As a late, late, late follow-up to this post, I guess it’s better late than never. That said, I purchased the CD last year and meant to yak about it a few days after. Took me about twelve months to do it. Yay me.
So, yeah – I upped and bought a CD of Nox Arcana’s Transylvania, which is a collection of vampire-themed songs all inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And, you know, I love it when art (literature) begets art (music). It’s a great CD, a lot of fun to listen to, and if you’ve read the novel, it’s pretty cool seeing specific scenes in your head while listening to each selection.
“Night of the Wolf”, for instance, makes me imagine wolves running through the forests of the Carpathian mountains, searching for prey or following their master’s orders to protect the castle. Maybe even attacking hapless humans outside the castle walls, half-crazed from grief and rage and demanding their children back. Other songs I really dig are “The Voyage” (think of the Demeter and her dead sailors), “The Black Coach” (off to take Jonathan Harker to the castle), and “Shadow Hunters” (Van Helsing and company).
The most macabre title, I think, is “Lair of the Vampire” because you can hear the pounding of the stake repeatedly throughout the song. It’s like a pretty gruesome back beat. Note to Nox Arcana: good job, guys!
One of the things that I used to do and that I’d like to get back to was to write while listening to music – classical music, mostly. I’ve written books inspired by specific songs (and books) before: The Glass Minstrel as inspired by “In Dulci Jubilo”, Banshee as inspired by M.R. James’ ghost stories, and Renfred’s Masquerade as inspired by “Barcarolle”. There are others, too, and while I’ve long stopped doing that and was still able to get inspired enough to write more books, I think there’s a very specific quality to those stories that’ve been “born” from a full immersion in other forms of art. And that’s not only in reference to the stories themselves, but also to the writing experience.
Of course, if I want an absolutely immersive experience writing, I’d be listening to music while writing in longhand – the latter bit being something I also want to get back into.
This getting old business is for the dogs, man. I turned 47 in August. When before I could stay up till one or two in the morning, lost in writing, reading, outlining, and whatever else I needed to do to get a story out of my head and committed to paper, now I’m all done in by nine-ish. If I don’t get to bed by ten or ten-thirty, I turn into a very unhappy pumpkin. And one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned recently was the fact that, as a fortysomething type, I can’t even manage to write stuff against a deadline. It’s almost as if brain cells stop doing things on command once you hit a certain age, and they go wandering off to do what they damned well please. I can’t wait to be done with the last Sheridan Diggins book (and it’s only a freaking novella, for God’s sake!), so I can go back to a slower, more open-ended writing schedule.
And that includes opening myself up for inspiration again from something outside my head. Looking at my CD collection, it makes me cringe, trying to remember when I last listened to any of them. But going back to Nox Arcana’s themed music, yeah – Transylvania is highly recommended.