Thursday, May 27, 2010
Shuffling the soundtrack
The file was open on my desktop (step one). The radio played softly in the background. I'd just poured a fresh Diet Coke with a splash of whiskey, and handsome hubby was finishing off the last of dinner's dishes (yeah, I'm lucky like that).
Prime. Writing. Time.
Then wham! A familiar Goo Goo Dolls song filtered through the living room and somehow infected my muse with an insatiable urge to watch a movie. Not just any flick, but City of Angels - the very movie featuring the very song playing on my stereo.
I fought the urge, albeit with little enthusiasm.
Handsome husband was drying the last plate when I turned to him and asked: Hey, have you seen City of Angels? He scrunched his nose a bit, shook his head - and I read his mind. Chick flick? I softened it with: It's got Nic Cage in it.
And just like that, the laptop lid is closed, I'm downing the drink, my radio's off, there's a box of Kleenex at my side, and the City of Angels DVD is plugged in and ready.
Oh how easily my muse is distracted.
As I tossed and turned before succumbing to sleep last night, I thought about the power of that Goo Goo Dolls song. The lyrics are powerful and obviously perfect for the movie: I'd give up forever to touch you. (swoon) My reaction upon hearing them was instant.
This isn't the first time music has compelled (or distracted) me. When I hear Goodbye Horses by Q Lazarus I think of Silence of the Lambs. If I hear a Ramstein song, I want to watch XXX - though, a picture of Vin Diesel will do that as well. And I've watched Twilight a couple of times after hearing the soundtrack echo from my stepdaughter's room. One of my favourite movies is Streets of Fire, partially because I love Diane Lane, partially because I love Michael Pare, and mostly because I love, love, love the music. It's a rock and roll fable! How cool is that? (Also, it reminds me of my youth, because my sister and I watched it every year when we were kids. That and Hot Dog. I was a crappy babysitter...)
When I write, I listen to music. But it's often my character's soundtrack. Jagger, for instance, loves Audioslave and I think I'd be hard-pressed to sing a single line from an Audioslave song. Mario likes Madonna - and, um, Marilyn Manson. I know, he's eclectic. And although Nico has probably never heard a Muse song, that's what is playing in the background when I'm pushing through the confessional scenes.
Sometimes I wonder if later, when the novel is complete and hopefully on the shelf, will certain songs remind me of its creation? Is there a single song that will become the song?
How about you? Do you write/work to music? Do any songs make you want to dance? sing? watch a specific movie? What are the songs that make up the soundtrack of your life?