Inspiration Through Music: Dario Marianelli

Writing romance has never been my forte. I’ll admit I’ve attempted it in the past and it never or very rarely comes out as sounding believable. One of my first novels had quite a bit of romance in it but of course it didn’t make any sense. Allot of it probably comes from the fact that I was sixteen and had absolutely no idea what I was writing about. Since then, I’ve become more interested in period romances, pieces that go back in time. I honestly can’t get into contemporary romance and, though I’ve tried my hand at paranormal romance, I find I’m not as skilled at that as I’d like to be. Instead, as of late, I’ve found my interest in writing a WWI era novella that I’ve dubbed the “thromance”. It’s a thriller/romance piece. I thought of the idea several months ago and haven’t had any time to work on it. I’m really hoping that I can get a chance to this winter after “Aequitas” has been published. However, I always get inspiration for it when I listen to any of the music by Dario Marianelli.

Dario Marianelli is a film score composer who has a knack for working on several romantic period pieces as well as a few war driven films as well. The first score of his that I purchased was the one for the latest Jane Eyre in 2011. I absolutely adore that film. Not only are the actors outstanding, the script is crisp, the cinematography is fresh, and the music? Well, the music had me enraptured the entire way through the movie. After purchasing that soundtrack, I became curious of Marianelli’s other works, and searched his history for the list of the other films he’d worked on. I was happy to find V for Vendetta, as well as Atonement, and Pride and Prejudice. Of course, there were many others. But for me these four films were the ones that really inspired my writing. And most of it inspires scenes for my thromance piece. Today, I’ll be sharing 8 songs with you.

My Edward and I (Jane Eyre): A female character is sitting by the window, a letter in her shaking hand. She’s just received the worst news she can possibly imagine. A letter that tells her her love was killed in the war under ‘mysterious circumstances’. Her heart races as she tries to understand what it means, tries to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life now that he’s gone. There’s a blank space opening up in front of her that was previously filled by his tenderness and his care. A spark ignites within her, somewhere deep that tells her she must know more about his death. She won’t rest until she has all of the answers and only then can she truly try and move on with her life… even if she can’t imagine how to do that. [This piece is so heart-wrenching that I really had a difficult time trying to pair it with a scene in my head. It’s meant to be a romantic piece that signifies a happy ending and yet because of the way my mind works, I thought of the opposite.]

Do You Never Laugh Miss Eyre? (Jane Eyre): In conversation with a man she’s only spoken to briefly a few times before, our female character realizes she’s somehow misjudged him. There is something about his questions, their depth, and their risk that makes her suddenly uneasy around him. He no longer seems as innocent as he once was. And despite her deepening curiosity about what goes on in his head, she is also afraid to keep talking with him. He knows now borders, no boundaries when it comes to the questions he asks. Does he not understand that the subject matter hurts to talk about? That it’s private and he shouldn’t be digging his nose into it? What is it about him that frightens her so? And why is it whenever she asks him a question, he is allowed to ignore it? She can see in his face that there is something he’s trying to avoid, something dark and painful that hasn’t seen the light in several years. They are both silent, staring at one another, their eyes asking questions instead of their tongues because, for now, they are too terrified to say anything.

Love Letters (Atonement): The jumping piano music in this song illustrates emotions run wild, thoughts and feelings that have been written on pages and sent back and forth from one lover to another. There is freedom on these pages, a place where they can share their love with one another, their hopes, their fears, their dreams and have no one else read them. The letters are symbols of unbridled passion. It cannot be tamed or trapped. Only when these two characters are reunited will they be able to calm the fires inside of them, the worry that one might not return to the other. At the same time, love letters can be risky. Such a limited amount of space on each page, one has to pick and choose his thoughts wisely. What is the most important thing that I must tell him today? They can trap you as well as release you. Such funny things, love letters.

Two Figures By A Fountain (Atonement): She leaves the shop. It’s night and she’s come with no one but the driver of the car. As he opens the door for her to get in, she spies a familiar face down the road. She begins to wonder what he’s doing down there in the town square at this time in the evening. Though she tries to talk herself out of it, she can’t resist this nagging feeling that he’s up to something. She tells the driver to follow her, knowing that he is one of her closest confidants. Together, they sneak through the shadows a midst the slowly falling snow through the square, following his every move. He eventually enters a building with a swinging sign hanging out front. The words on the sign confuse her. “Clinic”. She thought he wasn’t practicing medicine any longer… so why was he going into a town clinic so late at night? It pushes her to investigate further, even though her driver tells her otherwise. She must find out more.

The Living Sculptures of Pemberly (Pride and Prejudice): I love how quiet this piece is in the beginning. It’s as though a silent realization is dawning on someone, as if the thing they’d feared to accept through the entire story has finally come to light. It’s a hard thing for them to take. But thankfully they won’t have to do it alone. The man standing beside her holds her protectively, his hand stroking her hair as she clings to him. It’s because of him that she’s alive. If he hadn’t seen what was about to happen, it would have been too late for her. She has no idea what will happen next. But she feels as long as he’s there, she won’t have to worry anymore.

Your Hands Are Cold (Pride and Prejudice): This piece has a lot of different emotions going on with it. The beginning starts out with an action/desperation type tone, then we move into a sweeping romantic ballad, and finally settle the song off with a light and mysterious tone. It’s tough for me to see one scene for this complicated piece. Instead, I can see the relationship between the two lead characters as it develops from the middle to the end of the novel. I love this piece for its sheer brilliance and beauty and can see the lead heroine as she struggles with whether or not she can truly trust the male lead. He’s such an enigma and keeps things so closely guarded that it’s hard to know which side he’s on… and if he has feelings for her or not.

The Dominoes Fall (V for Vendetta): All is not as it seems. The further she digs into his death, the more she realizes how very little she knew about her love. His involvement with certain people begins to make her question all of their conversations together. It begins to make her doubt what they had together. And the further she looks into it, the more she realizes that the people around her are not looking so trustworthy. Her lover’s friends, all have secrets that they are trying to hide and none will tell her what is really going on. She makes a silent pact with herself to get to the bottom of her lover’s affairs, to find out what really happened to him and if any of the people around her were involved in someway in it. [This piece is one of the driving forces of the film “V for Vendetta”. The intensity in it, for me, matches my heroine’s determination to get to the bottom of this mystery. She’s a woman who has never really fought for anything before and has always relied on her family to solve problems for her. A new kind of strength is rising up in her.]

Evey Reborn (V for Vendetta): She waits until he’s out of the house. She watches from the upper window as he climbs into the car and the vehicle pulls away from the estate. Now is her only chance. Negotiating the halls of the great house, she eventually comes upon his room. Checking once more to make sure that no one is watching, she opens his door and goes in. Inside is just as she expected, a tidy room with very little out of sorts. She makes her way over to the desk and opens a few drawers. She finds photographs of people she doesn’t know. And then in the bottom drawer, she makes the most shocking discovery. She finds the letters that she sent to her lover, all bundled together with string. She stares at the envelopes in her hand as if they are on fire. The letters they told her were lost. The letters they told her they’d searched for that couldn’t be found. This man had them the entire time. But why? [In my opinion, this song is deserving of a much more haunting and powerful scene than the one I’ve described above. The reason I haven’t written one is because I can’t do it without giving away some of the major plot points in the novel. But this song is emotional and really signifies a character coming to a major turning point in their life, discovering something that they could only just barely grasp before.]

Next week on Inspiration Through Music, I’ll be exploring the work of Florence and The Machine! Stay tuned!



One thought on “Inspiration Through Music: Dario Marianelli

  1. Pingback: Can You Hear The Music? « Random Thoughts in a Purposeful Life

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