Blog About Music...
Creativity candles lit- check. Glasses polished and on- check. Landline forwarded to cell phone so I don’t miss any calls- check. Open can of Monster, scribble pad, internet connected- check, check, check. As I crack my fingers and take a deep breath- here comes a rather insightful and barely at all hostile blog, ladies and gentlemen…
Last night, after phone calls were made and received, I sat down to a bowl of salad (shredded cabbage and carrots with croutons and dressing), a can of tuna, and a glass of soda and popped in a movie I found at a thrift shop in Grand Haven. An old, beaten up VHS (I know, what is that?), 25 cent copy of Disney’s “Fantasia”. What an awesome movie, really. I loved it as a kid and after watching a few pieces from it, before I got the urge to start writing this entry, I believe I actually love it more as an adult. I remember my mom buying it for my brother and me as kids when it came out on video. He and I would watch it over and over, but mom would stop the tape just before the “Night on Bald Mountain” section would begin. She was afraid it would give us nightmares.
Looking back, I think that movie is how I first truly fell in love with music. How a simple piece could evoke such wondrous images by artist rendering. Growing up, I listened to my mom’s music. She said it helped her paint and be creative. Instead of the 80’s music from my early years, I listened to Enya, Yanni, and Kitaro… Save for Harold Faltmeyer’s “Axel F” from the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies (none of which I actually watched till my teenage age years). And the love theme from “Flashdance”, another childhood favorite song. Only later in life. Did I get to revisit the 80’s and am still in love with it today. I remember playing the hell out of a cassette tape in my Walkman that was nothing but the best of Jan Hammer’s music for “Miami Vice”. I have over 40 songs by Jan Hammer on iTunes currently, and am actually listen to them as I write this.
Music has always been a big part of who I am. I need it to keep my focus. That’s why I’m usually listening to my iPod while driving- my “Energy Drink” playlist. A handful of examples from this playlist include: “This is Halloween” from the Nightmare before Christmas; the theme from NCIS by Numeriklab; “What’s my Name” Rihanna & Drake; “Uprising” by Muse(the first song used in the "V" promos); and “Gimmie Shelter” the Rolling Stones.
When I’m writing on my novel it’s my “Inappropriate On Scene” playlist. If I’m reading or just relaxing it’s my “Take the Edge Off” playlist- heavy with Enya, Yanni, Ryan Farish, and Amethystium. This playlist is also used for when we break out our massage table Globug gave us and beat the crap out of each other- highly soothing. Even when Hubby decides to break up my energy blockages (it tends to hurt like hell). If Hubby and I are in the kitchen cooking, it’s usually my “Lounge List” with Sinatra, Michael Buble, and Dean Martin. Or it’s “Buddha Lounge” think techno meets Bollywood. Then there’s the New Orleans Funeral Jazz playlist. Good stuff. If anyone needs one of those tee shirts from Think Geek- the one where you can plug in your iPod and play your personal soundtrack… It’s me.
A lot of my ideas in writing comes from music. In my head fragments of a plot point will join up to the sound of the beats or the singer’s words and BLAMMO! 30 pages later, a scene that might have been troublesome is completely knocked outta the park. In “MEDICS”- during the construction of the big motorcycle accident, Charlie is holding C-spine on a patient, calling commands to the other’s helping her get him into the ambulance. While iTunes was on random- Britney Spears “Circus” was playing. That’s how the lyric “… all eyes on me in the center of the ring, just like a circus…” came to play a pretty great pivot point for perspective in the scene.
When Charlie first meets the great Mac Callahan and Kevin Bryant- “… She smiled when she saw two men seated in lawn chairs listening to an R&B girl group from the 90’s at almost full volume, each of them donning shades and their uniforms. One was tall and Italian, dark haired with silver at the temples. “Charlie Braddock, this is Kevin Bryant, a member of the heavy rescue division,” Grady trailed off, lighting a cigarette.
“Nice to meet you,” she smiled.
He nodded in reply, stretching far enough to shake her hand.
“And this is senior medic, Mac Callahan,” he said, pointing to the other gentleman who was shorter and more bulky; his muscles straining the shoulder seams of his uniform shirt with his sandy blonde hair cut military style…” What song are they listening to? Salt ‘n Peppa with TLC’s “Whatta Man”!!!
“So why don’t you play any musical instruments?” you might be thinking. Well- I did. I play alto saxophone in Junior High band, and I sucked at it. I played fairly well; it was just my tendency to chew on the reeds for my instrument. Some kids liked glue or paste… I loved the taste of my reeds. Still to this day, I can play a little “Chopsticks” on the piano, along with “Fur Elise”.
I remember going to bed every night with the radio on, it helped me sleep. But, on the flip side- since childhood, there are songs that scare the shit out of me. I can’t say why, nothing traumatizing happened while one of them was playing; they just evoke this intense feeling of fear, or sadness when I hear them. To name the two that stick out… “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven and “Hymne” by Vangelis. After my grandmother died, I was driving home from her apartment with the last load of her things going home back to my house, where they’d left a couple years before, and Linkin Park’s “Shadow of the Day” came on the radio. I had to pull over in the golf course’s parking lot along Lake Michigan Drive to succumb to the great heavy sobs and tears. It’s still hard to listen to it. The lyric “… and the sun will set for you… and the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in gray…” She died in early November the year Hubby and I got married. Thanks to my ex-husband the song “My Immortal” by Evanescence has been ruined. He typed the lyrics and dedicated it to me and our impending divorce on his blog a week after the divorce papers were filed. Along with that, he also attempted to assassinate my love of Def Leppard by doing the same to the song “Love Bites”. Asshole.
Let’s flip things around here again- songs that make me incapable of frowning, fuming, or ranting. Everyone has those songs. The ones that just turn a crap day into something maybe not so bad after all. For myself- Jason Mraz “I’m Yours”; Plain White T’s “Rhythm of Love”; “ Hey, Soul Sister” by Train; and “Jump in Da Line/Sonora” from the movie Beetleguese. Then there are those songs that just seem to empower me- some may call these songs the equivalent to Women’s Liberation. India.Arie’s “Video”; Esthero’s “Wikked ‘Lil Girls”; and “Cellblock Tango” from the musical Chicago- favorite quote, you might ask? “… You pop that gum, one more time… And he did. So I took the shotgun off the wall and I fired two warning shots…. In-to-his-head…” How much more empowering do you need?
How’s this blog for a peek into what makes me tick?? Pretty good huh?