Inspiration Through Music: Mary Fahl

I like listening to all kinds of music when writing. It all depends on the genre, the mood of the scene, and the characters and their chemistry in that scene. Most of all, I love it when I find a musician or band with a distinctive voice, really intriguing lyrics, and a great melody. Several years ago, I was given a taste of the work from a band called October Project. I had only ever heard one of their songs but I fell in love with the lead singer’s voice within moments. Through the years, I returned to that song, listening to it for several projects here and there. Only recently, was I introduced to Mary Fahl once again, now not a part of October Project and singing some fabulous songs, sounding as amazing as ever. I even missed seeing her by several hours. HOURS. Had I known that she was in the state doing a concert, I would have booked it down there to catch it. Unfortunately, I missed it. But several of my other writer friends saw her and are as equally in awe of her talent as I am.

There is something very soulful about Fahl’s voice. When she sings, she sings with everything she has. And when I listen to her while writing, I imagine that my own characters are emotionally at their most vulnerable, that they too are pouring themselves into the scene because it’s all that they can do to survive it. I’ve listened to her while thinking about the sequel to Night Time, Dotted Line and listened to her while working on my apocalyptic project, Cold Walls. That’s what is so great: the versatility in mood that her music fits. Her song works with my dramedy series about two characters who meet up to go on a cross-country road trip and deal with their inner demons, and comparatively, the much sadder dystopian story of a woman who must survive an apocalyptic event with the help from her dead partner’s ghost. Sad and hopeful. And all wonderful. Today, I’ll be sharing four of her songs with you and a little bit of what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!

Deep As You Go (with October Project): He hit the water, the rock plunging into the cool blue and leaving behind everything familiar. Being inside that blue was a fusion of terror and comfort that he couldn’t understand. The white swirls of bubbles fizzled around him as he got his bearings, saw the unending blue-black beneath him and the pale green of the surface above. For the few moments of solitude, of silence, he thought about home, about the four safe walls, the soft bed, his girlfriend’s waiting arms. Why had he left all that behind for this? Why? The wanderlust. It had called him and he’d answered it as if under some kind of spell. It reached into his gut and took a handful of him…lead him there. And now…he knew if he surfaced…something terrible was bound to happen. (Just saying…I’m close to this song. VERY close to this song. It’s in my top 10.)

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright: (this one is myspace – you’ll have to play it manually) The field radiated like gold in the sunlight an endless wave around the car traveling down the road on its own. Three people sat inside. They’d been locked in their own minds for the majority of the trip, each with thoughts spiraling and twisting out of control. But then…something gave. It was as if, just for a short span of time, they forgot about all of the terrible things waiting for them and opened up. There was laughter, brilliant warm light, and adventure and they soaked it up, indulged, and enjoyed. It was so much easier just to be in the present, than to worry about everything coming. The future, after all, was uncertain.

The Wolves of Midwinter : The pull was stronger than it had ever been. He’d tried to fight it, the release and that blissful feeling of once again being free. The city made him feel caged, it touched all of the remaining human parts of him, the longing for society and order and control. But this feeling…wild and timeless made him only hunger for a fraction of that freedom he so loved. Seconds that could seemingly last forever. And before he knew it, he’d be back within the confines of concrete and cement once more. (Had no idea that this song was created for Anne Rice’s new series until just recently! Very cool!)

Sunday Morning Yellow Sky (with October Project): She moved down the sidewalk at her own pace, the sun hitting her blonde hair, almost making it glow. This was her street, her beat, the place she escaped to from her little apartment in order to be a part of the world again, a part of humanity. It was easy to get lost inside and forget to interact. There were days that it was just the screen and her. But this was refreshing, feeling the fresh air on her face, the cup of coffee warming her hand, and feeling the slap of concrete beneath her as she moved. This was where she felt alive.

Fallen in love with Mary Fahl’s voice? Check out her website here. She’s got a whole list of upcoming shows. Perhaps she’ll be appearing somewhere near you soon!

Next week, I’ll be listening to some songs from the remarkable band, Stateless. Stay tuned!



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