Thursday, January 27, 2011


When it comes to music, I have never been completely able to define what type I like. In fact, when faced with the question "What kind of music do you like?" my answer is almost always "Not rap."

Except even that does not define me, because there are some 'rap' songs that I have enjoyed throughout the years--mostly the milder ones.
Battlestar Galactica: Season Two
So how do I define what I like? I like what hits me to the core.

Recently I've been consuming (at an unhealthy pace) all things Battlestar Galactica. I have become an addict of phenomenal proportions, and have discovered that the music used within the show is as much part of my addiction as the story line itself.

Throughout the years I've often wondered how it is that someone can see an image and immediately come up with a beat and harmony to go with it. Since I like to write, I've always imagined music to be on the same creative level as words, just in some fashion that my brain ceases to grasp.

The longer I write for The Literary Soundtrack the more I learn how to connect music with literature. I pay more attention to the noises in the background of movies, I think more about how they are working together in telling their story.

It's a fascinating conglomeration of artistic minds working for the same goal--art.

I'd be interested in seeing what music a person can connect with paintings and sketches.

Anyway, back to Battlestar Galactica. The music is incredibly simple and yet conveys the power and sparseness of the setting (which is space). Even to my non-musical mind I can feel the genius behind such a melding and envy it.

Music is so much a part of our daily lives. Not just the sounds that come from our radios and iPods, but from the chirp of a bird, the fall of the snow, the breath of a breeze. We only fail to hear that music because of the cacophony of our own lives.

So how far does music go? Is it more powerful than literature? More universal than words? If a single song can express the breadth and width of an entire story is music the more potent art-form?

I sometimes wonder what injustice I do my children by not having the subtle tones of piano music wafting in the background of our lives. What power would I be giving my children if I not only surrounded them with books, but with music as well?

How powerful is music in your life? Do you see it as a force for good or bad or nothing at all? How do you view music?

Here is some music to enjoy:

In this post:
Battlestar Galactica soundtrack-Season 2


Jolene Perry said...

I couldn't work without music. I don't drive without it, I don't cook without it, I don't clean without it, I don't write without it. It's everywhere.

Cannwin said...

As a teenager I breathed music every moment like that as well. Then I had kids and the house was so loud all the time that I felt like music just added to the noise. Now that the kids are getting a little older (and starting to care about music themselves) music is once again slowly crawling back into my life.

Well, that and the creation of things like (who needs new music when you can just love the stuff you grew up with).

I have a playlist on my personal blog that my friends all tell me is a great mix. Try it out (it's at the bottom)

Cari Hislop said...

Growing up in a chaotic household (both my parents have mental health issues) music for me has always been an oasis of sanity. As a small child music often meant the big people in control of my life were either elsewhere or having a good day.

Music is powerful; especially live music (recorded or experienced) performed from the heart. When you hear music that gives you goosebumps or makes your hair stand on end, it's going to change you. One of my favorite pieces of music is Beethoven's choral to his 9th symphony (the Ode to Joy). I finally found and bought a copy of the live performance directed by Bernstein to celebrate the breaking of the Berlin Wall in '89. It's divine! Every time I hear it I imagine I'm in a vast auditorium of people, the human race finally living as brothers, we're spell bound to the last note and then all of us stand as one and shout for joy. The fact Beethoven wrote the whole of it completely deaf makes it even more amazing. Saying that, I don't think music is more powerful than literature (or stories). They're like two sides of a priceless coin; combined they intensify each other.

I haven't seen the new Battlestar Galactica show, but the music is perfect in many ways for this sort of story. Have you noticed its similarity to Loreena Mckennitt's 'Gates of Istanbul' on An Ancient Muse? It has a similar Middle Eastern influenced sound that conjures up a caravan of camels plodding through an endless desert living in hope they'll beat the deadly heat and sand to reach their desired destination.

As for sharing music with your kids, what about encouraging their curiosity for music and having a regular family activity where you all go to the library and pick something you've never heard...and all listen together to a song on the CD? If you all hate it, you can go on to the next one. I find musical curiosity a priceless asset. Also if you're ever having a discussion about a certain time in history with your kids, there's nothing like hearing music of a period to bring it alive.

Jennifer said...

That's some great ideas, Cari. Now I"m thinking about trying something like that with my kids!

Cannwin said...


Great idea! Although I don't know if I have the gumption to endure it. I hate trying new things... which is why I've eaten the same Subway sandwich for the last 10 years (there's no shame in that!).

But the idea of listening to music of that period is very inviting. I think I'll try it out. :)

Genius woman.

Cari Hislop said...

I tend to eat the same subway sandwich too, but I don't think you hate new things as much as you think you do. You chose to have four little people come into your don't get much more "new" than that! They each provide an unimaginable amount of never ending newnesses for the whole of your life that combined would take a mathematical genius to calculate.

Maybe what you hate is being outside your comfort zone? Maybe you hate having to explain why you don't like something new compared to something you already like? Following on from that, maybe you find expressing yourself easier with the written word rather than a verbal statement? That's definitely true for me.

New = story food! We may not always find new comfortable or like it, but experiencing it...that is the power that turns the wheel that spins the yarns!

Here's a challenge if you wish to take it: Do one new thing every day for a month and write about it on your personal blog!

Cannwin said...

Oh, how well you know me Cari. I don't think I could have put it better myself. I'm a complete comfort zone person, I hate leaving it.

As for trying something new everyday for a month... I think I would run out of new things! My brain would just cease to come up with them, but I'll think about it for a bit. :)

mariel said...

Oooh I love the battlestar soundtrack. Dramatic and tense, yet beautiful and haunting...

Cannwin said...

It is! :) Now I want to get my hands on the CD's. Have you ever heard the Master & Commander Soundtrack? It's a good one too.

mariel said...

Ooo the strings!

Cannwin said...



Related Posts with Thumbnails