A little over six weeks ago Arterial Bloom was released into the world. Reviews for the book have been kind so far and I am proud of the story I have in the anthology.
However, long before Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog found a home, when the story wasn’t much more than an idea, I opened a note on my phone and started tinkering with the opening line. I was listening to music, to drown out the noise of the office I worked in at the time, and as I wrote one piece stood out.
The piece was Abandon Window by Jon Hopkins. It became something I listened to every time I sat down to work on the story. It was a way in, a way back to the beach. There was something in it that resonated with the story I was trying to write. The music starts as a melancholic piano piece but becomes something more as an ambient soundscape swells beneath the notes. I thought it might be the Everstorm, raging above the ocean. Give it a listen below.
Now whenever I sit down to try and write, I need music. Something to help me lose myself in the world of words. Below I’ve shared some of the go-to pieces from my favourite film and TV scores.
Apokalypse – Dark
Ben Frost composed the Dark score and it is perfect for the bleak, time travel story at the heart of this Netflix series. This is a favourite piece of mine, full of quiet, building menace.
Campfire – Monsters
The Monsters score by Jon Hopkins is quiet, contemplative and full of atmosphere. The film might not be for everyone, but the music is great.
Waves Crashing on Distant Shores of Time – San Junipero
San Junipero is my favourite, and objectively the best, episode of Black Mirror. I love it. The episode has an amazing soundtrack, but it also has a brilliant, dreamlike score from Clint Mansell.
Welcome to Lunar Industries – Moon
Another score by Clint Mansell. Moon is an amazing film which doesn’t seem to get enough love. The building tension in this piece is useful for those moments in your writing when things are heading towards their final, inevitable conclusion.
She Remembers – The Leftovers
I haven’t seen the TV show but I’ve heard good things. I did however stumble upon the score on a Max Richter playlist and found this melancholic gem.
On The Nature Of Daylight – Into The Forest
This has appeared in a few places, but I first heard it in Into The Forest. I loved Max Richter’s soundtrack and I think this piece in particular is beautiful. A bonus – the music video features the brilliant Elizabeth Moss.
Motion Picture Soundtrack – Westworld
The Vitamin String Quartet are responsible for this instrumental version of the Radiohead song and it is a lovely, truly affecting piece.
Let me know what you have on your writing playlist.
And, if you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ve found something to add to your own playlist. If not, then I hope you’ve at least enjoyed some of them, and I haven’t left you feeling too down on this dreary, Sunday afternoon.