Wednesday, January 10, 2018

#Music, My Muse: part 2 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

From Pinterest via PicMonekey
Today, in part 2 of the Music My Muse series, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on mood music (see part 1 here).

I feel like most people have the same general idea of what mood music is. It’s all about setting the tone or atmosphere for something specific, usually romance, but not always.

In terms of romance, people often imagine a fancy restaurant with lit candles and a suited man playing a violin. However, some people will imagine star-lit mountains in the background of a small campfire with someone playing an acoustic guitar. What’s more, some people might actually imagine pink silk sheets, a bottle of champagne, and either a sensual rock ballad or a smooth R&B groove. Not one of these is better than the other, yet they are all setting the same tone of romance, in very different ways.

That’s what I love about music. Music is diverse and various. Its capacity to evoke tone, mood, and emotion is so limitless. Music is practical magic to me. It is my muse.

But there’s more to mood music than romance. I for one believe there is a song and or type of music for every mood if you look for it- if you are open to it. I believe the first time I realized that music was a flexible entity that could and should be interpreted in as many ways as necessary to connect to the listener, was when I was just a kid. It all started with Fantasia (1940).

Being the odd child that I was, I was familiar with many classical compositions. After hearing this music on AM radio, I asked my parents to buy them for me. Not knowing what I was asking for, my parents went out and bought cheap cassette tape compilations of various composers. Sure enough, some of the songs I wanted were on them. Then, at the age of 10, Disney released Fantasia on video for the first time and I got to watch fish and mushrooms dance around in place of ballerinas (Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky) and saw the earth evolve to music I’d always thought of as ‘the coming of spring’ song (Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky). It blew my mind.
That’s when I begin to realize that music could not only represent specific ideas and themes, it could also be interpretive and evoke emotion. When I began to write my first book, I often turned to my substantial and varied music collection to help me visualize different themes and emotions I wanted to capture, but of course, I had no idea that’s what I was doing at the time.

It wasn’t until later when I struggled to write my first romantic comedy, It’s Like the Full Moon (Sayings One) that I consciously set out to use music to define the tone of my chapters. Be sure to stick around for part three so you see just how music helped me develop It’s Like the Full Moon.

Now for something a little different. In this section, I’ll be sharing quotes from other authors and bloggers, I’ve collected in over 200 interviews, when asked, ‘When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

There are lots of songs that I hear and think, oh that fits what I am writing about or going through. The most current one would be Clarity by Zedd; another is Celine Dion. I almost always find that one or more of her songs make me think of stories I am writing.” ~ McCollonough Ceili

I love Mandisa’s music. That would be the background to much of my life. Pink has some original songs that would fit at times (if you bleep the naughty words for me). “So What” tickles my funnybone! For rage, just look to screamo music. I hate it! My son plays it sometimes when he visits; I think it’s made to feed rage, and that’s not a good thing. I’d rather be happy, so no screamo for me.” ~ Brenda Covert

I don’t listen to music – I have no ear for it.” ~ Darlene Jones
Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

#moodmusic, #music, #romance, #Fantasia, #Pinterest