiment for me.

Travis, that's my problem, too! I can't remember all the soundtracks I loved. (And thanks! It felt great ... and embarrassing, LOL.)

Erica, I almost bought Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon soundtrack yesterday. Once has some gorgeous songs, but I haven't seen the movie.

Melanie, the actress? I didn't know she sang! I had Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits on tape, and loved it so much I wore it out!

Liz, I confess I've had "blurry" hearing for most of my life. I briefly thought of going back to school and finishing my Masters, but when I took the theory test, I couldn't hear the four-part harmony. The bass had COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED. It was NOT THERE.

It was a terrifying, shocking feeling. I couldn't have afforded to go back to school, anyway, and I'm glad I didn't, but ... now that you mention it, I wonder if that has something to do with why I've stopped listening to music so much.

Melanie Avila 3/30/2008 11:48:00 AM  

Yeah, Maggie's voice sounds like I expected she would - soulful and kind of raspy. I love it. I think this was her first recorded effort. I highly recommend it!