Musical Inspiration – Recital Novel

musical inspirationOne of the nicest things about writing my first novel is that’s it’s centred around music, and sourcing the music for the novel, as well as listening to it while I write, is a great source of musical inspiration and has helped propel the actual writing.

The time period, although not necessarily obvious in the writing, spans the last hundred years or so but some of the music is far earlier than that as the protagonist, initially at least, has rather conservative tastes. I thought I’d share some of it with you.

Here’s the Spotify Playlist I’ve been compiling as I go. There will be references to some of these pieces in the actual novel, but of course Spotify can’t possibly have all the music from the novel as I haven’t finished writing it; the music for the novel will probably be the last piece of fictional work I address for the project, although I’m trying to write both in tandem.

Of course I’ll be taking musical cues from a lot of this music as inspiration for the ‘new’ (yet fictional) musical ideas that I come up with, but it’s early days yet.

Particular favourites are Scriabin’s Black Mass and White Mass, Messiaen’s Vingt Regards Sur L’Enfant Jesus I Regard Du Pere, John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape and Ravel’s Gaspard De La Nuit: Scarbo

The Scriabin pieces are pretty difficult to play, the Ravel piece is taken from Gaspard De La Nuit, which is pretty impossible to play, especially the really annoying bit with the repeated note played with one hand. The Messiaen piece, which is the start of a much longer work is simply beautifully haunting, and of course the John Cage piece is completely bonkers and sounds more like you’ve walked into the BBC Radiophonic Workshop a few decades ago.

You should also check out Shaker Loops by John Adams which has always been a favourite of mine and of course the Prometheus piece which, as you’ll find, plays quite a role in the book.

Written by Julian Moore