Sunday, June 5, 2016

Music As My Muse

Music has always been a really important motivator for me. Through the more difficult times, it provided solace and a distraction from life events that befuddled any clarity of purpose; through the more enjoyable times it provided a soundtrack of emotions that could be drawn from to remind me of better times, periods of accomplishment. In both my undergrad and graduate degrees, music was a source of focus, ironically, that allowed me to do more with less time. I fondly remember placing my earphones/ear buds on in the library and spending 6 to 8 hours taking notes from textbooks, drafting outlines to papers and crafting PowerPoint presentations.

My friends, wife and colleagues find it quite the anomaly. For many, music while trying to work is anathema. For me it drowns out the background noise, the conversations and whatnot that pierce my concentration.

As an aspiring author, my writing process follows very much the same scenario. Music is my Muse, and more times than not, it provides that push to get through writer’s block, ignites the imagination. For the Ochra Cycle, certain bands and songs could easily be considered the soundtrack. The mood and the emotions they draw to the fore exemplify what I try to accomplish in the writing. As the music helps draw out the plot, it also influences the emotion and voice.

There are certain bands and songs that really stand out when I think of the Ochra Cycle, none more than Lacuna Coil. For the uninitiated, Lacuna Coil is an Italian “goth-metal” band, with the leading vocals duo of Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The blend of heavy instrumental arrangements, Andrea’s growling vocals countered by Cristina’s soaring voice and a heavy dose of emotions make for a potent experience. Or at least they had until some of the more recent releases; to be honest, the last two or three releases left me wanting. 

The release of Delirium has completely turned that around. The instrumentals have gone heavy and dark, the lyrics heavily laced with emotion, brought to life by the more balanced weight from each of the singers. Tracks like House of Shame, Blood Tears Dust; really, every single track appeals to me.

Segueing into writing, this album has really jazzed me up. First throwing the tunes up in Youtube to review it, I immediately made the choice to go out and purchase this disc. Listening to it, the words flew onto the pages. I think these were some of the easiest chapters I’ve written, and this after a lengthy pause from writing altogether. The dark and heavy instrument arrangement synchs so well with the vocals. Possibly the best album Lacuna Coil has released, it has reinvigorated my writing in a way difficult to put into words. A succinctly as I can put it, I can’t wait to see how this album helps shape the Ochra Cycle, and I can’t wait to where it goes.

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