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What do you listen to when you write?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by craigrr, Aug 10, 2001.

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  1. craigrr

    craigrr Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 8, 1999
    I know I can't be the only one here who listens to music when they write. I use it to either set the tone for a scene I'm working on or just to block out other distractions. I can't write very well when the TV's on.

    Anyway, here's a sample of what I usually put in the CD player:

    Just about anything by John Williams

    Classics like Orff's "Carmina Burana" or Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries". The soundtracks to both "Fantasia" movies also help a lot.

    Punk. Lots of it for fast paced scenes like fights. Rancid, Black Flag, the Ramones. They've all helped considerably.

    Some mainstream stuff like Creed, 3 Doors Down, Staind for intense scenes. Interchangeable with the Punk selections. Iron Maiden has also been party to a lot of my writing binges.

    What about the rest of you? What helps you write or gets you in the mood to write? What music inspires you to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?
  2. Talon Squad Leader

    Talon Squad Leader Former Manager star 5

    Dec 22, 1999
    Hans Zimmer and other composers, but mainly Blink 182, Everclear, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Lucky Boys Confusion, Savage Garden, Smash Mouth....I have a very diverse musical selection here that would take quite a while to list.
  3. Amidelta

    Amidelta Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 8, 2001
    Hi. I don't usually hang around the FanFicton boards. I am a writer, but any SW-related stuff I write I hide from the world.

    I'm intrigued by your question. Strangely, I rarely listen to the John Williams scores, especially when I work on my own material. I have a collection of 80's CD's I do listen to: Chaka Khan, Sting, Sade, Hall & Oates, Genesis, Robert Palmer, and others. (I'm dating myself, aren't I?) :)

    I can't stand to have silence in the background when I work. I'll even turn the TV on to have some kind of noise happening.
  4. craigrr

    craigrr Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 8, 1999
    Honestly, Amidelta, you aren't dating yourself. I'm a child of the 80s, too. The hair metal bands are a guilty pleasure of mine. I graduated high school in 1989 so I was right there in the middle of the big, hairy revolution. I was a total metal geek.

    Anyway, the Williams scores (not just from SW either) help me capture the mood I'm looking for. For me, it helps get the tone just right. My all time favorite theme from the SW movies is "Binary Sunset" from ANH. It's just a wonderful, moving piece. I listen to that when I work on something that needs a feeling of longing.
  5. ThatJediGirl

    ThatJediGirl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 11, 2001
    I usually listen to my Moulin Rouge CD or my Napster Songs: Enya, Dido, Everclear, Moby, Jay-Z, Some Country, and my Sarah McLachlan CD.

    ButI get so wrappd up when I write or read the stories that the songs tune out everything else and I tune out the songs and don't even realize the CD stopped until 10 minutes later when no music is playing.

    And when I am on the computer I have to listen to music because I cannot read/write without it!

    Weird huh?
  6. craigrr

    craigrr Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 8, 1999
    Actually, it's not weird. I can't write if it's silent. It just feels strange. Like you, I tend to tune out the music. Just there for white noise to break up the monotony.
  7. Mara Jade Emperor's Hand

    Mara Jade Emperor's Hand Jedi Youngling star 3

    Nov 1, 1999
    For some odd reason, I am extremely partial to female vocals while I'm writing. My first choice for all writing is Sarah McLachlan. The emotion in her music is wonderful and inspiring. However, depending on what I'm working on, I also listen to such diverse female artists and female-driven bands as Fiona Apple, Garbage, Rasputina, Pat Benatar, Tori Amos, Lori Carson, and a whole lot of others. Mostly it depends on the mood and pacing of the piece I'm working on. I occasionally listen to instrumental or classical music, and *very* rarely to music with male vocals.

    Actually, one of the more eccentric quirks to my writing habits is that if I find a song that really gets me in the right mindframe for the piece, I will listen to it over and over and over while I write. For instance, I still cannot listen to Pat Benatar's "Too Long a Soldier" without cringing slightly because last year, while writing the final post for one of my stories and having a bit of trouble getting it finished, I listened to that song for about eight hours straight while trying to get the words to the post just right...
  8. ThatJediGirl

    ThatJediGirl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 11, 2001
    Oh me too! I listen over and over to Sarah McLachlan's song: Angel, Do what you have to do, and Witness.

    Enya's song: Only Time is good to listen to and Dido's: Thank you.

    Female Vocalists do indeed set moods and are inspiring.
  9. Skar Kjoil

    Skar Kjoil Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jan 16, 2000
    My top ten:

    *Chris Cornell
    *A Perfect Circle
    *The soundtrack to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    *Tim Christensen
    *The Phantom Menace Ultimate Elition
    *The Metal Gear Solid Soundtrack

    I just can't put words on paper without music!
  10. LordMoltar

    LordMoltar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 25, 2001
    Whatever Japanese gaming soundtrack appeals to me at the moment I usually listen to while writing. I seem to recall most of my Squaresoft soundtracks are popular for my writing fests. (Especially "Final Fantasy VI and VII", and "Chrono Trigger".)
  11. Anakin's Angel

    Anakin's Angel Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 3, 2000

    I ususally prefer instrumental to songs with words, but when I do put it on it's usually:

    Sting and/or The Police
    80's (wedding singer soundtracks are good)
    Tori Amos
    Sarah McLachlan
    Matchbox Twenty
    TPM and ROTJ soundtracks

    Oy, I could go on and on....but there has to be something, and it cannot be the TV.

    aa :)
  12. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    I have a CD of Beethoven sonatas that just inspire me, so I listen to those, especially the Pathetique. I also rely heavily on Rachmaninoff.

    My mother makes fun of my tastes in music, despite being a piano teacher herself, because she claims I only like music if it's "bipolar." But it's not bipolar, it's music that explores a broad spectrum of emotion. If a piece leaves me breathless from the effort, I usually love it.
  13. jango-joe1

    jango-joe1 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 25, 2001
    Anything i have that is SW
  14. Ginger_Jedi

    Ginger_Jedi Jedi Knight star 6

    Jun 4, 2001
    Depends what I want to write I guess. I listen to Moby, Blink 182, the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, Moulin Rouge soundtrack, The Matrix soundtrack, Silent Hill music when I want to write horror, and plenty others.
  15. Melyanna

    Melyanna Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2001
    I'm with Ishy. I have "weird" taste in music too.

    I can't listen to songs with lyrics and write at the same time. I type fast enough that I can type the lyrics, and if someone is talking to me while I type, I end up typing what they're saying. This goes for lyrics too.
  16. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    Melyanna, I know your dilemma. Once, I was writing a paper on John Steinbeck's "Winter of Our Discontent" while listening to the Mausoleum Scene from Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom is taunting Raul, going, "let's see, monsieur, how far you dare go" and I started writing the paper based on that line. It took me hours to undo the damage.
  17. Melyanna

    Melyanna Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2001

    Can't say I've read the Steinbeck piece, but I'm very familiar with Phantom. (I used to really like Andrew Lloyd Webber until I realized that every song in his shows are based off one theme.) That's my favorite scene in the whole musical, though.
  18. Cheryl_Kenobi

    Cheryl_Kenobi Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 6, 2001
    When I write the Obi-torture I listen to a song called "Hurt"

    and when I am just writing reg. I mostly listen to pop
  19. Casper_Knightshade

    Casper_Knightshade Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 18, 2000
    Metal. Lots of Metal. From the old Heavy Rock of Led Zeppelin's earlier efforts to Iron Maiden(Up the Irons, craigrr!) to the symphonic Death Metal bands like Therion and Theatre of Tragedy, who's sounds of opera and related symphony sounds remind you that SW is a Space Opera.

    I like Wierd Al too, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon seems to help a lot.

    Overall, I like sounds that feel natural, are heavy in certain aspects, and are just a blast to listen too, like classical music.
  20. craigrr

    craigrr Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 8, 1999
    Awright Casper!!! Finish this quote- "We're not a British heavy metal band..."

    Anyhoo, I tend to gravitate towards scores when I write, even though I do mix it up quite a bit. Here's a few of the scores that really get me going (I'm not going to list the obvious SW or Indy scores)-

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind- Haunting, moody and at times, playful. Very inspirational.

    Dances With Wolves- John Barry. Evokes a feeling of travelling and discovery which is one of the main themes in SW- travelling to parts unknown and discovering hidden potential.

    The Crow- Graeme Revell (score only; don't care too much for the soundtrack even though I do own it). Another one for a haunting effect. There's also a lot of very intense parts. Moving, to say the least.

    Gladiator (both volumes)- Hans Zimmer. I can't say enough about the music from the movie. Captivating.

    Braveheart (both volumes)- James Horner. Majestic, moving and emotional.

    Conan the Barbarian- Basil Palidorius (sp?). Energetic and moving. Gets the blood flowing, kind of like Duel of the Fates, especially the opening track, The Anvil of Crom.

    Saving Private Ryan- John Williams. If you're writing a military themed story, you can't go wrong with this one. The track Hymn to the Fallen gives me a lump in my throat nearly every time I listen to it.

  21. Fluke_Groundwalker

    Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling star 5

    Aug 11, 2001
    I don't listen to music. I try to concentrate as much as possible. I do sometimes listen to music before I write though.
  22. Renton Kenobi

    Renton Kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2000
    "The Song Remains The Same"-Led Zepplin
    "1"-The Beatles
    "The Phantom Menace"-John Williams
    "A New Hope"-John Williams
    "Queen's Greatest Hits"-Queen
    "Moulin Rouge: Music From The Motion Picture"-Varios Artists
    "The Black Album"-Metallica
    "Gladiator"-Hanz Zimmer
    "X-Men"-Michael K-Men
    "The Door's Greatest Hits"-The Doors
    "Maroon"-Barenaked Ladies
    "Tonight The Stars Revolt"-Powerman 5000
  23. Oakessteve

    Oakessteve Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 9, 1999
    My WinAmp has got all sorts on it, and while I'm writing this I'm listening to the end credits of Men in Black. It's true that music does really help to inspire you. I wonder if George Lucas still listens to classic music when he was writing The Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones.
  24. Mr. P

    Mr. P FanFic Archive Editor, Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 1, 2000
    I listen to all sorts of stuff. I often listen to Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the SW soundtracks, and lots of other stuff, especially hard rock when it comes to battle scenes. However, since my trip to Israel, when I got a bunch of Israeli folk music, I probably will be listening to that more than anything else when I write -- it's really good for writing, as I've already found out. ;)

    --Mr. P :cool:
  25. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    My roommate is about as Texan as they come and she understands that when Kathryn sits down at the computer, if she still has Billy Ray Cyrus going, she dies.
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