Life Needs A Soundtrack Under It
I can’t work without music. I’m writing some severely mad stuff today, and needed to play appropriate sounds. Usually I fall back on soundtracks, of which I have an obscenely vast collection, including many so obscure that even I can’t recall the names of the films they’re from.
Certain composers are good for specific states of mind. Bernard Herrmann, James Bernard and the scores of old horror films are great for writing horror stories (obviously) but John Barry, Michael Nyman, Alexandre Desplat, Ennio Morricone, Howard Shore and Mark Isham are all good at providing a certain moodiness.
But – a late discovery on my part – if you want real big-ass epic scale, forget John Williams and James Horner, go for Murray Gold. Who, you say? Exactly. He writes the increasingly grandiose scores for Doctor Who, which are filled with rambunctious melodies, soaring chorales and end-of-the-universe flights of fancy that threaten to take my speakers out. Gold is one of a group of smart British composers currently turning out terrific work, and lifting the spirits of knackered old hacks at their writing desks.