Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Working to music

One thing that I haven't done for a couple of months, is work to music whilst tapping away on my computer. But I just got hold of Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis, put the CD in the player, and my level of concentration has gone right up and I've got a hell of a lot done. I'm not doing any creative writing mind, but I can certainly remember doing a lot of my writing for LOTR (and SOD) to music. I must go back there again, armed with appropriate music!

Haven't really found the right music for LOTR, though music from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy does fit, and might do the trick. For SOD it was the Oscar & Lucinda film music by Thomas Newman. It was a very odd film, but I actually bought the music (some of it was played on Classic FM, and it was an instant 'must have' for me) before I saw the film, so was able to 'picture' my own narrative to the music. I think the music reflects how much of a romance SOD actually was, though I tried to resist making the story so. No such problem with LOTR, thank gawd!

I have tended to go for the lyrical 20th century 'classical music' with sweet, sharp and witty Prokofiev being my favourite, and the 20th century Russians in general being a good match for me. Sibelius is an old, grumpy, favourite. Also like the pastoral British composers (Vaughan Williams, Holst, etc.) Latterly, I've gone for Arvo Part (Estonian, very much on the eastern european music continuum).

I'm a total pleb in that Mozart leaves me clock work cold, Wagner's waaay too heavy and Beethoven is only occasional. Only like opera that has good tunes (Carmen ...) Not good with music that has words, though like the sound choruses make. The sound and the emotion it expresses is the thing for me. When listening to people speak, I often remember the sounds they made and what that conveyed, rather than what they said. Probably not a good trait for a writer, though fantastic for a musician :-)


At 6:04 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

I was on a bit of a Bruckner binge today - Symphonies 7, 8 and 9 - which seemed to work OK but I might break out the Tallis this evening - perhaps the Lamentations of Jeremiah to match the state of Lord Alexander's Cipher or the Bridekirk Behemoth compared to my wordage targets. Pärt's Miserere followed by Festina Lente might also fit the prevailing situation.

Like you, I can't be doing with Mozart. Far too fiddly.

At 6:56 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Hurrah, a fellow pleb! I find Mozart rather 'clockwork' But I think he had to 'go there' for us to reap the benefits later (musical progression, or some such). Eh! Bruckner - 19th century high romance. I'm just starting to explore Tallis, so haven't heard of Lamentations. Part favourites include: Summa, Fratres, Tabula Rasa, Cantus to B Britten. He's so spare - says a lot with a little.

At 10:01 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

That sounds like fairly early Pärt. Another good early piece was his Passio which was recorded by the Hilliard Ensemble on ECM (annoyingly it is on the CD as a single very long track.) The Te Deum sung by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is also good (and also on ECM.)

At 10:25 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I'm behind the times as usual! Will pursue.


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