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Music is very important to me. I don’t play an instrument and I can’t carry a tune, but I have an innate love of music. I play it all the time. I use it actively as I write and passively to set a background tone when I’m not working. Just like stories, games and cinema, I feel that music is a medium for an emotional journey. Music doesn’t mean notes on paper to me or the physical function of keys / pedals / strings. It is a pattern of emotional experience, whether fresh, exciting and newly discovered or well-worn and familiar. I even organise my playlists along such lines, rather than alphabetically or by artist.

I have eclectic tastes in music. I try not to be a snob - but do suffer from the usual bias towards the music of my youth, as opposed to the most up-to-date tracks. I suspect this has something to do with modern corporate influence and the composition-factory fashion in which a good deal of today’s music is now produced. Fortunately, there is still some great stuff out there. For a real treat, I find the decades before my youth to be a treasure trove of music waiting to be riffled rediscovered. A veritable time machine for ear and brain. I particularly favour songs that tell a story, but that is probably just the author in me. I admire the extra skill it must take.

When writing, I heavily rely upon music without lyrics: sometimes classical but most often selected pieces from movie soundtracks. These pieces are already replete with the emotional blueprint of an experience – that out of context with their original composition can come to mean something new to the writer or listener. It probably has something to do with alpha waves. Either way, I’m happy to share some of my musical influences here.


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