As I have previously written, I regularly listen to music while I write. My current work in progress (WIP) is a hard-boiled fantasy novel set in San Francisco in 1926. It was inspired by the writing of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, among others. Tone and mood is very important to me in this book. Noir is about mood and style, and you’ve got to have the music to match.
One of the core albums during the first draft was the soundtrack to Baz Lurhman’s recent adaptation of The Great Gatsby: Yellow Cocktail Music.
Another thing I had fun with was associating pieces of music with different characters. Andrew, the main character, is all about jazz. His friend and landlord, Saul Levy, is an uneducated man but wants to appear refined, so he plays Mahler records on his victrola.
His work pre-dates the period of the novel by a few decades, but I really found that Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 resonated with me while I was writing this piece. This also helped to add some variation and made for great music during some of the more tense and dramatic scenes in the novel. The opening movement is practically terrifying!
Finally, to switch back to something fun, for many years I’ve been listening to the soundtrack from the anime adaptation of Metropolis, released in the ’90s.
So that’s what the novel sounds like to me as I’ve written it. Hopefully that’s how it sounds to you if you read it!