Like many other writers, I sometimes find that music supplies inspiration for work in progress, either triggering ideas, or coming along to support them. At one time or another all sorts of music has worked this way for me -- instrumental, classical, rock, folk -- an old Steeleye Span song, “King Henry and the Grisley Ghost”, updated to SFnal terms, once supplied a character and entire subplot for a novella.
Thinking back, there are several songs that triggered ideas for Dag and Fawn, or supplied as it were theme songs or anthems for them, that somehow (in my mind, likely in my mind alone) seemed deeply associated with their salient characteristics or emotions. Dag, being at times an angsty sort of fellow, especially seemed to attach himself to music, and music and singing do feature, if briefly (but pivotally) in Beguilement.
One of the first songs to attach itself to Dag was by a now defunct group (but it has descendants) called October Project, and titled “Paths of Desire”. Along about the same time, I belatedly discovered the work of the late Dave Carter with Tracy Grammer, who supplied not only some wonderful songs, but very American voices that somehow tied in with my tale. From their album Tanglewood Tree I found songs for each of my protagonists, “Tanglewood Tree” for Dag and “The Mountain” for Fawn, and from When I Go, yet another for Dag, a natural titled “Annie’s Lover”. Dag seems to have the lion’s share, here, but that may be deceptive, since “The Mountain” is such a powerful song.
If ever The Sharing Knife becomes an audio book, I’m going to send the narrator to listen to Dave and Tracy, to get the cadence of the voices for my duo. Dag’s voice is deeper than the singer’s, but it still has that Western-Midwestern drawl to it.
I don’t, be it noted, listen to music while I’m actually writing; I need silence for that. My brain doesn’t multi-task especially well. Music is a sporadic interest. At some times I’ll be open and actively searching out new stuff. At others I’ll be shut down for weeks on end, as I also shut off movies and other books, while I’m listening to -- or for -- my own inner voice.
I should also mention I have no musical talent myself, and could not carry a tune in a bucket. I am happily dependent on other artists to bring it to me. Seems fair.
-- Lois McMaster Bujold