Writing Mixtapes

The Soul of Music, Music is such a powerful tool. In just four minutes, a song can take you from the darkest depression to the most beautiful place on earth. Just like movies have scores and soundtracks, many writers create mixtapes just for the writing process. For any non-writers, this is just like placing on your favourite baby-making record before getting down to the serious business of lovemaking.

For “A Place Like Home”, I’ve been listening to a lot of Don Davis’ work on “The Matrix Revolutions”, especially his hauntingly beautiful, “Trinity Definitely”. For the more romantic moments, I listen to Claude Debussy’s “Clair de lune”, and to Robyn Loau’s “Home”, the song that inspired it all.

When I was working on a sitcom treatment for a comedian friend, I listened to a lot of Pink’s “Funhouse”, and Robyn Loau’s “Only Human”. Two badass rockers, with equally rocking tracks that just made me want to take on the world, one man at a time.

But music is also good for post-writing. I find the writing process exhausting. The first draft of APLH was done in one very intense week, leaving me physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Afterwards, all I wanted to do was get away from it all. Luckily at that time, my friend DJ OzYBoY (best know for his former group RADIO FREEDOM) wrote this beautiful song, “Write your story”. That song just took me on a much needed mental holiday. I don’t know where the magical place where that song came from is, but I want to go there.

I’m closing in on the fourth draft of APLH now (right now I’m doing a analogue proofread i.e. actually print out the script and read it), and this particular draft was soul-draining. So like fertiliser on a barren land, I’m replenishing my soul with music.

  1. Jill Scott “The Light of the Sun”
  2. Meshell Ndegeocello “Weather”
  3. Estelle “All of Me”
  4. The Cat Empire “So many nights”
  5. Dawn Penn “No, No, No”

Do you use music in your writing? If so, how? Please leave a comment.

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6 thoughts on “Writing Mixtapes

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  1. Love these selections. While soul music is my cooking music of choice, I have a hard time writing to anything with lyrics, at least lyrics I can understand. I go through a lot of Sigur Ros and Ratatat and the occasional movie soundtrack. I do make a new playlist for each new project that’s thematically fitting.

    1. I hadn’t heard to Ratatat, what great music!
      You are so right about not listening to music with lyrics (that you can understand). Basically, I use those songs to set the mood, then go straight into writing. With the comedy, however, I found that those Pink and Robyn Loau songs, really kept me in tune with the face-paced nature of the script.

  2. When writing my blog I listen to pop music. Whatever helps me capture that moment I’m journaling about.
    But when I’m studying, the other bulk of my free time, I prefer lyric free music. Recently I’m been listening to George Gershwin on repeat.

    Nice blog btw. I’ve gone ahead and subscribed!

    1. Thanks mate 🙂 was waiting for you to post something, as I couldn’t find your blog to follow! Gershwin?! You really are such a renaissance man… seriously, every time you speak, 200 years of language fly out! Savy?

  3. I dont normally listen to alot of music as you proberly remmeber but I couldnt do an assignment for art therapy until I start to listen to “The Whitlams”, I wrote non stop about this melbourne poet life and this music just helped me soar with it. Great experience for me

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