Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see words instead of music notes? I think that's the most intriguing part about music; it stirs in our minds images and wonder associated with each note. I often write with music, I would say- except for academia and poems- I cannot write without it. My writing is like a game, trying to match each syllable with each note of the song. I often listen to Pandora, Secret Garden station or Enya. Sometimes Within Temptation is good too. (But this is for Adrian Von Ziegler's music. Brilliant Composer that he is.)
I invite you to do a quick exercise with me.
1. Click on this link: AVZ-Bone Temple 2. As it plays in the background read this story below. (I understand people read at different speeds, so this may be a little fast or slow for you, try and feel with the music.)
The firelight burnt low and deep embers cast shadows far too large for their own power. Long trails of warriors sat around the glowing orbs to watch the Mage of the West perform. Her hair flowing about in black streams, swayed with the exotic motions of her body as a she stepped into the dim light. Turning and throwing her arms into the air she began the long awaited Telling Ritual. The flute notes seemed to carry her limber frame into a surreal world where fluidity met flesh. The Rite of War was about to be decided.
Her bare feet clung to the dusty earth with power and grace as her satin skin rippled with the strength and power of each step. Rolling her shoulders and extending her limbs, the lithe body seemed to live within the notes of the song that played out the ritual she had learned almost from birth. Turning in the air, she pleaded with the heavenly powers of her land to give wisdom to her dance. The waving veils and sultry steps she took all told of a coming war, but the victor was yet to be decided.
Two sons of the late Cheif sat with leering gazes, wagering among each other how they would divide the spoils of their conquest. Including which would take the Mage to wife and claim her inheritance and the rebels of the West that followed her. The dance meant little to their untrained, and warmongering eyes. They could not see the secret message amid the turns and bows, the deadly orders in her twisting and prostration. Her art was little more to them than rakish tradition that satisfied the Warriors' more primal urges. Women had been scarce for months.
As the Mage wove in and out of the shadowy glow of the fire, every male was transfixed waiting for her to reappear and to show dexterity and grace. She represented the only variable left in this dreaded war of clans. Whoever possessed her, owned all the lands and peoples of the West. Jumping out from the ebony vale of darkness her ivory skin flashed and dazzled the men. Turning in place her motions did not distract the men from seeing a larger more daring presence invade her space. Matching her steps, the hooded man bore the royal crest of the late chief, and his tartan wore he like a badge of honor. His bare arms adorned with blood soaked straps, the phantom appeared to be the resurrected corpse of the late chief. But years younger, and plenty more fierce.
In white horror and fear, the two sons gaped as the ghost pursued the young Mage with savage intent. Fleeing and being drawn in all at once the woman bent to the will of the specter her dance had conjured. He stocked her shivering frame and took hold of her left arm.With controlled force, he made her steps align with his. Her tiny frame shadowed by his mass, she had no defense against his onslaught. The late chief had conquered the Lady of the West and her beating breast was perfectly in sync with his.
As the fatal dance began to move through the ranks, the sons of the chief dared not move for fear the judging eyes of their father would find them and convict them of their coup. The twin brothers marveled in wonder as the two danced side by side; intimate and daring. They were powerless to touch the Mage for the entire realm of the West would rise to consume them. And their father, how could he be still alive, still virile, and bold? They watched, frozen as if by magic, as the young woman was wooed before them. Her hair tangled in the phantom's hands, her eyes clinging to his, her legs matching his step. From the eyes of the crowd, it was difficult to say who had control of the ritual anymore, way it the Mage or her Master? So inspired was their fear, they took no notice of the cloaked assassins moving throughout the ranks of their trembling men. Silent, like shadows, fluid as the music, the rebels of the West slipped into the dance unnoticed and began their grizzly work. Matched with the beat of the earthy drum, the bodies fell, and still the sons noticed not their fate was already decided. The path carved through the ranks and led the dance of death right to the dais the traitors sat upon.
With wide eyes, they paled in horror as the hooded phantom drew a long blade from the Mage's own belt. Their mouths clamped silent with the powerful spell they could only reel in agony as the legendary blade dispatched them into an agonizing, slow death. The brothers could only grimace as they were cast to the ground at the foot of the thrown. With his feet upon their back, the specter removed his hood and ordered the dance to stop. His late Chieftain was at last avenged.
Ok, so that was a little intense. Honestly, I think I got a little carried away in that one. That was actually really dark. Sorry!! But I hope you see my point. Writing with music can help enhance your work and make it more fluid.
I want to challenge you all, pick a theatrical song (easier without lyrics) and write a completely new and uninterrupted story with it. Not only is it great creative practice, it can make for some amazing stories later on. And once you're done, share it. Let the world experience that song through your writing.