Sunday, 31 August 2014

Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment † Music and writing

Life has been BUSY. Masters + full time work is a difficult balance, but I've got my head above water for now, just.

Anyway, I just dropped by and discovered The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment is due, so why not do something about that?

The topic is:
"For August's Homework Assignment, you are tasked to show us how songs or music inspire your dress, mood, art, writing, etc. Make that correlation between the song and the product of your inspiration; or, tell us what kind of music you listen to before you go out for the evening, or before work or school, or while you are relaxing at home. Remember, your post doesn't need to be fashion related. Get inspired! Think outside the box! HAVE FUN!!!"

For me, music has always been something which I associated with certain people and certain atmospheres. I also love to write. I've been published (small works) a few times, and I have a heap of unfinished works on my hard drive *cries* And each of those stories (and even some of the characters, in some of the longer, more complex pieces) has a playlist.

For example.

The Definitive Guide to Humanity (unpublished) is a sci-fi police story set in Hong Kong. Any music from any of the Ghost in the Shell series is great to play in the background while I write. In particular, I Do by Ilaria Graziano suits the main character, Rebeca (Ree) Lang very well.

To be honest, I love Ilaria Graziano's voice. Another of her songs, Monochrome, is great inspiration for a character named The Arlecchina from my (unfinished, again) story All Her Creatures. This story is a sort of crazy urban fantasy set in a modern city prowled by anthropomorphic personifications and stock characters. 

I once did a writing exercise where I played ten songs at random, and for the duration of the song I had to write a story inspired by the music. Maybe I'll post them up here one day.

I have also written stories for close friends for their birthdays. At the start of each chapter, I would include a quote from a song which they liked, and which also related to the chapter content. For example, one story revolved around colours, so each chapter had a colour and a song quote which also inspired the chapter.

1. Monochrome - Jethro Tull, Black and White TV
2. Red - Nine Inch Nails, Please (“Watch the white turn to red.”)
3. Orange - The Doors, Orange County Suite
4. Yellow - Yo La Tengo, Yellow Sarong
5. Green - Coldplay, Green Eyes
6. Blue - Joy Division, Blue Monday (although apparently this is the wrong attribution. Damn you, internet.)
7. Purple - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Spell (“The snow turns to streams of light, the purple heather grows anew.”)
8. Polychrome - Massive Attack, Blue Lines (“They wash away my shadow and … leave rainbows in the dark.”)

So music is massively important for my creative side. Even just writing this post up is making me itch to write. Does anyone else use music in this way? Would you like me to put some of my poetry or writing up here?


  1. What a cool idea! Maybe I'll do this "homework" too. I'm listening random music when I'm drawing, but the music is always somehow connected with the final art. When I was trying to drow something for some special music that I like, I mean - I was thinking about music at first and then I started to draw, I felt too chained... I need absolute freedom while making art.

  2. I make playlists for my writing too! It really does help :) I like the colour theme you have there

  3. Ahhh, Ghost in the Shell, what a spooky, awesome series (and movies)! The music is very spine tingling!

  4. I would be interested in reading the stories inspired by music, big time! I like to work to certain types of music, which changes, of course, depending on what I'm doing. For example, I have a crap load of reading to do today so I'll probably listen to some quiet classical music. The structure and logic of classical helps me concentrate on my reading, while the flourishes and drama of baroque distract me. Yup, I'm that specific.

    Thanks for participating!


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