Help From Beyond the Grave

When I first began writing regularly, many years ago, I used to play my favourite songs to get me in the right frame of mind to tell stories. Initially, it did get me going for my first painful years of not so good stories. But eventually, I don’t remember exactly when, I began writing without my music muses and did this for a number of years, as well.

But recently I heard from somewhere else that music with lyrics can be disruptive for the writing process. Basically the argument goes, you are taking in words and outputting different words. Surely the one can distract from the other. It might even trip up a good logic progression in a story.

Maybe unconsciously I knew this and that is why I drifted to a no writing while listening to music policy. But thinking about it rationally, now, there is a possible solution that has the best of both worlds. I could write while listening to instrumentals. This way I would have no interruption of my chain of thought but might still keep the boost of having music on.

But what instrumentals would I use? Like most people, I think, I knew of very little music I liked that was instrumental. You see I like giving my full attention to music. That’s why I like lyrics and singing. They capture my attention because every singer seems unique and lyrics can drift into all sorts of territories. Oh, the odd instrumental I like, mainly from guitar or keyboard. I like them when these instruments change a lot and can be used as both a chord and lead instrument. But even with these, I find my interest waning after about 3 minutes.

I think it’s because in the vast majority of cases, I fully listen to music and want the piece to be really captivating. However, when I write, I’m incapable of fully listening to the piece. Thus I could listen much longer to a less complicated tune. So I thought for a second and realized what I wanted was albums of instrumentals for my writing. I didn’t have to look far.

You see, Stephen Huss was my best friend when he died. Known to many as the first keyboardist for the dark synth pop band, Psyche. He had left Psyche before I knew him. Indeed he already had a couple of instrumental solo albums out when I knew him.

A few months before his death, he said that he had made 3 albums worth of material when he was only supposed to make one. When he died I thought this material was a blessing. His brother, Darrin, still in Psyche, put out the albums on successive anniversaries of his death.

So now I have quite a few solo albums from Stephen that I can play as the soundtrack to my writing. Right now I am playing Notes of a Lifetime as a write this.

Stephen was also into the horror genre of films and books. Although he may be sad that his life had to end so soon, I imagine him having a slight smile on his face that his music still inspires my writing from beyond the grave.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet. Now in the Fediverse as
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