• Published a book you want to tell us about? Uploaded a YouTube video you want to share?

    Normally you'll need 100 posts to self-promote, but with an upgraded membership you can do so with your first post.

    Find out more here: Become a Supporting Member

Music to write Fantasy to

Titus Groan

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
27
So, youtube compilations of Ambient Fantasy Music are a dime a dozen these days, but I'd still like to know what you folks listen to when writing/LARPing/ involving yourself in fantasy settings.

For me, The Sunless Sea official soundtrack is an incredible piece of ambient music. (If you haven't played Sunless Sea, it has some amazing writing in it)

Loreena Mckennit is definitely considered a 'Genre Musician', for want of a better phrase, and I especially love her rendition of the Lady of Shallott

Any and all recommendations welcome!
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,628
Location
Highlands
I've got an album by Loreena Mckennit but have never really given it much of a listen - however, checking her out on YouTube she sounds like my kind of artist, so I'll leave her CD in the car to play, and look at getting another by her. :)
 

Overread

All Hail Skaven!
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
3,761
Location
Hunting in the woods
I can't be accused of the crime of extensive writing, but I find that the story and your mood defines the music that works. Writing an action scene you might reach for some action music, film music. A slow calm scene and you might pick some celtic singing.

Then again I'm a great believer that any musical type fits any situation, its all about context and personal viewpoints. So you can play super heavy rock or death metal or even (though I shudder to suggest it) rap.

So for specific music to suggest I'm useless because my answer is anything. Anything and everything the only limit is your taste in music and imagination.




I've got Loreena Mckennit's Nights of the Alhambra which I really like, she's in my pile of "should get more but haven't yet" musicians.
 

Titus Groan

Active Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
27
(apparently he wrote it as a parody of overblown music)
I never knew that about In the Hall of the Mountain King! I used to dance around to it as a child in my grandmothers' living room with a stocking pulled over my head pretending to be a monster chasing elves up a big staircase. The things you can learn in a day!
 

thaddeus6th

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
6,453
Location
UK, Yorkshire
I was surprised to learn it too. Ironic that it's probably his best known piece now.

Mind you, the Surprise Symphony (forget the composer) was also done out of frustration at musical tastes. The composer worked for a wealthy fellow, whose guests kept falling asleep during performances. So, said composer decided to randomly sprinkle loud hammering of the piano keys etc into his otherwise calm and relaxing symphony, to wake them up.

To veer vaguely back towards the topic, Danse Macabre and Shostakovich's second Waltz are both rather good.
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
6,032
Alan Hovhaness's first symphony, Mysterious Mountain
Much by Jean Sibelius, notably Tapiola (which is kind of like Algernon Blackwood's The Willows and The Wendigo in seventeen minutes or so of orchestral music), the Lemminkainen Suite, & more
Vaughan Williams's Antarctic Symphony (Symphony #7), Symphony #5
Gliere's Ilya Muromets symphony
 

svalbard

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
2,124
Manowar, Pink Floyd, Dio, Black Sabbath and when the mood and scene requires it or when I am flagging some ELO does the trick.
 

picklematrix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
433
Mono help me get in the zone. They are minimal enough not to be too distracting
 

Ihe

Forum Revolutionary
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,114
I write SF mostly, but I do find music essential to get me in the different moods for my scenes. I have a very cinematic imagination, so "having a soundtrack" helps a bunch with pacing and emotional focus. Nowadays if I hear one of these chosen songs in my ipod it immediately transports me back to the scene I've linked it with, with the scene in my head following the tempo of the song beat by beat. And no, I'm not crazy. My mum had me tested.o_O
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,628
Location
Highlands
I do find music essential to get me in the different moods for my scenes. I have a very cinematic imagination, so "having a soundtrack" helps a bunch with pacing and emotional focus.
Same here - Two Steps from Hell and Immediate Music are my go-to artists for this - they usually do film trailer music. :)
 

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
898
Location
Idaho
My choices are either silence (the better to hear the voices in my head), or chill electronic music with no voice preferred. I'll accept a sample loop, but when there are lyrics, I start hearing those instead of the narration and dialogue.

I love listening to the blues. I love my classic psychedelic rock. I love the great singer/songwriters (Dylan, Young, Simon), but I cannot listen to these and write. Great music should be paid attention to. It's not elevator music. To me, it'd be like listening to opera while at the Louvre. Or watching a movie while at a concert. It does justice to neither.

This is no way a criticism of those who not only listen to music while writing but are inspired by it. Good on ya, sez I. This post is for any of my fellow-travelers who love the sound of silence (but won't listen to that song while writing <g>).
 

The Bluestocking

Bloody Mary in Blue
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
1,384
Location
The Afterlife
I usually need to write in silence or the music will drown out the voices in my head that I'm trying to transcribe onto the page.

If I need to get into the mood though, I do use music. Depends on the scene I'm writing. I've put together specific Spotify playlists for various projects. Some of my characters do have theme songs too or they have specific songs that they like (some are music fans).
 

Plucky Novice

Eat sleep write repeat
Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
173
Location
UK
Sometimes music can be a distraction but when I'm in the mood I love to write to music.

The right songs can immerse me in the emotions of a scene and I find my writing is all the better for it.

Failing that, you can't go wrong with some John Williams for inspiration.
 
Top