Victor Hugo is credited with saying, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
Does music play an important role in your life, in your writing? Let me say, I have very eclectic music tastes. I will listen to almost anything once and will give it a real chance to move me in some way. Music has such an effect on me, though, that there are some songs I cannot listen to if I’m particularly blue because of the state of mind they put me in. They take me back to a time that I can’t bear to think upon without them bringing every full emotion of that moment gushing forth.
I’ve mentioned before I once wrote some lyrics and songs with a co-writer. He had a profound impact on me as a writer, simply because he believed in me. He was a musician looking for someone to write with. We connected on one of those special creative levels you can’t understand unless you experience it, but like so many human failings, inhibiting factors came into play and like a pot of steam, once the water is gone so is the vapor it produces. Such is life.
I did a little experiment with music to see how much it might impact my writing if I surrender to the experience and allow the tempo, mood, and lyrics to engulf me. I noticed when listening to Norah Jones I was in a state of thought that produced a dreamy but sad piece of writing called, “Empty Rainbow.” However, I found when listening to music and attempting to write fiction that I either go to a place where I fully concentrate on the writing or I can’t concentrate at all and get caught up in the lyrics. To this end, a friend, Mike Schulenberg, who has a wonderful blog of his own, suggested listening to an artist by the name of Solar Fields; in particular, a song called Cocoon Moon. Sans lyrics, the listener is transported away by the music alone, allowing a writer to find their words without the intrusion of a singer’s lyrics. This is helpful when I’m trying to block out distractions around me and focus on a piece of fiction.
In listening to Nine Inch Nails, I wanted to see what might come forth to the pen. I listened to “The Hand that Feeds,” “Terrible Lie,” and “Every Day is Exactly the Same.” The following is what I wrote. After the poem I’ve included the video to “Every Day is Exactly the Same.”
Blind Danger by Sheila Pierson
Blood runs, dark eyes mount an offensive
Hide your sacred, the precious few that remain
The others soil the land with the carnage of their hunger
While you toil over decisions, lingering until a choice is
Made for you
Unfurl the bony hand that wraps itself around your neck,
Careful – the burning rupture of tender flesh may be the
Weep for ones lost to apathy
They are forever trapped in cage of stupidity,
Clearly seeing and refusing to acknowledge
Sweeping desolation over the landscape
The following is the video previously promised called, “Every Day is Exactly the Same” by Nine Inch Nails – Enjoy…
What are your thoughts the subject? How does music affect your writing, if at all? How does it move you? Any particular songs or selections you’d like to suggest or share?
(Musical note image provided by Microsoft ClipArt)