Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative environment – perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold a moment still to explore its depths. This week’s post is by sci-fi adventure series writer DM Jarrett @seanyeageradv
You see it’s been all a big misunderstanding. I don’t write books, I write films. Sean Yeager Adventures are written for the big screen. This is the soundtrack I used to explore Sean Yeager Hunters Hunted through the eyes of its cast. I listened to these tracks while I was writing and they led me through the plot, mood by mood. Let’s take a ride.
Beyond the Blue by Hammock helped me to write a couple of key sections of the alien sub-plot. Two suns are setting and already the moons are glistening. Around you the atmosphere is becoming bitterly cold and yet beautiful. You are stood beside Klesus Deijan and his alien pet, scarcely believing your eyes. You follow them to their shelter. Dust is rising and fragments of light splinter into shafts of orange and purple. Stars are already piercing the twilight sky.
Welcome back to Earth. We’re driving in a Foundation car. Can you feel an approaching menace?
For some of the key chase and battle scenes I channelled We’re in this Together Now by Nine Inch Nails. Something’s not right. Check the mirror. Check it again. Are you sure what you saw? Boom! A vehicle explodes. You react, adrenaline pumping. Pedal to the floor. You steer to avoid the traffic. We can’t be under attack? Not here, driving toward a shopping mall? Think again! We are in deep trouble. The Androbots are on our tail. And they only want one thing: Sean Yeager. We my friend are expendable. DRIVE!
It seemed like a great idea following that secret tunnel right? Well, right now I’m not so sure…. In this Twilight by Nine Inch Nails helped with the scene and mood setting for the forest scenes.
A door slams shut behind us. Our sense of euphoria comes to an abrupt end. The sun is beginning to fade between the trees. “Where are we? In the middle of a forest of course! So, how do we get back to Kimbleton Hall? Don’t ask me, I didn’t drag us out here. Oh great, it’s starting to rain. Come on let’s trudge through the fallen leaves and mud. Yes, your favourite shoes will be ruined. Not my fault. Come on, we need to find our way home.
Have you read that strange old book yet? The one our tutor left us. I think it’s opening by itself….
Then we have Maybe Next Time (Chillout mix) by Robert Nickson. I found this track in a compilation of instrumental chill-out tracks that helped me to focus on the written word. I must have replayed this over a hundred times. It helped me to visualise a magical scene:
Light blinds our eyes. We stumble into furniture. Above us an incredible sequence of pictures is projected onto the ceiling. What on Earth? Is it even Earth? How can this be happening in an old mansion? We’re stuck in the middle of nowhere in darkest England. Read the book our tutor said. I think it’s taking us on a visual quest. I’ve no idea what it means. What do you think?
“I thought I heard the gates open, it can’t be…”
Then Burn it Down by Linkin Park found my ears. Its beat and intensity took me straight to a pivotal battle scene. Look! Out of the bedroom window! Row after row of black figures are marching down the driveway. How did that happen? This place is a fortress. Some Androbots at the front are starting to run. Oh my God, we’re under attack! Heavy weapons are appearing out of the ground on all sides. The fountain has gone. Plasma cannons are pounding. It’s mayhem out there! Find Emily, we need to leave!
In here, quickly…
Stripped by Rammstein suggested the tone for my villain’s approach. Not quite what Depeche Mode had in mind I’m sure. I hate to break this to you, but we’re surrounded. Somehow they’ve found us. Shush! Keep down! Don’t listen to him Emily, it’s Darius Deveraux. He’s pure evil. Please help us someone! Anyone?
The Founder wants a word with you. I’m sure it will be okay.
Another track I replayed over and over while compiling the major reveal scene was Higher Power (Defying Gravity) by Shawn Pierce. Sit down and relax. You’re safe here. What is it that you’ve always wanted to know? What nagging doubt have you always wanted to quash? Open your mind and everything will become clear to you. Follow where the pictures lead. Ask them anything. This is for you and you alone.
Your ride home is here. Cheer up, it won’t be long until you return… The track was Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey (Reich and Bleich remix). Our car rolls down the driveway and we wonder about where our characters may venture next. Roll credits. Fade to sunset red.
Thanks for tuning in. And to all these amazing artists for their awe inspiring music.
D.M. Jarrett is the author of Sean Yeager Adventures. When not sleeping, he likes to watch films and enjoys writing to a wide range of music. His website is here and you can find him on Twitter @SeanYeagerAdv