If music be the food of prose; play on
In my last post I meant to mention the role music played in the writing of my last story. Many writers create playlists when they work on a particular story, but I’ve never felt the need before. Often I write to fast dance music for the sense of energy and momentum. Yet, with my last piece I played the same albums over and over while writing.
One of the artists was Suzanne Vega. Recently I acquired much of Vega’s catalogue of work, because she kept popping into my mind. Her first album, Suzanne Vega, stands out in my memory as having quite an impact on me as a kid. I purchased it on cassette, and it was the first album I bought just for myself. Mostly, I listened to records my older brother and sister bought, and other than Vega’s cassette I didn’t really get into buying music until my late teens. Then, I really got into music. Now, Martin and I own a big collection, all ripped to MP3. Music is an essential part of my life, and I’m always interested in finding new artists and listening to new forms.
Thankfully, on re-listening to Vega I wasn’t disappointed. I’m still acquainting myself with her more recent albums, so it will be a while before I can declare favourites. Although, her latest offering, Beauty & Crime, is well worth owning, and should appeal especially to New Yorkers.
So, because this might be interesting, the artists I listened to were: Suzanne Vega Solitude Standing and Beauty & Crime, Metric Old World Underground, Where are you Now?, Maps We Can Create, Poe Haunted, Psapp Tiger My Friend and The Only Thing I Ever Wanted, and I did put on Solo Piano by Philip Glass just once. I didn’t select these artists with any conscious agenda. It was like craving a particular food. For instance, I’d been on the fence about Poe, but somehow it had to be among the group. I don’t second-guess my instincts in such a situation, and ultimately it helped sustain the mood I needed to finish the story. Result.