Thursday, 6 December 2012


Hi everyone! Happy Thursday to to all - and thanks for all your good wishes for my poor head on Tuesday. My apologies for the disappointing post. I wish I had something really good for you today to make up for it but to be honest I'm finding myself a bit stumped, so it seems a good time for some writing music recs!

I know I recommend a lot of music, so I thought I'd make this post about the stuff I've been listening and writing to just over the past couple of months. It's a pretty eclectic mix. Hopefully most people will find something that they like in here. Now I did try to embed this stuff in the post, but unfortunately since Blogger overhauled itself it refuses to let me embed more than one YouTube video in a post - I mean, the second I press 'Publish' on a post it literally wipes the embedded HTML off and leaves an empty space (thanks a lot Blogger! I hope you die in a fire!). So instead I've just linked to the relevent YouTube pages. Sorry about that, guys.

Back when I was writing Daughter of the Flames (lo, these many long years ago!) there was a drama series on the BBC which I absolutely loved. The drama was called North and South, and recently I discovered that there was a soundtrack available for it. So here's my favourite piece from that, which is called The Northbound Train.

Check the whole soundtrack out if you can find it. It's generally something you can only get hold of secondhand as a CD, but it's such great writing music that it's worth the messing around to have it in my opinion.

I find one of the best kinds of music to write to is 'trailer music'. This is a lesser known subgenre of movie soundtrack music. Composers create often quite short but incredibly emotive and dramatic pieces of music for film, video game or TV trailers. I love this stuff and I was thrilled to see that Danny Cocke, one of the best composers out there, had recently released a new album. I immediately latched onto this track - for reasons which you will see when you read The Night Itself (mwaa ha haa haaa! Mysterious-hints-no-jutsu!). It's called The Harbinger. 

I came across this next piece on the blog of inspirational fantasy writer N.K. Jemisin. It's called War, and it's by the brilliant cellist Zoe Keating and made the hairs on the back of my next stand to attention. I haven't actually found the piece of writing (the character or theme or scene) that fits this music yet, but as general inspiration it's great. Check it out. 

Now for something completely different. I discovered the band Sleeping At Last due to the inclusion of their song Turning Page in one of the Twilight films - but please don't dismiss them because of that! They're a great indie band who produce achingly beautiful, lyrical music. For some reason this song, Brightly (which I only heard for the first time earlier this week) always makes tears prickle in my eyes, and I know I'll be using it to inspire some moments in the final The Name of the Blade book.

Here's another song that I'll be using at some point for the final Trilogy book - Don't Say a Word by Ellie Goulding. It's got a certain hard edged wistfulness (what am I talking about? I don't know, okay, that's just what I feel) that fits with some character elements in the story, and it's also a rocking tune that gets me chair dancing every time:

And back to trailer music again! This piece, Blood and Glory by Audiomachine, was a random recommendation on iTunes I think - I really like the vocal element and the way it switches tempo. It has a great epic feeling.

I hope some of you find some of these as inspiring as I do :) Read you later, guys!


Rebecca Lindsay said...

I *love* the BBC series North and South! And I love that piece of music. It fits in with the end scene perfectly.
I'll definately be having a listen to those tunes when writing :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Rebecca: I really want to see it again now, too. Stupid BBC. Why don't they ever do repeats.

Isabel said...

I love the second track, it's so intense! Thanks for the recs!

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Intense is just the right word for it!

Kristen Evey said...

I am really excited to check all these recs out. None of the music I have has been working for my current WIP, so maybe these will jog something. If not, I love having good music around for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

PS North & South! Yes! I admit I love it mostly for Richard Armitage though. ;)

Zoë Marriott said...

Kristen: I hate that. When your music's not right you feel as if you're swimming against the tide the whole time. Good luck finding the right tracks :)

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