What is life without the sounds of the drum or the chords from a violin. I first began listening to music to write in high school. I would listen to whatever was popular, then it was Nirvana. Until the last 8 months or so I had listened to music with lyrics while writing. I found that when I had lyrics I would write less and it would not be good solid writing. I would begin singing the lyrics. After talking to my cousin, she also is a writer. I began to listen to music without lyrics and found that the words were better and the thoughts coming through in the words came out better. I have since made my way to movie scores. Although my favorite writing music is Chopin.
If you listen carefully to those around you there is another music. The sound of laughter from a child or that of scorn from a parent. Every sound we hear is like an orchestra looking for its maestro. From the small sounds a baby makes to the loud scream in a casino. Every where we go there is the sound of the voice. How we use that voice to our advantage, how we transfer the sound of voice on the page in dialogue is different for each person. I work in Las Vegas at a bar. I hear voices from all over the world every day. The sound of someone from Australia is much different from that of someone from Ireland. Some may argue that with me. The voice and the sounds of speech, the very delicate voice of a woman to that of a large baritone of a man, which can sometimes feel threatening.
Trying to separate the threats from the non-threats in Las Vegas is the interesting part. The sound of an angry drunk to that of someone just having fun can sound the same. I found that out the other day when someone through a glass at me. Speech is how our kids when they are small identify us. It is how we know who is on the other line, even when we have not talked to them in a long time. The very delicate inflection to our words can tell how we feel.
The sound of a voice is something that can stir memories of childhood. Hearing someone’s voice on audiotape can stir emotions, especially if that person has passed away. The sound of a mother, father, brother or any of the numbers of other relatives or friends can open things up that you did not realize were there. With music it is the same. I remember the first time I heard “The Doors”, it was at my big sisters house and the sound of the rain falling during “Riders on the Storm” is something that I will always remember. The first time I heard Beethoven or the first time I heard Chopin. I fell in love with Chopin only a few years ago. I bought a CD with a collection of different composers and found myself listening to Chopin the most. I still love the Nocturnes.
The sound of a newborn baby crying sounds different to that of someone who cannot conceive a child. My wife and I once thought we were in that group. I know that feeling, it hurts to know that you could not be able to have children. The sound of a dog barking sounds different to someone who recently put their pet to sleep. The sounds of everything, whether it be music, voices, animals or nature can have a profound effect. To lose my hearing would be worse that to lose my vision. Not being able to hear the sound of my kids or my wife would be almost unbearable.
I do not feel that I choose the music for my writing, it chooses me. There are times I put my Ipod Shuffle on random and whatever plays is what I write to. It is amazing at what goes on the page when I am listening to certain artists. I have found that every sound in the air has a use on the page in one form or another.
Come into the neon light and stay until the end,