What kind of music do YOU think goes with this?

Like most creative types, I have been constantly inspired by music. For me, it is a natural part of the creative process, enabling me to transpose myself into a different frame of mind, almost like method acting. I’ve also been known to wear an appropriate (or inappropriate in some cases)  hat for a specific character or scene so I can get a feel for the content and in essence become a character, or conjure a scene more easily. I find that if I can find the right music track, I can concentrate on the themes and emotional suites, stirring up sleights of mind that I couldn’t plan for.  I can’t remember a piece of writing, especially, that hasn’t had its own soundtrack, or been inspired by one.

With that in mind, I have been concocting a soundtrack of tracks for my novel in progress, trying to capture themes of space travel, alien cultures, odd environments, eccentric characters, weird yet natural feelings, tribal notes, etc.  About 2/3 of the book will take place in areas where the only human character is the protagonist, so I’ve been careful not to include things which don’t sound too terrestrial or mundane.

For the most part, the novel so far was written under a soup blanket of the EvE Online soundtrack, Lord Weird Slough Feg’s excellent Traveller concept album (there’s that RPG again!), Barber’s Adagio for Strings (curse you Homeworld!!!) and a few other old favourites. But aside from that, I’ve collected the following track-list specifically for the novel.  I have included links to YouTube videos so you can get a taste for them.

Track                           Artist              Album                   
Message in my Heart             Aeone                     
Flyhigh                         Soulfly             Primitive
Recalcitrant                    Pro-Tech            Orbiting Cathedrals
Soulfly II                      Soulfly             Primitive
Ethnicolor                      Jean-Michel Jarre   Zoolook
Caislean Oir                    Clannad             Greatest Hits
The Sun Smells Too Loud         Mogwai              The Hawk is Howling
Riverz End                      Skinny Puppy        Last Rights
Of The Sleep Of Ishtar          Karl Sanders        Saurian Meditation
The Elder God Shrine            Karl Sanders        Saurian Meditation
Choralone                       Skinny Puppy        Rabies
Corona Radiata                  Nine Inch Nails     The Slip
Diva                            Jean-Michel Jarre   Zoolook

With this playing I can visualize the sights and textures of the locations and settings I want to portray. The clashing noise and colour of Human spaceports, bizarre alien bazaars, the vibrant languages, ethereal Mourn remembrancers, choppy and caustic alien warzones and hopefully a few things I haven’t thought of yet.

They are ordered somewhat in the same way I hope the novel will be, or heh, a movie based on the novel might be. So, in a way, this is like an audio outline. Musically, its all over the place – ambient, metal, industrial, electronic, even folky. For the most part, I am pleased with my selections. They open up my mind but don’t distract me. I can concentrate on writing as well as hash out new ideas.   But I need more! Always!  Especially floaty, ambient, space music.

I’d love to hear of any recommendations you might have.


Image Credit: The Pillars of Creation/Eagle Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope/NASA/ESA/STSci