My Name in Music

I saw this meme on Facebook the other day that asked you to use your name as an acrostic, spelling out your favorite bands or singers with each letter of your name. So, since I’m low on blog ideas this week, here are five of my favorite singers/bands/musicians, one for each letter of my name. (My first name only. I could do my middle and last names, but then we’d be here all day).

G – Gjallarhorn (Finnish and Swedish folk-rock)

R – The Rankin Family (Canadian family singing Celtic and folk music)

A – Angelit (Sami singers from Lapland, Finland)

C – Christopher Franke (composer, well-known for composing the epic score to the TV show Babylon 5)

E – Eivør Pálsdóttir (Faroese singer, specializing in multiple styles of music and songs in multiple languages)

Feel free to leave a comment with your name and your favorite bands!

If you like soundtracks, then give a listen to these tracks by the instrumentalist on my list:

More Music to Write By

I’ve written several posts about how music inspires my writing. So I’ve decided to share three more of my favorite songs and how they help me with my current WIP.

Angelit – Garkit

This song could serve as a soundtrack for various scenes, as well as being simple inspiration/mood-setting. Angelit is a Sami folk-rock band from northern Finland, and they usually sing in their own language of Sami. The parts of my book that take place in the real world are set in Finland, and most of it is the northern part of the country known as Lapland.

“Garkit”—which means “escape”—is the perfect song to get me into a mood for writing a fast-paced adventure scene. There’s a battle—and an escape—in the climax of my story, so I often used this song to gear myself up for writing it.

Johanna Kurkela – Oothan tässä vielä huomenna

This is a love song—the title translates as something close to “Will you still be here tomorrow.” It’s by the Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela. It’s appropriate that I use Finnish songs, since—as mentioned earlier—the story begins in Finland, and most of the characters are from that country.

I use this song kind of as the “love theme” for the two lead characters, and listening to it helps put me in a frame of mind to write a romantic scene. Please note, for any romance or erotica readers out there—my book would probably be rated PG. Maybe PG-13, but that’d be due only to the battle scenes and one or two swear words. If you’re looking for steamy romance and lots of innuendoes, this is not the book for you.

But if you like just a dab of romance to liven up the fantasy adventure, then I’ve got that. And no matter what level of romance you prefer in your books, this song is worth a listen. I don’t worry about trying to understand the Finnish (I can catch about three words in the whole song). But the music and her voice are enough to put me in a mood to write.

Värttinä – Kutsu

The song is also Finnish, by the world music band Värttinä; it’s titled “The Call.” The lyrics are simple: “Come to my elfin dwelling. Come into the light.” It fits with several other songs on the album Utu, which tell stories of witches, conjurers, elves, and enchantments.

While my story doesn’t feature witches or elves as such, it is about a world of myth. It’s a world where folk tales have come to life, and ordinary things like the night sky and rivers in the woods aren’t always what they seem.

This song is haunting, creepy, and other-worldly—just the sort of sound I need to inspire me when my protagonists are skulking through the woods and jumping at shadows.

So these are my top three tracks right now for listening. What’s your music to write by?

Music to write by

I never listen to music while I write. Songs with words are way too distracting when I’m trying to come up with words of my own. Even instrumental music can be a distraction for me, unless it’s so in the background that I can ignore it, like blending with voices and other noises at a coffee shop.

That being said, when I’m not writing, I love listening to music. I’ll often just sit with my eyes closed, doing nothing but listening to a piece of music. I also listen to music while I’m driving (not with my eyes closed). It’s during these times of contemplative listening that I either get ideas for a story, or am able to delve deeper into the world of what I’m currently writing.

For the fantasy story I’m working on right now, I have several pieces of music that are my go-to tracks to get me into the right mind-set. Many of these tracks are by a band called Angelit, formerly called Angelin Tytöt. The band is from a tiny place called Angeli, in northern Finland. (Angelin Tytöt means “The Girls of Angeli,” and Angelit translates as something close to “The Angelis”).

Angelit’s music instantly takes me far away, both to real places I’ve never been, and imaginary places where I have been. If I’m brainstorming about a fast-paced scene I need to write, like a battle or some other adventure, I’ll listen to a song like “Garkit.” The loud beat and almost soundtrack-like quality conjures up the images I need, and I’m ready to go.

A more relaxing, mesmerizing song like “Gidda Beaivvas” lets my mind wander more slowly through my world. Sometimes images put to the music helps, sometimes all I have to do is listen.

 

The underlying theme in all of Angelit’s music is the Sami yoik and traditional music sounds. The band members belong to the Sami people (also known as Lapps)–the indigenous people who live in the high arctic of northern Scandinavia. Angelit usually sings in their native Sami dialect, rather than Finnish, and they incorporate variations of the Sami traditional “yoik” singing into their music.

This cultural backdrop is another reason why Angelit’s music serves as my muse for my story. The story is set in Lapland in northern Finland (yes, I promise it’s a fantasy story), and some of my characters are Sami. I realize that some cultural inaccuracies will occur, since I’m not a Sami and haven’t been there, but give me a little leeway–it really is a fantasy story, and the majority of it does not take place in Lapland. But whether I’m writing a scene that’s set in a real place or set in a place of my own making, the songs of Angelit always get my creativity going.

I’d love to hear some feedback! Any other writers out there who have a go-to song or two to get your creative juices flowing?