To continue my sporadic About the Author series, I’d like to talk about how music has impacted and influenced my writing.
I’ve loved music for just about as long as I can remember. My parents played lots of vinyl records, instilling in me a love for the classics like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, along with many others. As I got older, I discovered punk, metal, and electronic music. I learned how to play guitar, bass, keyboard, and computer sequencing.
During my late teens and early twenties, I played and sang in several bands, trying to make it as a professional musician. Eventually, as my skills and creativity matured, I moved from playing punk to experimental prog-rock. Being that I was the primary singer and lyricist for the band, I dreamed up a conceptual theme based on a sci-fi world. It started with the evolution of the solar system, each album progressing through a different epoch of time. All the planets were symbolically based on a different band member and their history. During this time, I really wanted to write sci-fi novels, but didn’t feel I had the skills for something like that. (By the way, I just Googled this band, The Ascent and Decline of Terrion, and it turns out there is still music online, on MySpace of all places…).
|I used to be HardxCore! 😉|
When The Ascent and Decline of Terrion broke up, I decided I’d had enough of trying to make bands work. If you’ve never been in one, it’s hard to understand just how much drama and conflict can be involved. I briefly worked on a solo electronic project under the name Trans Human Existence (again implementing sci-fi themes) and finally started writing a novel. Several years passed, the manuscript became Breakers of the Dawn, and I quit creating music.
Sometimes I really miss being in bands, playing shows, and rocking out. It was a fun collaborative effort, greater than the sum of its parts. One thing I’ve realized though, was that I enjoyed the act of creating and playing songs for a couple weeks. After that, they began to feel stale and I was ready to move on. Writing has a similar analog: the process of drafts and revision. However, I find these to be much less taxing and enjoyable than playing the same songs week after week.
At any rate, I still love music and even listen to it while writing, finding tracks that suit the mood of whatever I’m working on. Music can often get me into a flow, help me focus, and mentally send me off to places I didn’t knew existed.