Inspiration Through Music: Fringe Soundtracks

When I find a new project that I’m excited about, it’s usually full steam ahead. I will work on that project and that project alone until I’ve cranked out a manuscript. I’ll neglect my social life and usually be very difficult to reach. Anyone who is friends with me already knows this though. In light of this, it may explain why my schedule has been a little hectic the last week. I’ve just started work on an apocalyptic novel that I’m very, very ecstatic about. The basic premise is that a woman recovering from an operation at home is inadvertently spared when an apocalyptic event brings the world to its knees. She must then traverse the new and dangerous world outside with the help of her best friend. Oh, and did I mention that he was dead? I’ve had the idea of writing an apocalypse novel for a few months now… ever since I watched “Jumanji” at the beginning of the summer actually. I really admired the characterization between Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt’s characters and toyed with the idea of making an apocalypse novel that was more character driven instead of plot driven. But I hadn’t quite worked out the kinks. That is, until I started watching the television show, Fringe, and heard the music on it.

Fringe is a popular science fiction television show created by J.J. Abrams. Several people have compared it to the X-Files. I was drawn to the show because of the main character played by Anna Torv. She plays a very headstrong and determined woman who is also very sensitive when she is compromised. I also immediately fell in love with the song, “The Equation” from the first season’s soundtrack of the show. The solo piano is eerie and yet beautiful. I immediately felt a strong connection to my apocalyptic book through it and with it spurring me on, I started writing. Don’t be surprised if I don’t look up from my word processor too much, guys. I’m on a roll. Today, I’ll be sharing 8 tracks with you from the various Fringe soundtracks.

A New Day In The Old Town: Chris Tilton – The cello adds an extra dash of mystery to this piece in addition to the steady beat. I immediately picture a single figure who has decided that they have only one course they can take. They can either remain where they are and probably die, or choose to accept that things have gone to hell and try to make it out in one piece. But accepting isn’t so easy, especially when it seems as though her sanity is the price to pay. She has to deal with the possibility that she’s lost everything and everyone who means something to her. If she goes out, she’ll be confronted with it and the risk is much higher that she’ll never make it out of there alive. But she has to try. And so, after scouting the street front for a good hour, she packs a bag of things, takes a deep breath, and steps out her door into a strange new world.

Love In The Time Of Crossing Over: Chris Tilton – As she drives down the street in her neighborhood, she views the empty cars parked along the roadway, the possessions of people strewn over lawns and in the street, houses in ramshackle conditions. It doesn’t look like the same place that she’s been living for so long. And there’s no one around to breathe life into it. Finally, she makes it to one of the main roads and discovers its packed with cars. There’s no way she can get through. She’ll have to leave the safety of her car and make it through the traffic jam on foot. Slinging her bag on her back, she starts through. There’s no noises and no evidence of anyone anywhere. She travels quickly and quietly, hoping that she too isn’t snapped out of thin air as it seems everyone else was.

The Equation: Chad Seiter – She parks the car on the street outside of his apartment. Before she can even get out of the car, he’s already out the door, up the steps, and through the front entrance. Picking up a monkey wrench from the back seat, she gets out and follows him up, carefully pushing aside the front door with a high creak. She wonders if his wife will be here, if she too hasn’t been taken like the others. But she’s also assured that she must be gone… why leave the front door open if she were still there? Meanwhile, he shouts through out the apartment, going room to room, checking for any signs of life. She hopes that for his sake, he’ll find her. But when he returns to the front entry with his head hanging and his eyes dark with sadness, she knows that he’s lost her.

There’s More Than One of Everything: Michael Giacchino – Up until this moment, everything she’s heard on the news has just been surreal, as though it was all happening to someone else and there was no reason to be concerned. Now, however, it’s real, very real. And it’s all before her in the most horrible tableau she’s ever seen. Frozen in fear, she sits absolutely still behind the wheel of the car, watching as the strange shape in the mist ahead of her slowly crosses the road. She doesn’t breathe, and even though her hands want to shake, she keeps her fingers wrapped firmly around the steering wheel until it passes into the night.

The Light Fantastic: Michael Giacchino – Despite her unwillingness to revisit her past, she continues to find her mind drawn there. The normalcy of everyday life is tainted with the thoughts of bad things that happened, things that harbored feelings, passion, and a desire not to be alone have caused. But just as she finds herself closed inside those memories, something shakes her out of them. That shape in the road has returned behind the car and it’s now facing her. Shifting the car into gear, she rockets forward, hoping to leave it far behind. It gives chase however, the hulking mass pounding over the asphalt. She screams as though she’s trapped within a nightmare. She can’t control anything, she can’t escape it. ((I was really drawn to this track because of its mixture of soft sounds at the beginning and then the dangerous thrilling music that starts about halfway through. It’s almost as though it’s meant to be an interruption, to lure one into a false sense of security and then it booms, makes you panic for your life.))

Where Dunham Fears to Tread: Chris Tilton – She lies awake in the night, unable to grasp sleep. The apartment is so cold, and despite all of the blankets on her bed, the chill penetrates her skin. She gets up out of bed, her feet touching on the icy floor. Wrapping a bathrobe around herself, she moves into the hallway and looks at the clock. It’s about four-thirty in the a.m. Early enough to start the day, she considers. As she grabs a coffee filter from the cabinet and begins scooping vanilla flavored grounds into it, she notices that a picture frame on a side table in the dining room has fallen. She didn’t hear it during the night. She pours the water into the coffee maker and turns it on before walking to the picture frame and picking it up. Upon realizing which one it is, the chill in the apartment hits her again.

I Thought She Was You: Chris Tilton – Before she can stop herself, she finds her mouth moving, reciting everything that has terrified her ever since the operation, everything that has fallen apart since she made the mistake that night of letting her guard down. She is shamed, guilty, and feels as though she has lost everything, especially the only thing she had left that reminded her of her friend. And as she speaks, he can only sit there, his face twisted in pain as he realizes how much sadness has occurred after his death. She tells him that what they did was wrong but at the same time, though it may have seemed right at the time. He can do nothing but concur.

Good Ol’ Charlie: Chris Tilton – There he is standing before her, in a haze of smoke that billows from the storefront. He is so much more real than the one she saw in her nightmare nearly a month ago. He almost looks alive. But then reality crashes into her. He isn’t alive and therefore, it must be her imagination, running away with her. He calls her name and she chokes back a sob when it sounds exactly like him. He begins walking toward her, his face painted in concern. The gun in her fingers feels heavy and the closer he gets, she begins to realize that it is him. He’s not a figment of her imagination, nor a nightmare. He’s really, truly there. He wraps his arms around her and pulls her close. All of her strength fades as they both sink to the ground and she loses control as tears begin slipping from her eyes.

((Whew. Sad. I know. This book is going to be awesome!))

Next week on Inspiration Through Music, I’ll be listening to some classics from the extraordinarily talented Neil Young. Stay tuned!



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