One group (of two composers) in particular delighted me during those months. I discovered them in March of 2012. There was a music thread on the Windstone Forum, and someone there mentioned liking soundtracks and discovering Thomas Bergersen and 'Two Steps From Hell,' who primarily made music for movie trailers. I went and checked out some of their tracks on YouTube, and it was instant love.
The first cd I bought was 'Invincible.' Seeing as they made music for movie trailers (and didn't even release anything to the public for years) a lot of their tracks are high energy and very epic in feel. I loved it--it was like caffeine for my visual imagination as well as for my non-existent energy levels. Listening to the music often makes me feel like I actually have energy, which is something that pretty much left for good when I hit puberty.
So my enjoyment in those initial weeks was for the pictures it put in my head and the way I could use it to work harder and longer (and have a hard time staying near the speed limit while driving, heh heh). But what I discovered once I began memorizing all the tracks was that some of the slower, gentler ones were far more precious than the very high-energy tracks. The reason for this? My brain linked them with places or happenings in my writing, which is all too rare. There were three tracks on the 'Invincible' cd which did that for me, and three out of twenty-two was an incredible proportion.
Moving makes a person very broke, so it was late in 2012 before I let myself buy another cd, called 'Archangel.' And that one I enjoyed as much, if not more, though there were only two tracks (so far) that really linked in my mind to my own work.
And then as part of my twentieth anniversary celebrations in April 2013 I bought a third cd, called 'SkyWorld.' Oddly enough, this one actually had a couple tracks I actively dislike (for the first time), but on the other hand it quickly brought me four that snapped into place in my imagination.
Most recently, with part of the $100 gift certificate I got for my 15th service anniversary at my job, I bought myself the cd put out by Thomas Bergersen alone, called 'Illusions.' Even though I've only got one story association so far, I am having a blast with it.
It has been quite a thrill, and a blessing, and a delight to savor this music over the past year and a half. I only wish I had both the skill and the time to make videos so that people could get a hint of what I see when I listen to the tracks below.
I expect, should I get into writing the 'Triune' and the 'Renewer Rising' novels, that even more of these tracks will raise associations for me. But here's what I've got so far, and I thank God for the wonder of savoring every one of them.
Track 6, 'Enigmatic Soul' – This one reminds me of t'DoL's home and the area around it, as it might appear to Geren in The Subverted War. The music starts inside (not that the actual ceilings are quite so high and vaulted as the music sounds!) and then works its way up and out the entrance into the glorious land beyond, so full of abundant life, vitality, and the amazing beauty of the mountains, the meadows, the deep pure lakes, the flowing streams, and all that lives amid them.
Track 13, 'Fill My Heart' – This track is so light, cheerful, full of sunshine, even bouncy, that it reminds me of Geren's ride on t'DoL in horse-form in the opening chapter of The Shado of Sorrow along the beautiful seashore in Lansend. Not a cloud in the sky, just delight.
Track 16, 'Undying Love' – This one reminds me of the part in Emissary's Sacrifice where Geren and t'DoL are both in horse-form and journeying up and away from the coast in the early spring. There's a sense of constant motion, and the wide sweeps of land amid the greening hills, and a relief as well to be out of Sutherule and free, regardless of what's ahead.
Track 12, 'Magic of Love' – When I hear this, I am reminded of Delarun because of the connotations of youth, vitality, energy, and immense possibility. I don't have a specific scene in mind, though I think the way Tarlah experiences the place in 'The Courage of Tarlah' gives a good glimpse. Wide-open doors to a whole new world of learning, fulfillment, and joy.
Track 14, 'Dark Harbor' – This puts me in mind of the Long Retreat in The Subverted War. It is dark and grim, and there is the combination of slow long tones like the powerful ponderous strides of the tundra-lords, and the short quicker steps of the thousands of hyarmi refugees and their ponies. The music goes on and gets more powerful, so I see in my mind that long line of the last surviving hyarmi of the western districts on their weeks-long flight to the Table of the Elders, with The Defender, the mages, the wolves, the birds, and other humans with them as well to protect them against the dogged attacks of the harrying Subverted. A doomed glory as that long column of dwindling thousands passes eastward, the grim death-wagons smoking at the rear, eventually lost into the distance.
Track 4, 'El Dorado' – This track puts me in mind of the sparring bout between t'DoL and Geren at the Spring Council meeting in The Shado of Sorrow. There is such a sense of playfulness and delight, yet the combat is definitely there as well, and the energy level, majesty, and intensity just keep rising as the crowd of spectators grows ever larger and the light flashes off those ringing blades. The combat itself becomes a dance, a song, yet never forgets its joy. But then the grim, jarring notes of the ending, the dissonance that will lead to worse, eventually.
Track 6, 'All the King's Horses' – I can't see anything other than a race when I hear this track, and in my mind it becomes the race in The Shado of Sorrow between Geren riding Nightsong and Hileko on the back of t'DoL in horse-form. Intensely fun, swift, and one where I really wish I could illustrate what I see in my mind (but a static image would be too confining).
Track 8, 'Winterspell' – I love this track! So wintry, and so joyous. What I see here is the Midwinter celebration in the city of Eskaldaen in Triune (yet to be fully written of in my Triune novels). It starts at dawn, and then the gates swing open and the celebration gathers in strength. Humans and hyarmi down on the ground along the streets and on some rooftops, and avarii on the wing overhead. The climax is at noon when the Triumvirs lead the procession down from the capital, and the whole city celebrates the turn of the year from darkness to light. (There is always sunlight for this, as the mages and shape-changers punch a hole in the clouds if needed). The heart of Triune in all its glory, power, and pride.
Track 9, 'Blackheart' – This one is the one that can make me cry. I see Giria dancing with the Master of Delarun at the Autumn Festival in the city of Neston, but I don't see just one dance, rather a montage over the century during which they often went to pay the tax together (due every third autumn). The bounty and delight of harvesttime in Nestondom, the humble capitol and the majestic temple to the Queen of the Harvest, and most of all the dancing in the squares. Then that last sad sweet pass at the end where Giria is an old lady, on the eve of the downfall of her beloved country to the Dominion, and the close of her own long life.
Track 3, 'Dreammaker' – In this one I imagine the Shado in The Fourth Emissary in early section 3, after having recently reached the Blessed Realm. First it is under the Sea-of-Leaves, but then it comes to the cliffs near the ocean and is strong enough to fly despite the gravity. All the incredible wonder, glory, and bounty of a realm so abundant in Life that it leaves the alien awed and amazed, one large foundation of its later passion to protect that whole world.
Track 6, 'Gift of Life' - This one has been such a HUGE blessing! I can't go into detail about what I see when I listen to it (aside from a generic statement: Hu-Harek Healing). But it has spawned a whole sequence in the Triune books I am very eager to write some year, and given me the nudge to think outside the box with Hu-Harek's abilities, instead of too much focus on what she can't do. What she can, is simply amazing... (Added March 2014)
Track 13, 'Immortal' - Though the alignment of the music and the scene in my mind is not perfect, this track has come more and more to unshakably remind me of the...emotional close of the Renewer Rising story for me (there are a few later scenes chronologically, but my heart always make and end here). This scene has been in my mind for years, what is undetermined is whether I will ever let myself write it (should I live to write the books, of course!). Simply because the sappiness probably reaches the level of 'jailable offense.' Yet if I ever get that far...I may have earned it... (Added March 2014)
While I am looking forward to getting to add more here in future months/years, this is certainly bounty enough. I feel so blessed.
last updated: March 2014