Thursday, March 4, 2010

Musical Monday; Policy of Truth (or music, literature and writing)

Hide what you have to hide
tell what you have to tell

Never again 
is what you swore
the time before


~Depeche Mode


Music. It's my jam. It inspires me and rattles my bones. It transports and time travels. 

When I hear Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon suddenly I'm five or six years old, washed in the perfume of briny Pacific ocean, redwood trees, and marijuana (I grew up in NoCal with counterculture parents). I see a wooden cable-spool table with carved initials, and my long-haired surfer cousin and his surfer-dude friends wearing their puka shell necklaces. 

Even now, from the first mournful beat, the above Depeche Mode song puts me right back in high school. I smell Aussie Scrunch Spray and teen angst and first heartbreak. 
Fiona Apple's Criminal, and I'm in a car on a date and he doesn't like the song so I don't like him.
I hear Colorblind by Counting Crows and I'm pregnant with my daughter, swollen feet propped up.


(Copacabana remix, you ask? I'm dancing on top of the bar!)


(Lola by the Kinks? I had it on vinyl and played on in my "hi-fi" stereo over and over.)




I hear this song by Zero 7 and I am in Husband's arms, happy. 






Reading a book is a very similar experience for me. Magical. I have some favorite books that are falling apart like overcooked meat off the bone, my DNA embedded into its fibers. 

I STILL cry EVERY time I read my battered copy of The Giving Tree. Watership Down still flattens me after all these years. Charlotte's Web still makes me weep. I smell the hay and manure as fresh today as when I was a child. 


I have read The English Patient and Rebecca so many times, I know which pages are loose, and which scenes have my pizza sauce thumbprints on them.

I can recite almost every passage of James Joyce's Ulysses. That last piece slays me (any errors are mine, I'm writing it from memory):

...when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes yes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.


As I've mentioned in previous posts, I often have music on while I write.
I find it especially helpful when writing a very moody scene.

This morning I had to write a very painful going-their-separate-ways scene and this song really took me where I needed to be:
 Snuff by Slipknot (I know, I know, but try it. It's powerful, heart wrenching. He wrote it while going through his divorce.)



 Music. Books. The soundtracks and stories of our lives. Multicolored and complex.


I could no more name my favorite song or band than I could choose one favorite book. 


What do YOU listen to? Read? Write?


Love,
Lola

12 comments:

Kazzy said...

You are a thoughtful person. I love all of your references. I like to listen to a few tracks from Sarah Brightman when I need to feel floaty (you know?). I like to listen to Diana Krall when I feel a little earthy. I love books and movies and music and anything that inspires me. Thanks for this post!!

Lola Sharp said...

Kazzy, sing me some songs; your voice is rich, sultry, smooth and pitch perfect. I love Diana Krall, but your voice kills.

B. Miller said...

What a great post! I, too, identify with music in much the same way. Music is connected to memories and people with me; so many songs take me back to a certain time or remind me of a person. As I've written my novel, I've put together a playlist over the months... it's filled with CCR, The Eagles, Murder By Death, Deer Tick, Fleet Foxes... lots of good stuff. I don't always write with music going, but when I need to draw deep, I turn it on. The first nine pages of my novel were composed with Peter Gabriel's song "I Grieve" put on repeat. Now I can't hear that song without thinking of my book... and poor Katie and how she died. Sigh.

Thanks for posting! Really great entry.

mo.stoneskin said...

I love nothing more than destroying a good book, sipping a fine beer with a bit of Pink Floyd or Led Zep in the background. Even better, reading while rocking out to some blues.

roxy said...

Extremely awesome post, Lola. I really enjoyed it. (Especially the Joyce rewritten from memory) Brilliant. See, that must be why I put an award for you on my blog. Have a great weekend.

Chantel said...

Wow. I feel like I've fallen into a sensuous pool of color and passion. Stopping in from Irish, whom I simply adore, I am reveling in your words--and agree vehemently. From the moment I arise music is my companion. Cage the Elephant to Nina Simone, Ceu to Tool, Crystal Method, Morrison, CC Adcock & KD Lang...I cannot paint without music. I cannot cook without music...I'm not certain I could breathe for any length of time...

Someone once asked what I'd choose: deafness or blindness. I still cannot answer.

Books? (chuckle) Soulmates...as varied as the sands--and I'd go mad without being able to escape from myself.

Thank you for a lovely start of the day...

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Even though I call myself a writer, I am not very good at capturing the magic of reading and writing. You did an incredibly job. I do very much relate writing/reading and music. I make playlists that reflect the emotions I am trying to capture in my story. If I can write something that even half-way gets there, I am thrilled.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great, great post. I love the way you wrap up the emotional tie-in between music and words. I love Depeche Mode and think 'Enjoy the Silence' is brilliant from both the musical and lyrical stand points. Oh, and BTW, I'm over here following you now from Roxy's blog. :)

JUST ME said...

Watership Down...remember that movie? The cartoon rabbits who DIE? I'll always remember that, because it scarred me for life.

foldingfields said...

I blogged about writing to music the other day--it seems like they are the best compliment to each other (like strawberries and coffee);)
At the moment, I am reading The Hunger Games and man, oh, man it's good. I'm discovering more YA books. Music--Local Natives and Arcade Fire are new bands I've discovered whose music haunts me even after my writing session is finished. xx

Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

Thanks, Lola for the nice comment you left me today. I am here returning the "call". This is my first visit here, like what I see, so I'll be coming back

Terresa said...

This post is my fave of yours ever. It undoes me completely. Not sure if it's the Depeche Mode opener, the James Joyce (!!) quote, or just you speaking through your words, your blogland, the computer screen, and into my echoing heart.

Beautiful stuff. Hey, you know what? You should write a novel or something! (heh heh heh, I know, you already are, thank goodness!).

PS: I picked up the Giving Tree earlier this week and nearly cried from just holding it in my hands. That Book. Ah.

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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