I listened and I heard music in a word, and words when you played your guitar

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

Pretty much, Pete Townshend is a lyrical god.

That said, a lot of inspiration can be pulled from music. Inspiration for writing and visual arts, and other music as well.

One of my biggest inspirations is the album Quadrophenia. This was a major influence (along with All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes) on my first novel. I found the ideas expressed on the album weaving their ways through my writing. In the case of the latter, it could have been because I had that album on perpetual repeat during the drafting process.

Quadrophenia in particular provided a lot of ideas because what the main character in the album, Jimmy, goes through similar emotional and personal revelations that my character Will goes through. Isolation, alienation, and, of course, the difficulties of progressing into adulthood.

Sometimes I’ll listen to an instrumental or a foreign language piece to get into a different mood. If I’m writing a particularly emotional bit, I might switch to listening to a track from the Atonement soundtrack (possibly “Elegy for Dunkirk”) or “The Galapagos” from the Master and Commander soundtrack.

Music takes a completely different route in my mind. The different sounds influence how I feel at a moment, or bring back memories.

More on this later.

One thought on “I listened and I heard music in a word, and words when you played your guitar

  1. Music inspires in so many ways beyond writing. Scrubbing floors with a special U2 CD blaring gives energy to the task. Creative outlets are enhanced with just the right music. Nothing comes close to assembling crystals and pearls into one of a kind jewelry with movie soundtracks as background. Let’s plan to always keep music in our lives, regardless of the tasks!


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