Inspiration Through Music: Stateless

stateless

When I find a band that I can really get in sync with and start writing to easily, it’s essentially a giant celebration. I am a fan of many different kinds of music and I write a lot of very different genres, ranging from comedy to horror. Just about a month ago, I was working on a side project from my Monstrum Chronicles horror series in order to kind of recharge my writing batteries. Sometimes taking a break and working on a fun and utterly different project makes you able to see things with a clear head once again. And that’s just what it did for me. While working on that project, I came across this drop-dead gorgeous band called Stateless and a bountiful collection of songs that I’ve had on repeat for…a while now.

Stateless is an English electronic band that was founded in 2002. These guys have thought-provoking lyrics matched with some great beats and incredibly balanced harmonies. What really stuck out at me were the levels of beauty and grittiness that songs peaked at, able to sound really dark and tragic but also hopeful and lovely. Got to say that they are probably one of my favorite bands now. I absolutely love their stuff. It got so that I listened to them not only for the break story but also for Memento Mori and my apocalyptic novel, Cold Walls. I was thankfully able to include my four favorite songs from them in today’s Inspiration Through Music, along with what scenes played through my head as I listened to them. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

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Inspiration Through Music: Akira Yamaoka

When it comes to the world of soundtracks for horror video games, there are very few at are as well-known and prolific as Akira Yamaoka, the composer for the Silent Hill franchise as well as other games. Silent Hill evokes an energy charged, haunting aura that always makes one uncomfortable and looking over ones shoulder. With a blend of rock, trip-hop, and ambient that is unlike most anyone’s music out there, he has effectively created a world that we can lose ourselves in when we listen to some of his breath-taking and chilling scores. My personal favorite soundtrack of his comes from Silent Hill 4: The Room, a playthrough that my favorite LPer, HarshlyCritical just finished up. The story line and the twisted antagonist for this title really engaged me as did the various themes heard throughout the various worlds of the game.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to Yamaoka while working on writing projects. I was introduced to his music by a friend in highschool who burned me a couple of the soundtracks to listen to. I knew very little about Silent Hill then, but was still amazed by the music and knew it would be an excellent inspiration for not only my horror titles, but also a historical fiction I was working on and an incredibly secret project which has been in development for several years. Today, I’m going to pick five songs to share with you and tell you what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy! [Just so you know, I had the WORST time trying to pick just five. I had thirteen listed here before…]

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Inspiration Through Music: Kosheen

Several weeks ago, I decided to make a playlist on Spotify of music from one of my favorite television shows, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. That means that I looked up all of the music that had featured on the show and searched for it song by song in Spotify. This all equals the fact that I don’t have too much of a life outside of my writing. When I get into a sticky spot with writing when I’m not sure where to progress, I like to look up and discover new music. So, I spent a lengthy time searching through all of the music. I was lucky enough to rediscover a band that I’d heard of years ago and yet, hadn’t fully explored, the amazing Kosheen.

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Inspiration Through Music: Fink

Every time I do one of these Inspiration Through Music blogs, I wonder what it is that my readers get out of reading this. Besides discovering new music, there is an appreciation that I hold for all of these different artists, soundtracks, and styles of music. There is something in them that, no matter what they are, helps me to be able to write, to do what I love to do. In a way, they assist in a kind of weekly writing exercise that is great practice at keeping my mind sharp. Working a busy schedule, I don’t always have a moment to sit down and work on my books. I’ve got groceries, cleaning, cooking, and the obligatory playing with the lemon-eyed demon. It’s nice when I can just sit down, turn on some music, close my eyes, and be able to just “feel” where a song is taking me. Not only “feel” the song, but be able to translate what I’m seeing into words. I had the pleasure of being able to do that this week while listening to Fink, someone I discovered only a couple weeks ago.

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Inspiration Through Music: Emancipator

Music projects ideas into my head in a very unique way. When I hear something, I usually am able to conjure up a mental image to accommodate the various instruments, rhythms, and harmonies that I’m listening to. Every now and again, I will listen to one particular song and when closing my eyes can completely see everything that happens in the scene behind it. I tend to be able to do this easier with instrumental music. One of my go-to instrumental bands (along with Atra Aeterna and Little People) is Emancipator. Emancipator is actually one artist, Douglas Appling, who specializes in trip-hop, which is arguably one of my favorite music genres. Although I am a huge fan of Portishead, Massive Attack, and Morcheeba, I do enjoy really getting into pieces that aren’t guided by lyrics. I prefer to have the openness of letting whatever story wants to tell itself be told. I remember being introduced to Emancipator from a song that was used in a Banff Mountain Film Festival video that we were showing a few years ago. The song was “Maps” and it changed my life. Up until that point, I hadn’t given much thought to the idea of instrumental trip hop. I’m very glad to have been introduced to Emancipator back then as its one of my principal inspirations while working on my current story, Night Time, Dotted Line. Today, I’ll be sharing five of Emancipator’s songs with you and give you an idea of what I see when I listen to them.

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