A lot of writers listen to music when they write. I never did. In fact, I find music so distracting that I couldn’t figure out why anyone would find it helpful. Not that I don’t like music. I love music. And I’ve got very eclectic tastes. I listen to everything from classical to big band to Southern rock to indie. I’ve even *gasp* begun to like some country. But still I never found writing and music to mix.
Then things changed. My writing schedule for the sequel to Screwing Up Time is pretty intense, at least for me. And some days it was hard for me to focus enough creative energy to get my word count. (I write a 1000 words a day, five days a week. A 1000 words is four pages, double-spaced.) I needed something to help me get “into the zone.”
Enter the Moaning Monks. No, that’s not really the name of the group. That’s want my kids call it. I listen to The Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), which is polyphony and the words are Latin. Not exactly that kind of music that you think would inspire a modern time travel novel. But I don’t listen to the music to develop the “voice” of the novel. I use it to find my creative center. The sad music quiets me and allows the plot of a novel to flow. If you want to put it in literary parlance, it helps me find my muse.
The problem is that I live in a house with five other people who find that the Lamentations do NOT help them with mathematical proofs, chemistry equations, Calc2, and logic. Apparently, different muses respond to different music. (I have been told that Calc2 responds really well to Julian Smith, especially “Racist Coffee.”)
I've included the Tallis piece and Julian Smith's song. Enjoy the musical time travel.