Working on the new Elemental Masters book, Home From the Sea and I was struck by something. I never used to like Benjamin Britten. I was in good company, Sir Arthur C. Clarke very much disliked Britten’s music, and in fact satirized him in one of the Tales from the White Hart stories as “Edward England” describing on opera written by said young man that sounded rather like a rejected libretto for Peter Grimes. But I guess my tastes have broadened or something, because this, the fourth of the Four Sea Interludes, kept running through my head during the opening chapter. So here it is, Benjamin Britten, Storm.
When I was writing Gwenwhyfar I must have listened to Arnold Bax’s Tintagel about a million times. If you love Holst and Vaughn Williams you owe it to yourself to discover Bax.
Unnatural Issue is done, now to get serious about the next 500 Kingdoms book, Beauty. And here is the exact music for the first scene, Ralph Vaughn Williams Running Set.
As I finish Unnatural Issue (the latest of the Elemental Masters books), I bring it around again to the beginning, a quiet moment in the English countryside, (although we know our protagonists will both be returning to the horror of the Front and this is just a pause between battles). There is nothing more appropriate for that moment than this, Ralph Vaughn Williams The Lark Ascending, which itself was his answer to the horror of that war.
I keep coming back to the Seraphym (can you tell she is my favorite character from SWC?) And more Eric Whitacre. This time it is Nox Aurumque, or “Night and Gold” which is sung in Latin. It is a poem about an angel, weary of fighting…but here are the lyrics in English.
Tarnished and dark,
Singing of night,
Singing of death,
Singing itself to sleep.
And an angel dreams of sunrise,
Tears of the ages.
O gilded blade!
You are too heavy to carry,
Too heavy for flight.
Tarnished and weary,
Melt from weapon to wing!
Let us soar again,
High above this wall;
Angels reborn and rejoicing with wings made
Singing of wings,
Singing of shadows.
Background music for Unnatural Issue (Elemental Masters) is Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead. A little late for Halloween but some of the spookiest music I know.
I’m getting way ahead of myself and I will probably post again at the time, but Beloved by VnV Nation is a key moment in the Seraphym and John Murdock story.
I am really excited because Dennis Lee and I just finished one of the Secret World stories I have literally been dreaming about for days. We’ve all seen those scenes in movies where there is no sound other than the music track: well, part of this story played out in my head in exactly that manner. The song is Illusion by VnV Nation, and so far it’s had everyone that’s read it grabbing for the Kleenex box and needing to find a spare.
I tried to find a YouTube of this piece, Rainbow Body by Christopher Theofanidis, but I couldn’t, so here at least is a link to his site and the post on the piece; there are three excerpts from it at the bottom of the post. Why is it that musicians manage these moments of exaltation so beautifully and purely when we writers have to plod along with mere words?
On our trip to DragonCon and back I was reminded just how much I adore Mike Oldfield’s music. The man is absolutely brilliant. And perhaps his best piece is arguably “Music of the Spheres.”
Oddly enough my classical music station was playing this tonight.
That should keep all of you inspired for a bit.