One of the earliest memories is of hearing Albioni on Sesame Street. The viewer observed a close up of a dandelion while the music played.
This moment stayed with me along with many of Sesame Street’s more humorous numbers.
Years later, I watched the original Cosmos, open mouthed, while Vanglis’s ‘Alpha’ played to a series of images showing evolution.
Music had always had a profound effect on me. It didn’t end with listening and feeling.
I remember listening to Depeche’s Mode’s ‘Music for the Masses’. Images played out in my imagination along with David Gahan singing ‘Never Let Me Down Again’, ‘Strange Love’, ’Sacred’, ‘Behind the Wheel’ and ‘Nothing’.
A story unfolded within my mind. Someone submitted to another person yet raged against it. He confided his feelings to another, but the confidence hurt that person. This made the main character in this drama feel guilty. He came to discover he felt protective of his confidant, even from himself.
The identity of the characters in this drama evolved when I heard Alphaville’s ‘A Victory of Love’, Depeche Mode’s ‘People Are People’, Berlin’s ‘When We Make Love’ and ‘In My Dreams’. The persona created by the Berlin songs fit perfectly the developing image of the mistress whom my main character was bound to. The exact nature of this domination was unclear to me. It was part of the natural order, yet somehow unjust.
Damian Ashelocke was born from these images of conflict and domination. Duessa, Damian’s emotional mistress and domineering aunt soon followed.
Martin Gore’s shy, almost innocent refrain in ‘People Are People’, “I can’t understand/What makes a man/Hate another man/Help me understand” provided the third person’s voice in this drama. Christopher stepped out of the shadows to find himself caught between the other two characters.
Damian, Duessa, and Christopher have evolved quite a bit over the years. Music had helped them evolve. A got a strong visual of Damian reaching into the shadows while listening to Amethystium’s ‘Shadow to Light’. Christopher emerged from the darkness, guided by Damian’s hand.
Through music, Waiting for Rebirth came into being.
These weren’t the first or last creations of mine inspired by music.
A story began to play within my imagination the first time I heard Evanescence’s ‘Snow White Queen’. This tale grew, shaped by other forces into a concept that princesses and witches in fairy tales were the same people. The prince was simply an after thought, a construct to impede the true passion and conflict between the princess and the witch. Fairest emerged from these thoughts.
The sinister, scurrying theme of the Mouse King in ‘The Nutcracker’ had always been a favorite of mine. Seeing my local San Jose ballet’s performance sparked off the idea for Seven Tricks. Not that the suggestive pelvic thrusts the Mouse King made in the Nutcracker’s general direction didn’t offer up some inspiration as well. :)
All of my stories, my characters trace their beginnings back to music. It’s my primary source of inspiration.
How about you, dear reader? How does music inspire you?