Two Books without Music: My Persnickety Playlist Needs

There’s something really unusual about the creation process of both Witchmark and its sequel, Stormsong: they were mostly written in silence. I’m usually a playlist maker. I usually write to music, a habit that sparks debate among writers about whether sound or silence is the better environment.

Now with my fanfic, I was forever making soundtracks to go with them, music that characterized the setting, the characters, specific scenes. Some of them could play for hours without a single repeat. But I never really found the sounds that matched with Kingston, and I never took the time to really search out a list. Early Jazz Age music sort of fit, but I was always hoping for something more atmospheric. I never settled on anything, and so I wrote two books without music to go with them.

But right at the end of Stormsong, I realized that I needed music to help me set the tone of the final scenes (no spoilers.) and so I took a few days to try and find music that fit my criteria:

  • No vocalists singing lyrics I can understand.
  • Music that prompts and supports a certain mood appropriate for the setting.
  • A collection of songs that fit together seamlessly, or have a strong reason to change the tone
  • Music that fit this setting’s feeling of danger, disorientation, menace, and profound wonder.

Naturally, I started with movie score music and video game score music, orchestrally arranged. Tempo is generally around Andante, so not too fast or frantic. And it had to fit that dreamy, dangerous feeling I’m looking for to go with the imagery on my (top secret!) pinboard. (well. It’s not really top secret.)
I’ve barely gotten started, but here’s the spotify playlist. If you have any recommendations, give me a shoutout on twitter!

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