I adore acoustic guitars and guys with scratchy voices who sing mellow tunes, so I'm grateful that my Number One Son (who returned to Chicago late last night--you people in the Windy City be nice to my kid, or else) persuaded me to pick up two CDs that I would have walked right past.
On a whim I had decided I could not live another day without some Joshua Bell CDs, so we hurried to the music store in search of two specific titles. But then my brain got twisted somehow, or maybe that was my arm, because suddenly my son was grinning hard and I was writing a check for two Coldplay CDs, A Rush of Blood to the Head and Parachutes.
I couldn't find either of the Joshua Bells I was hunting for, although I did bring home a collection of violin adagios performed by Joshua, Midori, Itzhak, and others. I listened to that for a while last night, but then I found myself grooving to Coldplay until 2:30 this morning. It's excellent romance-writing music, especially on a rainy day like this one, so I'm playing it again right now. It captures perfectly the mood of the scenes I'm working on.
But suddenly I'm wondering if instead of merely enhancing my mood, these evocative tunes might be subtly influencing it, taking my writing in another direction. For example, the hero of my story would normally choose hard-driving rock, but it appears that the Coldplay is soothing his savage breast.*
Here's a question for anyone who listens to music while writing or engaging in some other creative endeavor: What do you listen to and why? How does your writing influence your choices, and how do your choices influence your writing?
*By the way, will everyone please stop yammering about how "music hath charms to soothe the savage beast"? It's breast, folks. Look it up. You'll find the line in William Congreave's play, The Mourning Bride. Google it and see for yourself, then go tell all of your friends and let's end this nonsense.