Two weeks ago, a number of Muse authors discussed using music to write. Many of them found it impossible to listen to music and also write. I usually write in silence, but at times I like to have some music going. Music stirs the soul in a way no other medium can achieve. Perhaps my attitude comes from my background. My parents met in the orchestra of the Boston Conservatory of Music, which they attended for college, and my father is now a professional band teacher. I myself played trumpet for years, and now sing every chance I get. The following songs do not inspire me to write anything specific. However, they do help create a mood that brings forth inspiration.
1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Bridge of Khazad-Dum by Howard Shore
This song is from the movie adaptation of one of my favorite novels. Gandalf's fight with the Balrog is a particularly wonderful moment in both the books and films. However, this music holds an even more personal meaning for me. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to join the Washington City Choir as a guest singer for a performance of The Fellowship of the Ring at the Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia. Wolftrap is an enormous complex, with a huge stage, open to the outdoors. A full-length version of the film was shown with the soundtrack removed. A full orchestra was in front of us, and I stood with 200 other adults, 50 children, and 3 professional soloists as we performed the entire score with the movie playing overhead.
The bridge at Khazad-Dum is not only an exciting part of the movie, but also the most fun part of the film to sing. The rhythmic chanting in Elvish, coupled with swells of forte and piano (louds and softs) make for a memorable experience I will never forget. When I hear the piece, the words start to flow out, filled with the same excitement I felt when performing.
2. Adiemus by Karl Jenkins
This is a song I discovered through Pandora. It's one of those songs that sounds like it's been in a movie, but not just a movie, nearly every inspiring movie. This song fills me with wonder, enchantment, and a sense of being uplifted. I've listened to this before writing on occasions where I'm feeling less than inspired, and all of a sudden those flood gates open up and the words pour onto the page again.
3. Hall of Fame by The Script and Will.i.am
This song is inspiring. I played it in my classes earlier this year as an introductory activity. For me, this is a good song to listen to if I feel down, or like I'm unable to achieve things. I enjoy the stories told through the music video as well, emphasizing that anyone can achieve greatness if they try.
What songs inspire you?
How about this music below?