Inspire: The Power of Sound, Ep. 1

Sound plays an important role in my life. This post is about how it is important for everyone.

It’s simply not enough for me to say “I love music.” Lots of people love music, and I’m not downplaying that. For me, though, it’s more than finding a certain genre endearing or nostalgic, and something far different from the need to create music. I’m no musician, and certainly don’t claim to be any sort of expert on the matter, I am just someone who cares and pays a lot of attention. Most people I meet tend to be, well, normal. As in, they have their likes and dislikes, but view music as a sort occasional enjoyment.

I can’t live without the stuff. Like a sort of requirement for living.

There is an excellent article from Lifehacker.org which essentially outlines a TED Talk by Julian Treasure on the subject. They speak of our sound affects us physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally. Lots of adverbs. Sound is a powerful thing indeed, and Treasure describes music as the most powerful sound there is – seeing as we respond to it so powerfully.

Now when it comes to writing, music is just as essential for me as something to write with and something to write on. At times it can almost be a crutch – or a distraction – unable to put down words unless I’m hearing the right tune. Or sometimes the right tone. It varies. And I admit there are times when writing I’ll be so in the zone that I’ll actually be unaware of the silence when my playlist runs out, but to really get the creative juices flowing, nothing works better than mood-setting music for a scene, setting, character or even concept.

There will be subsequent posts on this matter, primarily concerning inspiring music and the like. I am on a near-constant quest for finding new sounds to hear and create to, and a sort of geeky side-project of mine is assembling a soundtrack for my written works. That being said, the majority of music I happen to find the most inspiring was that from film scores and video game soundtracks; I’ve heard of people who write while listening to heavy metal or pop. While I respect it, I don’t get it. I always end up writing the words that go into my brain from my ear holes.

Sometimes, a story can be stumped and left unfinished on account of not having the right music available. I’ve found at times that FLASHES of insight will come most unexpectedly (usually while driving, in fact, with music playing), that either fill the gap between ideas, or are completely new ideas altogether. My life is an alchemical mixture of sounds; the right music wakes me up, the right tones put me to sleep, and the right tunes get me thinking and creating.

Let me leave you, dear readers, with a track from a game known as Sanctum 2. Having not yet played the game, I can be no judge of the content, but one track stands out above the rest, and is responsible for a variety of powerful creative impulses I’ve been feeling for the last week.

Something regarding the fate of a certain man who is transformed into the living embodiment of a vehement crystal, effectively becoming an energy being for a short time before being banished from the material plane – but not before feeling utter serenity as he obliterates his hated rival.

Happy writing, lovelies.

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