And to everyone, thank you for those wonderful suggetions. I’ll be tackling them over the coming week or so. Please, always feel free to ask more questions.
The following was originally published in the LoveLetter Magazine, a German romance publication. I have been given their kind permission to repost it here.
Usually when I mix a soundtrack for a book I’m writing, I put together something that can be listened to as a comprehensive whole, a mix that to me, has themes and story and that takes my mind on a particular journey, one that is sympathetic to the book I am working on.
In SOUL SONG, music is the whole and entire focus of the main characters. M’cal is a merman who can steal souls with nothing but his voice, and Kit Bell, the heroine, is a classical rock star whose music contains its own magic. Both of them love music almost as much as they come to love each other. It’s part of them. And the music I’ve listed below helped me write that love.
Unlike other mixes I’ve created, however, the tracks listed, while representative of the music that inspired the book, do not really fit together—at least, not in any typical fashion. Instead, they are individual songs that I found myself listening to again and again at different times during the creation of the novel.
I hope you enjoy!
These first five songs are lush, romantic, mysterious—and absolutely lovely. Every one of the following melodies tells a story inside my mind, and inspires a mood: love, heartache, happiness, longing, fear.
Spartacus: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia – James Galway & Myung-Whun Chung, from his album “Flute for Relaxation”
Gabriel’s Oboe – Yo-Yo Ma, Roma Sinfonietta & Ennio Morricone
The Falls – Yo-Yo Ma, Roma Sinfonietta & Ennio Morricone
For me, these two songs should be listened together as a continuous sequence.
Love Theme – Trevor Jones, from “The Dark Crystal – Original Album”
The Flying Sequence – John Williams, from the “Superman” soundtrack
Night On Bald Mountain – Eugene Ormandy & Philadelphia Orchestra, from the album
“Fright Night – Music That Goes Bump in the Night”
The First Noel/Mary Mary – Sarah McLachlan, from her “Wintersong” album
I happened to write Soul Song over the holidays, and this song just stuck with me. It’s not a typical Christmas melody, but lovely nonetheless—and something I found myself listening to quite often for the intensely dreamy mood it struck.
Moon River – Audrey Hepburn & Henry Mancini
Pure, simple, loveliness.
Stranger In Paradise – Sarah Brightman’s version
When mixing a soundtrack for a book that is about magic and the power of music—and unearthly voices—Sarah Brightman receives an automatic entry. It hardly matters what song she sings, though “Stranger in Paradise” fits the tone and story of Soul Song better than any other. And I love the lyrics:
“A stranger in paradise
If I stand starry-eyed
That’s a danger in paradise
For mortals who stand beside
An angel like you”
Just Like Heaven – Katie Melua, from her album “Piece by Piece”
I believe “The Cure” did this song first, but I love Ms. Melua’s slower melody, which is so sweet and enchanting. And the lyrics! Again, perfect for the book:
“Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream”
If – Janet Jackson, from her album “Janet”
This is probably the most “hard-core” song on the list, and it’s one that is probably in almost all my soundtracks, if only because it has that driving beat that totally suits the rhythm of how I write my action sequences. Most of the music I listened to was so slow and lush, that I needed something stronger to kick start my engines when I had to get intense.
And in a matter somewhat related to what I posted above, here’s another singer I like, though he doesn’t get much coverage in the United States. He’s mega-famous is Asia, though. His name is Kris Phillips (otherwise known as Fei Xiang), and he’s been everything from a rock star, to the Phantom of the Opera in the international performances of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. He’s cute, too.
Heck, here’s Han Hong, who has one of the most gorgeous voices on the planet:
And another duet video she did for a movie, of which there are two versions:
Finally, there’s the super cool Wong Faye: