The Writers' Block

The Big Score

March 8, 2009
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Soundtracks to write to part 1:

“The Dark Knight” Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard.

As anyone who fought alongside me in the HMV trenches will attest to, I have the awe-inspiring/annoying (delete as applicable) ability to listen to the same albums again and again and again.

If you walked through the first floor of HMV during one particular month you were as likely to hear the smoke-ripped lungs of “Slobberbone” belting out “gimme back my dog” at 9 a.m. as you were at 6 p.m.

Still, at least you could hear that particular track.

Soundtracks (the orchestral kind that is – not the “songs from” or, even worse, “songs inspired by” kind – because “Armageddon” is soooo inspiring) are not exactly suited to the retail music environment. Their raison d’etre is to generate mood and heighten atmosphere – not to drive X-Factor punters into a purchasing frenzy. 

They’re an ebb and flow of chaos and serenity. And when they’re serene, they’re “Waterstones” library serene. You have to squint with your ears to pick out anything over the air conditioning. 

And of course, when you don’t, and you turn that track up – wham! Here comes the chaos and there goes the sub-woofer – along with that old lady who was browsing through James Last. Still. You can replace the sub-woofer.

But they were great for writing to. 

A monotonous job – DVD filed after DVD – was a fertile brew for an imagination stoked on the strings of John Williams, Danny Elfman, John Powell, Craig Armstrong, David Arnold and many more.

And sat at home, in the heart of the writing process, this ability to surf on sound starts to verge on the  Zen.

Set the iTunes to repeat and I’ll fade…

“The Dark Knight” is one of the great soundtracks.

It’s broody, melodic, heroic and fucked. (In fact, the last track is literally fucked on my version. A bad copy that accidentally “fell” on my computer. Old skool gamekeeper turned new skool poacher I guess…)

You’ve already heard it, obviously. You and about a billion others. But I want to throw a bit of colour about the place while I scrabble to get scripts made. So have this one on me.

“Introduce A Little Anarchy.”



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Amateur Writer. Professional Crastinator.