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Compiling The Playlist

POSTED ON February 25th, 2014  - POSTED IN Music, Writing

I listen to music when I write.  In fact, I find it difficult to write without music.  It sets tone for a piece for me.  I find lyrics distracting so I largely go for instrumental pieces, film soundtracks and the like.

Over the years I’ve built my music collection that I can normally find the perfect piece of music to match the tone of the piece I am writing.  But for Black as Knight I actually had a very tight playlist for several months that I played to death.

  • Batman Arkham Origins Soundtrack by Christopher Drake
  • Assassin’s Creed 4 Soundtrack by Brian Tyler
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 Soundtrack by Lorne Balfe
  • Assassin’s Creed 3: The Tyranny of King Washington Soundtrack by Lorne Balfe
  • Batman: Arkham City Soundtrack by Nick Arundel and Ron Fish
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations Soundtrack by Jesper Kyd & Lorne Balfe
  • Thor: The Dark World Soundtrack by Brian Tyler
  • Tomb Raider Soundtrack by Jason Graves
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Soundtrack by Christopher Drake
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Soundtrack by Howard Shore

I actually really enjoyed having such a small playlist and I think it certainly aided much tighter writing, so I want to repeat the experience with Thieving King.

Except The Four Realms had a much, much larger selection of albums (mainly Hans Zimmer and Two Steps From Hell) and I think I need to select just a few albums from that pool and add in a few new ones.  But what goes in and what stays out is occupying my mind as much as the plot at the moment.  I’m going to be listening to these albums again and again and again over the coming months so the choices have to be perfect.

It’s a fun exercise building a playlist for a novel but I’m really having to fight it from taking over and occupying all of my thought time right now.

Your Morning Tune For A Wednesday

POSTED ON July 31st, 2013  - POSTED IN Music

As you can see, we’ve got the decorators in making a few changes to the website.  Please excuse the mess!  Once everything is complete (hopefully in the next day or so) normal blogging service will resume and we’ll also have some exciting bonus features go live!  In the meantime, enjoy some of the mash-up genius that is DJ Schmolli!  Enjoy!

Today’s Earworm

POSTED ON July 16th, 2013  - POSTED IN Music

I discovered this last night after hearing part of the soundtrack on Top Gear and not recognising it (I am a serious soundtrack nut). Reckon I’ll be picking up the soundtrack in the next couple of days as I’m really, really impressed by it. But it’s this track in particular that’s been constantly replayed.

Sometimes bits of music latch themselves to ideas inside my head and this one seems to have latched itself so firmly I reckon the last third of this track is the ‘signature tune’ of an entire project. Unfortunately it’s not the project I’m currently working on, so it’s more a distraction than anything else right now. Still, it’s awesome enough to share!

The Four Realms Soundtrack – Maureen’s Theme

POSTED ON April 16th, 2013  - POSTED IN Music, Writing

I listen to a lot of music when I write, the vast majority of it instrumental. Over the years of writing The Four Realms I have several go-to tracks if I need to envoke character. This track from Dr Who has made me think of Maureen since I first heard it, and I still play it before working on a Maureen chapter as prep for getting inside her head. What do you think? If you had to choose a piece of music for Maureen’s theme, what would you choose?

Muse – Survival

POSTED ON June 28th, 2012  - POSTED IN Music

I’m a big Muse fan, even if I always forget when the tickets to their tours go on sale until after they sell out. Anyway, a new Muse track is always a big cause for excitement. And whilst many bands’ later albums seem to lose some of the magic of why you liked that band in the first place, Muse’s more experimental tunes are probably the ones I love best. This tune, the official Olympics track by the way, is completely bonkers. I could understand why some people might really, really hate it.

But for me: love it and all its quirkiness.

The Rains of Castamere

POSTED ON June 21st, 2012  - POSTED IN Music

I’ve currently got the music from the second series of Game of Thrones on repeat. The album came out this week and is the perfect accompaniment to one of my writing projects. There’s a lot of good tracks on the album (although if I’m honest I don’t think it is as a strong as the first season’s) but this one has to be my favourite, even though it has vocals. I find it strangely haunting. Word by George R R Martin, Music by Ramin Djawadi and sung by The National.

Two Steps From Hell – Magika

POSTED ON February 22nd, 2012  - POSTED IN Music

This week is a bit busy with starting a new day job. However, I did want to share this piece of music with you. As you know, I’m a huge Two Steps From Hell fan, and if you love orchestral soundtracks, their albums are some of the best released in recent years. Hard to think that they’re just a commercial outfit producing music solely to be used in trailers, everything from the last Star Trek movie trailer to the latest Mass Effect 3 one.

I do loads of writing to their two publically available albums but recently found this track by them that hasn’t been released outside of the industry. Anyways, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s been buzzing round my head for the last couple of days.

Your Orchestral Tune For The Day

POSTED ON December 17th, 2010  - POSTED IN Music

This is currently what I’m writing epic fantasy to. Yes, I know this track doesn’t really lend itself to fantasy, but then this isn’t the normal type of epic fantasy. It’s from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack which I really recommend to those of you who like listening to soundtracks whilst you write.