Music to Write To: Part 2

A few more tracks/albums that I find particularly useful to write to. Check out Part One for some additional recommendations. Enjoy.

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Englabörn

Melancholy electronic is the most apt genre I can fit this into. What other album has a depressed robot voice serenading you? You’ve probably heard at least one of his tracks on the Battle Los Angeles trailer. Beautiful and sad. Definitely not an album for a bright summer’s day.

Two Steps From Hell – Invincible

This album is for those epic scenes. Clashes between titans, blood and guts, triumph and defeat. Heavy on chanting, drums and rising and falling. This album pumps you up, readying you for the fight ahead. Touches of Gladiator and maybe a hint of Batman for good measure. Probably not that useful for dialogue heavy scenes or romantic comedies. Unless your rom-com has battle sequences. In which case, can I read it?

Zoë Keating – One Cello x 16: Natoma

Sometimes it’s just an instrument that pulls you in. The high and sharp tones of a flute. The waver of a trumpet. With Zoe Keating, it’s the cello. The hypnotic strings vibrating across your spine. This is for those contemplative stretches in your fiction. For when your character is on a journey and they don’t quite know where they’ll end up. And maybe, neither do you.

Music to Write To: Part 1

Not everyone can write (or work) with music playing. If you’re one of those people, feel free to skip this post. I’ve found that music with no lyrics (or very few. chanting is fine) works the best for me. So I stick with classical, soundtracks, and electronica. Your mileage may vary. These are a few of the albums/songs that help me focus. Helps me shut off the outside world and get into the one I’ve created.

Clint Mansell – Black Swan Soundtrack

An easy pick. An updated take on some classical work. It also builds and releases a lot of tension throughout the tracks. Great for when you’re building suspense in a scene.

Air (specifically Night Sight and Alone in Kyoto)

Those French, what with their electronic music and their..um, transparent pants? Contemplative electronic music that doesn’t jar you. Not quite on the level of ambient music (which can tend to drone), but calming still.

Ólafur Arnalds – Found Songs

No, I can’t pronounce it either. Light strings and piano work dominate this album. No dramatic horns or deep bass. Ideal for dialogue work.

Philip Glass – Naqoyqatsi Sountrack

Philip Glass can be polarizing to some people. They hate the simplicity and repetition. That’s perfect for my purposes. Many of his soundtracks would probably work, but I find the Naqoyqatsi album to be a bit more mellow than most.

Randy Edelman & Trevor Jones – Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack

Pump up the action. Drama , Drums & Horns, on my. Plus, it’s all too easy to start envisioning the movie as the soundtrack thumps along.