I don’t know about you, but music plays an important part in my life. Sometimes I’m not aware of it but most of the time yes.
I remember things a lot by music, too. Like anytime I hear Don Williams singing Tulsa Time or I Believe In You, I’m transported back to Wichita and 1981. An apartment complex, covered parking and hot pavement. Being sidled up underneath the car with my dad while we fixed it. I mostly just nodded. I was only 11.
When Grease 2 starts belting out Let’s Bowl or Reproduction, I’m flat on my back, enduring three months of bed rest while waiting for the kiddo to be born. But it also brings back warm and fun memories of my wonderful friends making a weekly trek to visit me and play Dime Store Bingo. I always won all the cheesy prizes. It was awesome.
Or when I hear Jason Mraz’ I’m Yours. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I get warm. That song came on every single time I was in the tanning bed (I have since sworn off the orange-glo skin shade, thank you very much).
Sometimes music is great for tormenting your kids. I loved it when Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl would come on and my kid was in the car. I sang that song at the top of my lungs and chair danced for all I was worth. If he could have crawled under the floormats, he would have. Mwahahahahaha.
Today, I discovered something else about myself and music. My muse doesn’t like it when I mess with her soundtrack. For years whenever I wrote my Regencies, I would listen to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. Pounded out a lot of good story to those CDs and actually destroyed two different copies. Thank goodness for the advent of digital. This weekend, though, I picked up Adele’s new album “21.” FABULOUS. Serious shiver-inducing vocals on it. I thought while I was working, I’d listen to it.
Oh. No. You. Didn’t.
My muse fled immediately, if not sooner. No matter what I tried to write, no matter how much I knew about the scene, I couldn’t seem to string the words together the right way.
Finally, I gave in, put Phantom back on and Presto! she was back with a vengeance.
Music is not just about memories, it’s about emotions, too. And obviously, while I’m creating my characters and telling their stories, they only come out to play when Phantom is cranked to the max.
And one final shout-out here: John Williams is the man. Did you know he composed the music for Jaws, ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Close Encounters, Superman and many, many more pieces of genius we listen to? You may have seen this already by ApprenticeA on YouTube, but it’s worth another look and listen.