Friday, April 6, 2018

Inspiration From Music

This was a really interesting class. While I’m aware that many authors like to create playlists of music to go with their writing, I’ve never really given it much thought myself. I prefer the quiet, for the most part, or something instrumental. More like just background noise.

As for being inspired by music…. I listened to the sounds of nature on the galaxy channels on the television when I was writing a NaNo novel a couple of years ago, and I sometimes listen to Celtic themed music when writing the Moonstone Chronicles. But that was more to get me in the mood to write, which isn’t the same as having a song inspire me to write something.

To be honest, I feel that music videos or songs with lyrics are already telling their own story so I found our first assignment a little difficult. We watched two music videos, and were asked to write our take on what the music was saying.

Janelle Monae – Many Moons

Viktoria Modesta - Prototype

I chose the second one, and this is what I was inspired to write:

She was whole when it began, when the rebellious seed took root in her soul. And she was young, so young, so full of fire. She was surrounded by sheep, people content to be told what to do and how to live - for their own good, or so they were brainwashed into believing. She never believed. She would lead by example – damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead! The first time she was caught she was chastised for her rebellious thoughts and released. The second they tried reason, and then imprisonment. Believing she’d learned her lesson, she was released. The third time they took her limb, thinking to cripple her in both body and spirit. But like a phoenix she rose from the ashes stronger, singing her song. Though many feared the freedom she sang of, others saw her as a beacon of hope in a hopeless world. Each time she had been struck down she rose again stronger. Her presence was felt everywhere. Her courage was an inspiration. She must be stopped. She could not be stopped.

Just so you know, all the pieces I’m sharing that were written in class are unedited.

After the videos we listened to three pieces of audio only. Yes, I know it’s possible to work some techy magic so you can click and just hear the music, but I am not a techno wizard so you’re stuck with the full videos. All except for the first one.

The first piece we listened to was a classical piece by Dvorak, and I didn’t catch which one so I guess you’ll just have to use your imagination as to what it sounds like. It put me in mind of a silent movie so my piece turned out more like a review of the movie than a story.

The adventure starts with a pith-helmeted explorer in deepest Africa. He must fight his way through the jungle, follow a dangerous trail up a mountain where one misstep could mean certain death, and battle his fiercesome adversary to save the innocent heroine. The hero is victorious, and together he and the heroine travel towards a bright future together. But wait! Tragedy falls. They become separated. Each must journey onwards, alone, believing the other to be lost. But there is a light on the horizon and as they are about to lose all hope they are reunited for their happily ever after.

Okay, so it’s not the best writing I’ve ever done, but the point of taking these classes is to try out new things. This is kind of like doodling in the margins of a notebook – sometimes the doodle is good enough to be framed, and sometimes it looks like my granddaughter got a hold of my book. LOL

The second piece we listened to had lyrics, and most of us were familiar with it – White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane. Despite the lyrics, I had an easier time envisioning a story. I focused on just the music at first, but I think knowing the song also coloured my take on it.

Down twisted streets I flee, the gang bangers hot on my heels. The air is hot, almost stifling. The walls of the barrio feel like they’re closing in on me. I shouldn’t be here, I knew that, but I had to find her, Alice, my baby sister. It had been days since she disappeared. I’d run out of leads and was left with rumours, now those rumours were going to get me killed. Footsteps slapped the wet pavement – mine, theirs. Steam rose where the hot sun touched the stones made cold by a sudden shower. My clothes cling to skin made damp from both rain and fear. My breathing is laboured, my limbs leaden. I’m so tired, but I’ll keep going as long as I need to. Wait for me Alice. Don’t let me fall down the rabbit hole without you.

For the third and final piece we were played a song in Hindi. I guess finding inspiration from music must take practice because I found this one even easier. Just an FYI, technically Nataraja is the aspect of Shiva that is known as an ecstatic dancer, but Shiva was the one the music called to my mind.

I am Shiva. Come to me. Come and dance.
Dance for me. Dance with me. Dance in praise of me. Dance your soul away.
Heed the call. Do not deny me. Do not ignore me. Do not deny your nature.
Feel the music in your blood. Feel me in your blood. Feel your heart pound.
Dance with me.
Raise your hands. Stamp your feet. Turn and spin. Dance.
Dance for me. Do not stop. Praise my name, for I am Shiva.
Dance for me. Do not pause. Do not stop. Dance.
Dance your soul away.

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