Simon: The Album
Last week, I announced that Prism will come with its own soundtrack, courtesy of Spotify. For anyone that wants to get practicing their QR-code-scanning in anticipation, here are a couple of pieces of music I've listened to in the past when writing other things.
Just scan the codes with your smartphone to be transported to the pieces in question. If you need any advice on that, this is a helpful wee guide.
Be warned - spoilers, natch.
For my previous book, I listened to a lot of epic fantasy music to get me in the mood. I found a few particularly rousing tunes on YouTube that gave me lots of sparkle and magic, as well as medieval fear and a good dollup of tension. Half a decade on, I haven't been able to lay my hands on those exact ones, but found lots of new favourites while I was searching!
I used the music to keep the mood throughout, and particularly for **last spoiler warning** Kailn's death scene. To be fair, fantasy beats are the only ones that really work for trying to kill off a villain emotively smack bang in the middle of a book.
For some of the more triumphant moments, I listened to a fair bit of Murray Gold, including I Am The Doctor. It's got a great punch-the-air-and-whoop feel about it.
Monday: Impossible (2004—2014)
Not surprisingly, a satirical spy drama had to draw some inspiration from the one and only James Bond. In particular, I adopted Die Another Day as my mental theme tune. Although it's best known as a Madonna track, I discovered it properly on an orchestral CD of Bond themes. In fact, I listened to a recording of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra performing Die Another Day when I wrote Agent Gahagan's death scene. It was my equivalent of EastEnders' Julia's Theme.
For a period, I took to defining specific tracks that would be particularly suitable for certain scenes. They ranged from particular Christmas songs at key moments of festive specials, upbeat jovial tracks for high jinx, and sometimes something more macabre or tense. Of them all, I think I most liked sprinkling another Murray Gold piece - A Day in the Death - during one particularly important episode. It's a thoroughly good bit of music.
End from the Beginning (2010)
Although it's been 8 years since my debut novel was released, there's one piece that still sticks in my head as inextricably End, and that is the music I listened to while writing the climax. Don't laugh, but it was actually the closing theme from The Apprentice! Evidently I had watched it not long before setting about the finale, and the music was just the right amount of tense for it to pop into my head at the crucial moment. I must have listened to it on a loop twenty times writing that one scene, and to this day I can't think of it without also thinking of the BBC music.
There will be about a dozen pieces in Prism, which will cover a rainbow of emotions and moods. As a reward for anyone who reads to the end of this post, here's one of them.