Note

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Sounds of Inspiration

Published May 22, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100: 1 -2

“The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14

Music is a universal language. It may speak to and affect people in different ways, but a meaning can always be drawn by those who are willing to listen close enough. I adore music; I love playing my guitar and singing along. Blessedly, the verse above says make a joyful noise, so God loves to hear the earnest praises of the tone-deaf and musically-inclined alike.

I can’t actually have any music playing in my room when I study; a certain song—the melody, specific lyrics, a catchy beat—can so easily distract me and cause me to lose my focus as I put down my pencil and notes, allowing the sound to flow over me as I absorb every note and detail of the story behind the music. Crazy, upbeat songs are some of my favorites because I can’t help but dance like a total spaz to them. If it doesn’t make me dance and bob my head with a stupid grin on my face, or stop and listen with rapt attention, then it’s no good.

If you’re succumbing to writer’s block, take a step back from the computer for a few minutes and listen to some music to clear your head. I’ve written entire scenes from the moving or intense beats behind certain songs! I listen to just about every type of music possible, and I especially enjoy listening to melancholy lyrics when I write. For some reason, these songs grab my attention more quickly than the others with their haunting sound and heart-wrenching lyrics—they always seem to have a story behind them that pulls me in. Lately, I’ve also gotten into a lot of scores and classical music that are fun to write to.

My most recent obsessions in the world of music have been “Heavy in your Arms” by Florence and the Machine (it inspired a whole encounter in the second book in The Shadow trilogy, and I’m listening to it right now!), and also Peter Bradley Adams’ “The Longer I Run.” I also adore Parachute’s “Winterlove” because it has this fantastic sound and story within the song. For classical, just about anything by Two Steps from Hell (don’t let the name scare you!). So many more, but this is just a small sample of what inspires me to write.    

Currently, I’m working on narrowing down a playlist of songs I’ve compiled for Rising Shadows. It’s a compilation of songs that I’ve either listened to incessantly while I worked on this project, or some new songs I discovered that seemed too perfect to pass up. I have had so much fun dedicating hours and days to finding the perfect match (or two) for the mood of a certain chapter; it was like writing the story all over again! I cannot wait to share it with you all very soon!  

“When words fail, music speaks.” –Hans Christian Andersen

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