A little history about music and me. Music inspires me as much as any movie or book can. I grew up listening to classic rock like Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Rush, Styx, The Moody Blues, etc, etc, but I also grew up with a lot of Southern Gospel music, as well. I played a fair amount of video games too. Try to figure out those contradictions. On top of all of this, I was involved in choir and band from the time it became available to me to do, so I have a deep love of classical/orchestral music. I played the flute and still like to sing. I’d never say I was very great at either. I won awards, but that means little when 20 other people did as well. To say my music taste is eclectic would be an understatement.
Because of this love of music from an early age, I find that a lot of the stuff I listen to can distract me, as I will start singing along to it or recall memories of hearing the song for the first time or used to hear my dad play it. So when I’m writing, I look for music that won’t distract me too much. I have a ton of music from video games and anime shows instead, because for both of these, they are not a feature of their art form, they just enhance it. They are there in the background when you’re fighting stuff or when Spike Spiegel is swinging around on his legs, taking down bad men. haha
As most people do these days, I have create playlists for many things in my world. Like when I’m running or when I want to make sure my hubby doesn’t criticise my music taste (his playlist is filled with country music that I endure for him, but don’t overly love), and one entitled “Writing Soundtrack” which is on my phone and PC, and almost instantly when I start playing the music, my brain goes into writing mode. I never listen to it unless I’m writing or reading, so it’s almost like a form of hypnosis.
I have specifically two video game conductors on my playlist. One is Nobuo Uematsu, the creator of all the music of Final Fantasy series until FFXII. The second is Yasunori Mitsuda, who wrote the music for the Chrono series, Mana series, and Xeno series, among others. Naturally some of the music sounds a bit dated now, as they were created in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, but for both, they have remastered some of the more important pieces of work into a full orchestral score. In fact, in 2006, before I moved to Australia, I went to a concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra playing Final Fantasy music. To this day, it still ranks #2 on the best performances I’ve ever seen. Second only to Foo Fighters, but not much tops them (though I do finally see Fleetwood Mac next month, and I want to believe it will be the best musical experience of my life). hah
I also really enjoy classic anime series, so my playlist is filled with soundtracks from Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing, and FLCL. Out of these three Hellsing plays a big role in the horror elements of my writing. It is easily some of the best gothic orchestral music I’ve heard.
The rest of my music comes around the two media platforms. Just random songs like “You’re Not Here” from Silent Hill, the final songs from the Portal series (although, these two can distract me into singing along), Duvet from Serial Experiments Lain, Princess Mononoke, Kingdom Hearts, and Legend of Zelda.
The ultimate soundtrack I had, though, was the Sleepy Hollow soundtrack that I bought just after the movie came out in 1999. In 2011, we were flooded, though, and I lost it. It’s just about impossible to find now, so Hellsing OST works in its place instead as the gothic horror orchestral soundtrack. I guess I could always listen to it via YouTube while I’m writing, but I also do a fair amount of writing on the train, and at 5gb/month available on my phone, that would be a costly venture. For now, the rest will do just fine.
Nevertheless, I am certain that I’m fairly weird for my soundtrack choices, but I’m okay with that! It’s been established by now that I’m a little weird anyway. 🙂