Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Importance of Music

Hello Everyone,

As I sit here in Pembroke, North Carolina--Home of Jeremiah's tribe, the Lumbee--preparing for an exciting night of music at The River People Music & Culture Festival, I am inspired to write a post about the importance of music not only in my life, but in my writing, as well.

Lumbee River
A lot of times, as I sit down to write, I turn on some relaxing Piano Music, some Soft Jazz, or maybe some inspiring sounds of the American Indian flute to clear my mind and focus my thoughts. I tend not to--or at least try not to--listen to any type of music with lyrics.  Being in Choirs and Vocal Ensembles all throughout my life, I often sing along with whatever is playing, which is very distracting when I'm trying to write.

Music is such an important part of my writing.  The type of music I am listening to can definitely be seen through my writing.  At least it's obvious to me when I am doing edits.  I frequently change the type of music I am listening to depending on what type of scene I am writing.  For instance, if I am writing a battle scene and listening to a ballad or a piano sonata, my battle scene will most definitely turn out dull.  So instead, I will change it to a march or perhaps a turbulent concerto.

Though I do highly suggest listening to music while you write--sometimes pure silence can be just as distracting as too much noise--it does come with precautions.  On occasion, as I already touched on above, I've noticed (while editing or just reviewing a section of text) that I chose the wrong type of music to listen to while writing.  While going through the edits for my latest manuscript I found some:  a majick duel which should have been vibrant and action-filled was instead lethargic and not as colorful as I had intended; or even reading through an argument scene that climaxed way too quickly, I then instantly remembered that the piece I was listening to while writing it did the same exact thing.

I have found a handful of artists particularly ideal to listen to while I write.  The following (in no defined order) have similar song styles that coincide with my mental focus--and so I recommend them to you to check out for yourself:

Karen Marie Garrett
Ann Sweeten
Brian Crain
Yo-Yo Ma
James Horner
John Huling
R. Carlos Nakai
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Gustav Mahler
Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning

There are many more that I listen to, of course, but those listed above are listened to most frequently.  In addition to these albums, I also listen to a lot of Internet Radio--specifically GotRadio - Piano Perfect.  To listen to it for yourself, click the link.

Keep Writing,

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