Musing over Music

We all have our muses, whether they be our own lives, mythology, or other works of fiction. One of my own most powerful ones is music.

As a musician myself, I am often hyperconscious whenever a song is being played over the radio or on my phone. While I am aware of the words, I tend to pay more attention to the notes that the vocalist is singing and the instrumental supporting those notes. My director often says that the singer and/or the melody parts are the icings atop the musical cake, and the rest of the ensemble play various levels of support, whether it be counter-melody or background. As a trumpet player, I often have the melody more often than the others in my ensemble, which consists mostly of saxophone players, but tend to switch easily to other parts as well.

However, I am sometimes stopped dead in my tracks over the lyrics of particular songs. When I am listening to the words of some songs, I am struck by the visual imagery that they can create, and the deeper layers added to that imagery by the instrumental beneath those words. While writing a piece for my first rotation turn on The Sisters of the Pen, I decided to take advantage of one of these instances.

Twin Skeletons by Fall Out Boy is a song that has always struck me as important to my own creativity. In my mind, it’s a very contemporary Gothic piece, and has just the right amount of creep factors. As someone who spends a lot of time within the contemporary Gothic genre, I found it an immense help in writing the piece.

What are some of your thoughts on music and writing? I think they can stick together like the perfect Oreo, or sometimes fall flat like an untuned instrument. It depends on the person, I suppose, as well as the type of music and writing being done.

Best wishes,