I love music across many genres, but when it comes to writing I tend to stick to classical orchestrations – mostly because lyrics distract me. Sometimes I don’t really care what I listen to and will happily have the radio on (Classic FM usually), and there are days when I don’t listen to anything at all. However, most of the time I like something faintly inspirational and without interruptions in the background.
This means I listen to a lot of soundtracks as well as classical composers. I love a good soundtrack, be it for film, TV, games or trailers, but I also have a distinct weakness for a nice bit of piano music and strings. I am all about the strings.
Which brings me to…
Secret #3 – Each Book has a Slightly Different Soundtrack
Not much of a secret, I know. It’s mostly just an excuse to talk about music. But before I get into the differences, there are a few bits of music that stuck around for the whole trilogy. Namely this from the recent Poldark TV series, which sums up everything Icarus and Island related for me.
Medhel an Gwyns means “Soft is the Wind” in Cornish, and was composed by Mike O’Connor. The rest of the Poldark soundtrack is by Anne Dudley, and was also great background music for writing all three of the books.
I also listened to Ludovico Einaudi a lot. I’ve loved his music for years and have most of his albums. I think I listened to all of them while writing, but most often I used Islands: Essential Einaudi and I Giorni.
While I used all of the above music throughout the writing of all three Icarus Child books, I also used a few specific albums for each book.
For Sisters of Icarus I listened to Dario Marianelli’s Jane Eyre soundtrack. I also used this when writing Unbound and Free, since the desolation suits the island perfectly. Cana and Fox took a lot of inspiration from Einaudi’s Doctor Zhivago soundtrack too, especially Still So Early in the World.
When it came to The Crying Child my characters spent a lot less time on the island, so I needed some different music. Again, Einaudi mostly filled the gaps, but the music that I most remember from this book is Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No.3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). If you’ve read the book, you’ll probably know when I was listening to it.
Icarus Child changed things again. For this book I listened to Islands and I Giorni throughout, but Poldark belonged to Icaria this time. When it came to life on the island itself, then I preferred the solo piano compositions of Alexander Chapman Campbell‘s album, Sketches of Light.
It worked quite nicely for young Icastar, while Light on the Sea, is perfect for Saekara – and not just because of the title.
Then there was Ori and the Blind Forest OST by Gareth Coker, which is just beautiful. I’m not a gamer, but I heard one of the tracks on Classic FM and fell in love. It’s glorious, and every so often there’s a track that sums up all that is good about Icastar in spite of all he goes through. This is a particular favourite.
So there you have it, a little insight into the soundtracks that fuelled my typing fingers from Icarus’ fall to the very end. And although the music and the fact that I listen to music isn’t much of a secret, I do have a confession…
I haven’t watched Poldark. Or the latest Jane Eyre film. And I’ve already admitted to not playing Ori and the Blind Forest. I know, I know. I have a whole collection of soundtracks for things I’ve never watched or experienced. I just like the music.
Which is probably for the best because I can’t write to my LotR Complete Recordings for fear I’ll break out into random burst of dialogue. (I do this with How to Train Your Dragon 1&2 as well, because I am selective in my geekery.)
And now that I’ve shocked you beyond all recall, how about you? Do you have any particular writing-listening habits? Do you have playlists for particular characters or do you prefer to work in perfect silence? Or, like me, do you like to see how the fancy takes you on any given day? Got any soundtrack recommendations? I’m always open to new music.
Regardless, merry Saturday! I hope your weekend is going well, now that January is almost done. Meep! Where has the month gone?