Music to Write By: Genres and Music

If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that music is very important to me and is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. Not only that, but a lot of the stories I write tend to involve music in some way.

I have playlists for each story that I’m working on. I don’t usually listen to music while I’m actually writing, but any time I’m brainstorming, researching, or just doing daily activities like driving I will put on my playlist for my current project. I always seem to be juggling two or three story ideas in my head at any point in time (not to mention thinking about my blog, the writing I do for my job, and just thinking about life in general). So I find that having specific playlists that relate to specific stories really helps me to not only get in the mood to write, but keeps my brain focused on what I want to focus on at any point in time.

And just so you can understand why I need separate playlists for all my projects, here is a sampling. I write a wide variety of stories/genres, and therefore the music reflects that. I actually don’t have a “general writing music” playlist; the music needs to be story and world specific.

Genre: Portal Fantasy – inspired by Finnish folktales

This is the Kalevala-inspired fantasy trilogy that I’ve been working on for a few years now. Book one is in its third draft, and is currently on the back burner while I’m working on other projects. I will pick this trilogy up again later this year, and when I do, I’ll use music like this classic song by the Finnish folk group Värttinä to get me into the right mindset:

I’ll also be listening to songs like this one by Sami singer Soffia Jannok, or instrumental Scandinavian folk music by Gjallarhorn.

Genre: High Fantasy – stories of sword and sorcery Continue reading

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Music Review: “Váibmosat,” Eva Jeanette

Eva Jeanette’s album Váibmosat debuted in 2012. Eva Jeanette is a Sami from Karasjok, Norway, and she sings in her native Sami tongue. Váibmosat (Til Ditt Hjerte in Norwegian) roughly translates to “To Your Heart” in English, and it is a collection of songs of praise.

Eva Jeanette is a Christian Sami singer. Most of the songs on this album are slow and prayerful – hymns of meditation rather than upbeat “praise and worship” songs that are common in the Christian music genre. Her voice is strong and clear – perfect for carrying songs with a solo voice.

Unlike many Sami singers, Eva Jeanette features very little of the joik, the traditional Sami style of chanting/singing, on this album. Instead she opts for more familiar Norwegian hymns, but sung in the Sami language. “Mu Váibmu Vádjol Doppe” – or “Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker” – is a well-known Norwegian song. I had heard that song in both Norwegian and Sami before hearing Eva Jeanette’s version, which I very much enjoyed – a slow, rhythmic song with a long instrumental segment at the end.

The song “Visot Buvttán Jesus Ovdii” I have heard in English as “I Surrender All,” a popular worship song at many a church or gathering. It was the only song besides “Mu Váibmu Vádjol Doppe” that I recognized, but I didn’t choose this album because I wanted something familiar.

I wanted to discover new music, new talent, and a beautiful new sound, and that’s exactly what I found in Eva Jeanette’s songs. Whether you’re looking for modern Christian music for an international audience, or you’re looking for new Scandinavian or Sami music, “Váibmosat” is definitely worth a listen.

Eva Jeanette’s Facebook page

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