Soundtrack to the Story: “Cassandra”

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I think of stories in terms of music, a lot of the time. I listen to music as I write, and I have certain genres of music that I listen to as I write certain genres. For example, when I’m writing epic fantasy, the soundtracks to Lord of the Rings and Princess Mononoke are perfect for me. When I’m writing science fiction, I prefer more “spacey” music. Pink Floyd is one of my favorites when I’m writing SF. (Hell, it’s one of my favorites any day. There is no activity that cannot be improved by adding “Comfortably Numb” as a soundtrack.)

In any case, with “Cassandra”, the story I’m writing right now, I have a list of songs that I think of as the “soundtrack” to the story. Here’s a few of them:

Gorillaz, “El Mañana”: Melancholy, beautiful electronic music that suits me well when I’m writing about sad things– and sad things do happen in “Cassandra”.

Pink Floyd, Animals: Easily one of Pink Floyd’s less-appreciated albums. Animals, in my opinion, combines the raw emotion of The Wall with the musical innovativeness of Wish You Were Here. My favorite song on the album, “Dogs”, is about half the length of the album, and is basically twenty minutes of driving prog-rock music that builds steadily to a massive climax. The whole album is a meditation on societal structures and the human nature, which I like, and it manages to be emotionally impactful without bogging itself in bland nihilism (like The Final Cut) or melodramatic navel-gazery (like The Wall). If the only two Pink Floyd albums you own are Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, then check this out. You won’t be disappointed.

Pink Floyd, “Welcome to the Machine”: This song is from Wish You Were Here, and it’s awesome. It’s a meditation on the meaning of rockstar fame, but it’s also an experimental electronic song that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in rock. Definitely one of my favorites.

Dream Theater, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Why haven’t more people heard of Dream Theater? Honestly. This album is pure gold. Most of its songs are about mental illness, and the music… it’s beyond description. Seriously, James LaBrie is my favorite singer of all time, and John Petrucci would be my favorite guitarist if David Gilmour hadn’t already beat him to the position. Some of the songs on this album that feed into “Cassandra” the best are “Misunderstood”, “Disappear”, “About to Crash”, and “Solitary Shell”.

Animals as Leaders, Weightless: Animals as Leaders is a band that a friend of mine turned me on to. They’re a progressive metal trio with no lead vocalist– all their songs are instrumental, and they’re all really good. (One thing that I like about the band is that one of their song titles, “Cylindrical Sea”, is a reference [at least I think it is] to Rendezvous with Rama.)

That’s all that I can think of for the moment. In any case, if you’re looking for a good piece of music to listen to, then any one of these songs is a great choice.

~ Ian


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s