For quite some time now I’ve been working on the Time Squatters Saga. I’ve written the novel and composed the ‘Book Soundtrack’. A Book Soundtrack is basically a soundtrack that musically describes the scenes of the Book as well as the characters, the overall mood and more. In each chapter of the book there is a suggested track you may want to listen to, and a link to this track from the soundtrack.
Creating the characters in my mind as a writer is one thing. Creating them as ‘musical entities’ is a totally different. I always believe that music in a film is a ‘parallel narration of the film’, it tells a complementary story along with the dialogue, editing, acting, direction. But the music tells a story which is some times more ‘definite’ than the actual image. And by definite I mean ‘less room for interpretation’. You see when reading a book, you can imagine the character any way you want, you can give him your looks, rhythm of action, you can imagine him smiling one way or another. But when music tells you what is happening while you read the story, a pretty definite and certain portrait is presented in front of you. Very much like watching a movie. But with more focus on the music since there is no image to ‘distract you’… I mean to paint the rest of the picture.
How do you create a character portrait with music?
Tricky, but so exciting! So, vivid, so overwhelming. Music as said many time via this blog is a universal language, beyond words. Zen Buddhism believes that words are ‘bubbles’ that only describe ideas and meaning without including the essence of what they describe. Hence, they do not speak much, they try to experience. Music is a medium that offers just this: you can experience the ‘notion’ of things, ideas, images, feelings most of all without the logical process of the chain of words. And this is what I tried to do with the Time Squatters Soundtrack: to create a new way of experiencing all the things that words can describe but can not make you experience!
I believe so much in music for dramatic purposes, and I honestly think that the concept of the ‘Book Soundtrack’ should be widely used more and more. I do not mean ‘Audio books’ where you listen to a narrator reading the story with some background music because with all the respect to the genre I think this is a deterioration of the book. I mean Soundtrack, as music alone that you listen either while you read a certain scene or afterwords. Once you know what the scene represented and what it was composed for, you can listen to it at any time as you would with a normal soundtrack that brings memories of the film.
Try it. It is not only a new experience. It is a deeper understanding of the universe the books brings to you, a better immersion of yourself in the story.
Time Squatters, a new Saga, a new concept, a transmedia project