Book Music

Over the years, I’ve written instrumental pieces inspired by my own book writing. Yeah, somewhat narcissistic in a weird creative way. I guess this is almost like the musical version of writing an autobiography, but not.

1. “North to Harlech” I wrote and recorded this over seven days. It’s a musical description of Jute and his friends fleeing north across the countryside to the duchy of Harlech. I was trying to achieve a sort of melancholy wrapped around the idea of motion. At that point in the story, Jute has just left behind everything he’s ever known. There’s a sadness in that, of course, even though he’s done it to evade getting killed. I added the flute melody in the end in order to convey a touch of hope about what the future and the north might hold for him. This one is fifteen tracks of instruments (guitars, bass, flute, strings, as well as an attempt to recreate a bagpipe without having a bagpipe). I’m a deaf beggar in the street with a dented tin whistle compared to Bach. Balancing a paltry fifteen tracks makes my brain hurt. I don’t know how he did it.

2. “The Scarpe in E Major” I’ve been experimenting with composing instrumentals inspired by my Tormay Trilogy. This piece, The Scarpe in E Major, is a meditation on the Scarpe plain, an enormous prairie grassland, north of the city of Hearne. I was trying to capture a sense of sunlight and blowing grasses and the horizon. The Scarpe’s a lovely place, and I hope that comes through to some degree in the music. There are about eight different tracks in this one, ranging from guitar to violin and flute. I don’t claim to be a genuine composer in any sense of the word. Regardless, creating this one was a lot of fun. It’s just a sketch for now. I’ll hopefully re-record and polish later this year.

3. “The Ghost in the Attic” This is a melancholy meditation on the character of the Ghost from my Tormay Trilogy books. He enters the story in the second book, The Shadow at the Gate, and then remains an integral part of the plot, right to the end. Anyway, this is currently just a rough sketch. I was trying to take some musical motifs and see how they would do with multiple layers of guitar. I ended up with five guitar parts, as well as two midi parts. The motifs were created to try to communicate sadness, which is one of the key characteristics of the Ghost (more specifically, sadness motivated by regret).

4. “Janklow’s Mind v2.0” From one of the science fiction stories in The Model Universe. Redemption and the nature of fate, from an assassin’s point of view.


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