Music plays an essential role in my creative process. The texture, rhythms, instrumentation and tone of the pieces I listen to while I’m working help to create the flow that translates into the expression of a story. It’s a tool that can be especially useful when I’m stuck.
Recently I’ve been working on a new segment of the Motel Mysteries (click here for the first of the series, The Clown in Room 5). In Siren Song, a man spends a sleepless night sitting by a motel pool longing for change. I was struggling with the voice and mood so stopped working and took a You Tube break. I can’t remember what path lead me to Jevetta Steele’s version of “Calling You” (the theme from the fantastic movie Bagdad Cafe) but I got there and the flow began.
I completed the story, but couldn’t let go of the Sirens. In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous creatures inhabiting a rocky island who used their beautiful voices to lure sailors to their deaths. Popularly, sirens are often depicted as mermaids, but originally they were bird women, and it was bird women who sang the sweet, sad and treacherous songs.
So I listened to Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren (and This Mortal Coil’s great cover), The Sirens from Brother Where Art Thou?, and then back to Jeff Buckley’s cover of Calling You. And wrapped it all up with a clever reading of Margaret Atwood’s Siren Song.
Then there was nothing left to do but create a visual version. Careful…they’re calling you.