The Soundtrack For The Trailokya Trilogy
The creative process for authors is vastly different across the board, but there are some similarities too. For instance, I learned that my process of downloading images on the web to use in a picture cycling screensaver as well as building a music play list is employed by many of the writers I know and adore. And, who doesn’t like casting their characters for that future film they want to make?
My favorite thing to do is the soundtrack. I’ve made one for every book. OP-DEC is all the swing music I can muster together in my collection, Jazz—Sinatra and Dean, Benny and Basie. Blue was more difficult, I reached out to Celtic artists, things like you hear on the Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack, and a local band called The McKrells (their version of Ride On—perfect). For Trailokya, I chose things that ranged from electronic to new age, country and metal—the whole gamut of genres. Somehow the songs all work together.
What this playlist does for me is focuses me on a moment in time. It reminds me of a memory of a dream. It sets tone and even setting. It helps me feel what should be felt in that section of the text to which it applies. The list covers the entire trilogy, so the song titles can be a bit of a spoiler, but then that’s often too obvious. A song isn’t always titled perfectly and how does Come On by Andy Hunter clarify anything? If readers were to build this list on Spotify – and they must pay careful attention to the mix, not just the title, as that alters the sound and mood completely, they would have a further insight into the ‘image’ of Trailokya. Playlists of songs are immersive, another layer of ‘text’ we can read beside the written text. It brings the reader that much closer to the intention of the author.
Additionally, a playlist serves to hold continuity across the installments. Sometimes when an author pens several connected books, the tone changes. It was necessary for these books that their tone was fluid, like the Lord of the Rings. This is another reason I wrote them one after another, then did my edits post completion. Continuity is required in so many aspects – word use, labels, definitions, how a character talks, dresses or feels. Argus of book one needs to be the same into book three, unless he goes through some major experience that alters him. As a supporting character, I chose consistency. His growth is tied to Maiel’s and therefore the music that reflects their emotions in the playlist helped to keep that bond and development on track without being distracting. The playlist is subtle in how it focuses the brain and hence the project.
Comment back to me with questions on the songs – where do they go in the narrative. Does a character have a theme song? What images or feelings do you get, or how did that song particularly frame the story? I’d love to discuss it.
Here’s a link to the list on Spotify!