Music and Writing

I was touched this week when my publishers, Book Republic, put together a Youtube playlist of the music featured in my novel, The Pink Cage. It’s a pulsing soundtrack to The Pink Cage and you can use it as a musical companion while you read.

The Pink Cage is drenched in music. Most of it is electronic. A lot of people believe it’s not possible to create decent music without instruments, but for me and for Jazz and Astrid, the central characters in The Pink Cage, electronic music pushes the barriers of sound. It opens up the possibility to make all kinds of creative noises.

Pink Cage Music

Three types of music feature in The Pink Cage, to match the three sections of the book. The early years are set to the stately tones of Bach. Despite what I said about electronic music, there is nothing like classical music to pierce the heart and speak to your deepest emotions.

When Jazz arrives on the scene, he introduces Astrid to the bubblegum rave that was popular in the early 1990s. It’s cheap, disposable music and it hasn’t lasted the test of time, but it’s the music I grew up with, so I have an enduring fondness for it. The music of the skiing trip is cool electronica, still generated by machines, but with a mellower sound that Astrid prefers.

As a writer, I draw frequently from the well of inspiration that music and sound in general provides. Music makes me want to dance, to laugh, to cry and to sing badly. I’ve never known a time when it hasn’t healed me. In general, I find noise fascinating and because I don’t see very well, I’m more likely to notice it than other people.

White Noise

I love listening to people’s voices, how they form words, their unique phrasing. I imitate their accents, sometimes badly, sometimes well enough to amuse my friends in the pub. Electronic voices exert a weird, hypnotic pull over me, especially the ones on trains and buses. I achieved a personal goal recently when I finally got to hear the Luas (tram in Dublin) voice saying Windy Arbour.

The things you hear can offer just as much stimulation as what you see. I want my novels to be soundscapes. I want to create novels that people can hear as well as see.

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