Friday, August 06, 2010

The Death of Music

I love killing a song.

Ok. That sounded a little overly dramatic. The title is a little overly dramatic, for that matter. But here's what I'm talking about.

I'm one of those people who loves to write with music. Not all the time, mind you, but often enough. I'm particularly fond of soundtracks (trust me, I've reviewed over 70 of them and can name a composer within a few minutes of listening to his/her style). But there are times when you hit that one scene, that one sweet scene where a song goes perfectly and the only way to keep that delicious writing vibe going is to play that song.


And over.

And over. Andoverandoverandoverandover.

Until finally you've reached the end of that sweeet scene and WHEW! You're done. You sit back and finally hit the stop button on your CD/MP3 player. And you have effectively killed that song.
You've killed it because you've just listened to it about 20 (maybe more) times in a row. Songs can be killed on the radio too. You've probably had it happen before. Everyone and their grandma thinks that "Super Awesome Song" is so great the radio plays it every hour, on the hour, until you want to tear your hair out or go on a bloody rampage down at the radio station. They did it with "One Sweet Day." They did it with "Lady Marmalade."

But you, ah, you've killed it for a purpose, like a caveman skinning a wooly mammoth, you used it's inspiration and sucked it dry. Yum-o.

And it is a beautiful thing. Completely indulging in that song as you write, one with your muse, swimming in those golden notes like it'll never end. Except it does.

The problem with killing a song is that, well, you've killed it. Listening to it again, it doesn't have that same punch it had the first time around. It's not as magical, not as strong, and - let's face it - you've already heard it a gazillion times.

I love those moments of pure inspirational writing bliss with Hans Zimmer blaring in my ears or the pure beauty of Lifescapes floating around the room. I bless the person who came up with the one song repeat button. I rock out to a chunk of soundtrack or a handful of really wicked melodies. I've taken out entire CDs this way. I've done love scenes, fight scenes, flight scenes, character themes, chase scenes, travel scenes, and credits. I've killed songs and not listened to them for years until randomly one day I hear one and it reanimates itself for a brief moment while I relive the joy of that particular scene before it goes away again.

I would now like to take the time to dedicate a moment of silence and respect to those songs I have totally killed:

  • Hybrid Theory Album (a few survived, but not many), and most of Meteora Album by Linkin Park

  • "The Battle" and "Barbarian Horde" by Hans Zimmer, Gladiator Soundtrack

  • "Rollin'" (both versions) by Limp Bizkit, Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water Album

  • Braveheart Album by James Horner (particularly "The Princess Pleads for Wallace's Life")

  • "Haunted" by Poe, Haunted Album

  • "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down, The Better Life Album

  • "Backwards" by Apartment 26, Mission Impossible II Soundtrack

  • Most of the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack by Howard Shore (particularly "The Bridge of Khazad Dûm")

  • Most of the Transformers score by Steve Jablonsky (though it's still got some heartbeats left)

  • "Don't Hold Back" by The Potbelleez

  • "I Don't Care" by Apocalyptica

  • "Man on Fire (remix)," "The End Music" by Harry Gregson-Williams, Man on Fire soundtrack

  • "Savin' Me" by Nickelback, All the Right Reasons Album

  • "Angels," "Stand My Ground" by Within Temptation, Silent Force Album

  • "The Cross," "What Have You Done" by Within Temptation, The Heart of Everything Album

There are more songs on their way, it's just a matter of time:

  • "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster Album

  • "Black Roses Red" by Alana Grace

  • "Invincible" by Adelita's Way, Adelita's Way Album

  • "Follow Me Down" by 3OH! and Neon Hitch, Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack

  • and many more!

So if you're with me, rejoice in killing songs because hey, you sure do get a lot out of it, don't you? And it is fun hearing them in almost their full glory, an echo of what they used to be, years on down the road.

One day, the music just...stops.


Barb said...

I definitely relate to this post. There are certain songs that I hear, even years later, that transport me back to scenes I have written. Great post :)

Nicole said...

Thanks. :) Popped into my head yesterday while listening to stuff on Pandora and getting into that, "Ah yes, I remember that one," song groove.

Good times.

Lillian C. said...

Beautiful post. I can't entirely relate, though, as I've never "killed a song" before. I mean, when I was a kid, I drove my family nuts because I listened to the same song 24/7 for weeks on end. They had no idea how I could stand it. ^.^

Can't do that now, though, mostly because there are so many amazing songs out there I can't stand listening to just one. Though I could make exceptions for some songs...

Really liked your thoughts on the subject. Definitely a thinking post.

Nicole said...

Glad you enjoyed. :D

And trust me, it's good you've never killed a song. You'll never lose the magic of any of them that way.