Music That Moves You

November 6, 2009 at 7:48 am (Uncategorized)

Like most writers, I have the compelling need to research as I write. On this 6th day of NaNoWriMo that research comes in the form of sounds (and really, that’s no big surprise as I most often will research the way something sounds. Memory is faulty and popular media lies).

I have researched two sounds this morning. The sounds of the barn owl, and the cello. Not all owls hoot, and from my time in band, the school never had the money for an orchestra. If they had, I would be a violinist instead of a clarinet player.

Note to self: Pick up violin lessons again. Also, save up about $300 for a cheap beginner’s cello. (My violin is purple. Maybe I’ll get a black cello with a white bow…or neon pink. Watch as my crazy skills transform the bow into a streak of color across the strings.) Just thinking about playing again brings back memories. I used to be pretty good. I wonder how things may have been different if I had practiced, lol.

While I was listening to random tracks online of cello music samples (read as: 30 seconds is not long enough) it occurred to me that as soon as possible I needed more. The music, played on a loop, began to fuel me. I could hear one of my character’s voices in the notes. I have no way to describe this feeling. I can only compare it to an experience that not many have gone through.

A few years ago, I went through Air Force boot camp. This charged up crazy feeling is like how I felt after exiting the gas chamber with my mask off. My skin burned with the fumes (it was a hot day and every exposed pore on my body dripped with sweat which seemed at the time like it was what activated the burning, because my eyes, nose and lips also stung). It made a lot of people throw up, and everyone looked like they were crying. Me? I felt alive.

It was a thrill ride and I wanted to do it again. I was tempted to get back in line, but being boot camp, you don’t do crazy things like have an opinion, a mind or your own, or speaking those opinions…much less be this insane person that enjoyed the thrill of a gas chamber.

This is how I feel this morning. Alive.

The hard part of this is translating this feeling into prose. A blog post is easy. You can stumble and mutter. You can use the words “like” and “as” too many times. You can make references to something like a gas chamber. In prose, you can’t do that. You’re limited to the voice and experiences of your characters.

Anyway, I have a busy day ahead of me and I have wasted too much time sharing this adrenaline-like experience. The story calls.

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