I love writing to music. I carefully curate my playlists for each book, for each mood. For example, I’m working on a space opera right now, and so I’ve selected several bits of electronica for intense scenes, for ambient scenes and sad scenes. I keep it carefully compartmentalized for emotional content. There’s no point in getting super amped-up if I’m supposed to be writing a quiet confessional. Likewise, sad piano music wouldn’t get me through a laser-strewn dogfight.
There are a few artists that provide such a multi-spectral sound that I’m able to write to them, regardless of the mood I want to convey: Miles Davis, Debussy, Satie.
And Kaki King.
I say without reservation that her album, Glow, is the single greatest writing album in my collection. It carried me at the end of one of my novels, and all the way through another. Kaki is a potent blend of percussion guitarist, finger picker and ambient sound designer, and superlative in every category.
There are absolutely fantastic percussion guitarists in the world, but no one has managed to capture my imagination like Kaki King as I put words to paper. Her unique blend of odd timing and compositional flow creates a stimulating environment in which I can work, but it doesn’t compete with my book for attention.
If you have a few bucks to spare, I strongly suggest that you pick up Glow and give it a try. I’d be interested in hearing your results.
What’s your writing music?