Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Night Music, Please

I have to admit I have had a little help in my writing sessions for the past few weeks. No, I haven't asked a noted author to serve as ghost writer. I have invited Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and many of their friends along for the ride.

Their help is invaluable.

It is a matter of creating the correct atmosphere to write. I have some unwritten rules when it comes to music while I create. First, no lyrics. I don't want words from a song distracting me. Second, the music has to fit who I am. I have heard from one author of horror stories that he loves to have heavy metal or hard rock playing. Good for him, but it's not a fit for me. Third, the music has to lead me along. As much as I was raised on Clapton, Hendrix, et al, the classical composers form a bond with me. Maybe it's my upbringing. I thank God I had parents who presented me with a wide range of performances to view when I was very young. We saw Polish dance troupes and Scottish marching bands, and I saw the Bolshoi Ballet doing "Swan Lake" on an American tour when I was maybe 13 years old. So, the old masters in the hands of great artists such as Itzhak Perlman or Josef Suk are familiar to me.

Does the music influence WHAT I write? No. I am writing a thriller/suspense novel, and the subject matter can get quite rough. (One of my favorite selections is the second movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, but I didn't choose it because of the piece's link to "A Clockwork Orange.") I can have something exceptionally mellow, like the Spring section of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, on and type away about a killer tracking a potential victim.

Does the music influence HOW I write? Oh yes. I am so focused on my work. Maybe the complexity lifts my spirit and spurs me along. There might be a multitude of reasons. I do know this: I have had some amazingly productive writing sessions ... those 1,000-word days ... in the past few weeks. Do I think the music makes a difference? I know it does.

Sorry, but it's time for Eine kleine Nachtmusik ... a Little Night Music. Hello, Mr. Mozart. How are you doing tonight? Shall we spend a few minutes together?

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