Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.
As I began writing a short story last year, I decided my protagonist would be an aspiring opera singer. After a couple of drafts, I realized I’d made a mistake and changed her to be an aspiring dancer instead. Even so, during those first few drafts, I did quite a bit of research about opera–mostly by listening to it. And I ended up falling in love with it. I’d listened to opera before, but not enough to become a fan. I became one then.
One of my favorites quickly became Maria Callas’s rendition of “Je Veux Vivre” from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
The thing I enjoy most about this song is its pacing. It starts off with a powerful punch, then pulls back and slowly winds back up to a powerful ending. Up and down, loud–quiet–loud, intense–light–intense…It’s all very dramatic and puts me in the right frame of mind to write.
Another reason I like listening to this song is its emotions. I usually need music that elicits darker feelings (anger, misery, revenge, insanity, etc.), but this one has the opposite effect. There’s joy, wonder, excitement, life in “Je Veux Vivre” (translation: I want to live).
And even the darkest stories have those elements in them, even if it’s just for a single moment. Even if it’s because a character escaped prison, or successfully robbed a bank, or killed an innocent victim. Even if it’s a subtle, twisted, or pure version of positivity, positivity happen in every story.
So, if you’re looking for a fun, dramatic, beautiful song, check out Maria Callas’s performance of “Je Veux Vivre” from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.