Mostly Magic Soundtrack


Like many authors, while I write I listen to music. It helps me to focus and it also helps to supply background and emotion to the story I’m writing. So I tend to construct a “soundtrack”, adding entire albums, then ruthlessly deleting songs when I find my writing flow stuttering, until I have the perfect soundtrack that just seamlessly weaves itself around the story and settles in around my writing, pushing the action, ramping up the tension, or resolving it. In addition, music often pops up in the actual story itself. Eventually, I have a list of songs that could be considered a soundtrack. It may be ten songs, it may be four, and some may play on a continuous loop as I pound out a given scene.

I lean toward Celtic songs or soundtrack music and many of the songs fit my Appalachian setting. However, when it comes to love scenes, I’m afraid my own life tends to elbow in. In most cases when I am writing a love scene, my fall back is Italian love songs, in Italian, because my husband loved to sing to me. In this particular case, it was a perfect match for the characters and the setting. See what you think:

This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush
This one is the perfect, poignant background to Daniel’s repeated dreams about losing his future wife and their unborn child in the ER.

The Prophecy and The Vision – Mychael and Jeff Danna
These two atmospheric Celtic pieces from the wonderful album “A Celtic Tale: The Legend of Deirdre” are exactly the right backdrop to any of Daniel’s visions or his somber recollections of those visions, including the tense, and dangerous, confrontation at the end of the book after his vision on the mountain.

Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov
This ring tone of Daniel’s is the first hint that, beneath his constant air of dread, there is the strong soul of a survivor with a sense of humor about himself.

Going Home – Mary Fahl
For me, this is my ultimate “coming home to the mountains” song. When I hear this, I see the blacktop winding away ahead of me into a tunnel of trees and I have a wave of homesickness. Mary Fahl’s voice is incomparable. (If you want to try something else of hers, almost everything she sang with October Project is a keeper and is on one soundtrack or another of mine.)

Con Te Partiro – Andrea Bocelli
Ah yes! This one answers the question “What exactly was Ouida listening to when Nick introduced her to Bocelli?” What Daniel mistakes for opera from the brief snippet he hears, is actually not opera at all. Ouida was listening to “Romanza”, the album that introduced Bocelli to America. If you haven’t listened to his unique, romantic voice, you have got quite a treat coming.

Dreamgift – Spencer Brewer, Eric Tingstad, and Nancy Rumbel
Trying to capture Mel Noblett in a song is an interesting challenge. I imagine it is because she is always moving, always ephemeral. The sweet sound of a flute wrapped around a song to dance to is perfect for her, along with the name of this particular tune. Tingstad and Rumbel are mainstays in my writing soundtrack.

Meraviglioso – Domenico Modugno
This popular tune is one example of the kind of music that Mel’s father remembers enjoying in Italy when he first managed to visit his family. And Nick’s grandfather likely played the same tunes. So when Nick plays real Italian music that Mel recognizes, this is likely the kind of thing he plays. This one in particular has appropriate lyrics for the story, reminding the singer of all the “wonderful” things in the world that he has been unable to see – “The love of a woman that loves only you. Wonderful. The light of a morning, the embrace of a friend, the sight of a child.”

Per Te – Josh Groban
The gorgeous Italian love songs that Josh Groban selected for his very first album are favorites of mine for love scenes, but for this love scene, there was no better song than “Per Te” from his “Closer” album. Some of the lyrics will show you why – “Tell me that you already know the future. Tell me that this is not the end. Without you I don’t want to exist. For you, for you, I’ll live. Love will win. With you, with you, I’ll have a thousand happy days, a thousand peaceful nights.” Perfection.

Category: Soundtrack  Tags: ,
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