I enjoy background noise when I’m writing. Sometimes I play a show series like Psych or Once in the background. I’ve used Coffitivity as well. If I’m working on a fantasy story I have been known to put on movies like Labyrinth or Star Wars. It’s a lonely gig sometimes. Especially for somebody like me who fluctuates between introvert and extrovert. Having some background noise makes it feel like there is somebody else here. Especially if it’s characters like Monk or Gus that I know so well. It’s like having somebody here chatting, solving a murder or having a fantasy adventure without me having to tidy up the place or stop working to entertain them. They can go about their business and I can go about mine.
Sometimes though, I want a little mood music. I might be needing to really immerse myself in a place or time. I have several playlists on Spotify that include music with little or no lyrics, for those days I’m too easily derailed.
For the Red August series I have a list that includes Celtic music as well as fantasy movie soundtracks. Then a few days ago I discovered Retrojam which is a cool little website that suggests playlists to you based on your birthday. You plug in the numbers and it spits out some lists from what you would have been hearing on the radio in sixth grade or high school, depending on which list you select. It was pretty effective.
The main character in Red August is August Archer who is coming of age in the early 1980s. Having lists of songs that set me in that space helped me sink into her much easier and recall some old feelings and memories from my formative years during that era.
Some of the songs had me chuckling because they were so sappy or not at all what I would listen to. I was a total, Police, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd girl back in the early 80s. But unless you avoided the radio, you couldn’t help but hear a lot of other stuff floating around in the top forty, much of which will bring nostalgic feelings screaming forward.
Enjoy the trip!