Music Monday: Mission Statement

It’s another Music Monday and another track by Fish, also taken from Raingods Dancing.

On the one hand, this song is a bit of old fashioned rock’n’roll. It’s got the same tempo and style as things like Summertime Blues and Rock Around the Clock and it is so dancible that I have half a Zumba routine choreographed to it (one day, I’ll finish that off!). It’s guitar, organ and snare drum to provide rythme with all the melody being supplied by Fish’s vocals.

On the other, it’s another piece of Fish social commentary. The lyrics talk about economics, the grind of working life, climate change and how the only way we fix any of it is to pull together. Did I mention this was written more than twenty years ago?!

Yeah.

With its rapid tempo, this was an incredibly useful walking (okay; jiving – I admit it; as they say, dance like no-one’s watching!) track. As I mentioned in part one of this soundtrack section, a lot of Cambiante was plotted while out on one particular walk and this track was one that definitely kept my feet moving while I chewed on plot details.

It also catches the frantic vibe of the early chapters of the book. A lot of stuff gets thrown at Emilio and he has to decide how to deal with it all in a very short space of time. Equally, one of the central threads of the book is about Emilio learning to work with people instead of as a lone operator, so the idea of pulling together fits as well.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: Kings Cross

Time for another Music Monday post and this week, something different: Kings Cross by the Petshop Boys.

The Petshop Boys are a British electronica/synthpop duo who’ve been working together since the very early 80s, who’ve had several periods of fame/success in that time. Kings Cross comes from the 1987 album Actually.

Actually was one of young Grace’s very first albums, although it is fair to say that my nine-year-old self didn’t entirely ‘get’ most of the songs, she just loved the music! Kings Cross is perhaps the one exception to that. I didn’t pick up on the call outs of the government and the social problems it highlighted (I was nine!) but I did get the sense of the hopelessness and the bleakness. It always made me think in apocalyptic terms (it was still the cold war; nuclear annihilation was still very much a possibility!) and that is what makes it fit in with the Cambiante section of the Elsehere Soundtrack.

This wasn’t a piece of music that I did much writing to, but it was a great piece of walking music that let my thoughts sync up to the state of mind Emilio is in. I think I solved at least one plot hole listening and sewed the seeds for filling in a couple more, too.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: Mayan Ruins

It’s another Music Monday, and the third piece of mood music for Cambiante. This week, Winifred Phillips’ Mayan Ruins from Assassin’s Creed: Liberation.

Winifred Phillips is a composer and writer who’s worked on various soundtrack projects, starting out in radio dramas before moving into video games. AC: Liberation is an obscureish game in the series, having been originally done for the PSP (the Sony handheld gaming device). It was remastered and rereleased as bonus content with the remaster of AC:III and is well worth a look, as is the soundtrack!

This is a completely different sort of piece to the previous two tracks. The melody is a kind of call-and-response, played on woodwind, and is reminiscent of bird calls. Played beneath it is a selection of percussion and the whole thing (to me, at least!) evokes the jungle around the edges of the great Mayan sites.

It’s very simple and ethereal, and it became my go-to piece to listen to when I was writing Quetzalcoatl and when I was using my other main setting, the city/ruins of Dzibilchaltun…which I didn’t expect to feature quite as much as it ultimately ended up doing!

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

Music Monday: The Spanish Empire

For this week’s Music Monday, another piece of mood music, this time by Brian Tyler: The Spanish Empire.

Brian Tyler is one of my absolute favourite composers. In his case, it’s actually a bit of a toss up as to whether I came across him first via the AC: Black Flag soundtrack or whether it was the official Formula 1 theme. Either way, he has an absolutely brilliant back catalogue that spans so many genres and with work from film, TV and video games, that if you look him up, you’re pretty much bound to find something you’ll enjoy.

This track is from the AC: Black Flag soundtrack, though, and, as the name suggests, it’s another with a very Spanish feel: the main melody is once more played on the accoustic guitar, but this time there’s more percussion and woodwind, with a little bit of other string instrumentation layered in. It’s less of a dance and more of a slow and steady creep through the jungle. It’s very atmospheric and more than a touch sinister: perfect music for the prologue and laying out the basic mystery of Cambiante.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!

So, Who Stole April?!

It has been stupidly busy in these parts. The day job is trying to eat my brain and I’ve had an intermitent sinus issue (ah, the joys of hayfever and seasonal allergies) which hasn’t helped and I would love to say that it’s all behind me now…but currently my right ear’s blocked and I have a to do list for Monday morning that’s long enough I’ll probably be working on it on Sunday.

So, a bit of a bullet point round up.

  • Cambiante is fully out and available here in both eBook and also paperback.
  • Book 4 is progressing nicely. I’m getting towards being half way done (I’m hoping to reach that point by the end of this month) and I’ve identified my through line, which is helping me start to sketch in the second half. However, one thing that hasn’t made progress is the title! I’m not worrying about that too hard at this point, but I’ll need to give it some proper attention soon… Lastly, I’ve adjusted the provisional launch for book 4 to move it into November – this is largely because it’s getting much longer than I was expecting which means it’s going to take me longer to actually write!
  • I’ve also done some preliminary work on Sage (book 5) to start refining what I wrote on that last November. I’m not expecting to have Sage finished this year, but if I run into issues on book 4, I may flip Sage and book 4, so I’m just keeping it ticking over.
  • Book 6 has also seen some progress – another goal this month is to take another run at a synopsis for this one, now that I’ve got so much more of the series hammered into place. Actually writing this is still some way off, but the more of the plot holes I can iron out now, the easier writing will be when I get to it. (Well, that’s the theory…)
  • Friday Fiction this month will be a brand new short story. I’m not sure, at this point, what the story will actually be, but I’ve got a few ideas. We’ll see which ones bear fruit!
  • Finally, a bit of promo for a really excellent book series: if you like fantasy and romance, The Fae Touched Chronicles are a brilliant read. Book three is out now and the final book, book 4, is due out at the end of the month.

So that’s where I’m up to.

Happy reading 🙂

Music Monday: La Havana

Welcome to this week’s Music Monday and a piece of fabulous mood music by Alexis Smith and Joe Henson (aka The Flight), La Havana.

The duo of Alexis Smith and Joe Henson are soundtrack specialists. They have released some music that isn’t television or video game soundtracks, but most of their back catalogue is media tie-in and they are very good at what they do. This particular track is taken from the extended/complete edition of the Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag soundtrack and it’s simply a really nice flamenco-esque piece of guitar music.

Given Emilio’s history, having come from the countryside around Madrid and then having lived in what would become Mexico and now living in Cuba, this was very much a character piece. It set the mood and helped me find both his voice and his story.

It also sets the flavour of one of the two main locations in the book: Havana. I vaguely had it in my mind that a lot more of the story would take place in the main areas of Havana, so it was useful to have a piece of music that helped me picture the streets and the people and the colours and while I changed my mind about exactly how much action should take place there versus other locations, it still helped when I did dip into the real city.

The Elsehere Soundtrack on Spotify has been updated to add this in.

That’s all for now. Happy reading and listening!