If you’re a blogger, there’s a chance that when you write, you listen to music to get you going. I know I do. It helps me concentrate and get what I want to write out, especially with reviews. So I thought I’d make up a short playlist of some of the music I listen to while writing. Funnily enough, most of it is from movie scores or soundtracks.
Fur Alina, Arvo Part
This very minimalist, sparse track was originally just two minutes long. But my preferred version runs a full length of ten minutes, and features notably in its entirety in a fantastic, flooring sequence in Gus van Sant’s Gerry, including the famed shot which tracks incredibly slowly around Casey Affleck’s head in a 360 degree turn that seems to last an eternity.
Death is the Road to Awe, Clint Mansell
Originally written for the soundtrack of the somewhat disappointing Darren Aronofsky film The Fountain, this track is probably the best piece of music Aronofsky has ever made, even better than the famed Lux Aeterna from Requiem for a Dream. A full eight minutes of stunning epicness.
Standing in Silence, Rhian Sheehan
The New Zealand musician Rhian Sheehan recently released Standing in Silence, a constant 45-minute rhythm of beautiful music split into 14 tracks. I’ll include a few of my favourites here, but the album is really worth hearing in its entirety.
So Now Then, Jon Brion
The score to Magnolia features nine tracks, and is an almost impeccable work of musical art. It keeps the three hour film flowing incredibly nicely, but perhaps the best track plays near the end of the film, after the infamous frog rain. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll probably remember this cheerful, upbeat and brilliant tune.
The Double Life of Veronique, Zbigniew Preisner
Zbigniew Preisner is probably the best living music composer on the planet. His film scores are heavenly, and he is most famous for his work with Krzysztof Kieslowski. Probably his best score is that of The Double Life of Veronique. Here are a couple of gentle, haunting tracks from that breathtaking film.
Symphony no. 7 in A Major, Ludwig van Beethoven
This piece by Beethoven is actually pretty well-known and has been used in a few films. Most people recognize it and think of the famous final speech in The King’s Speech, but I will always think of it’s most amazing appearance, at the end of Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible. It is such a haunting track; it sends shivers down my spine each time I hear it, even just the first three minutes of it.
There. I hope my rambling about artful music didn’t leave you too alienated, thinking I’m one of those pretentious assholes who listens to crap. I just love those tracks. And now it’s time for you to share some of your favourites. Let me know in the comments.