The Best Soundtracks For Writing #3

Before you start, there are two other soundtrack posts – part one and part two. I’ve no idea how many soundtrack scores I’ve listened to recently (there are 106 of them on my iPod), but here are three more particularly interesting ones:

Larry Groupe’s Excelsius is beautiful. Written for a docudrama that never got released, Excelsius was since given the full Abbey Road treatment, and turned into a very powerful uplifting selection of orchestral themes.

There’s a real range and depth of mood on display, with some striking melodies. It actually reminds me a little of John Barry’s scores, especially Dances With Wolves in places, but overall this comes across as something unique and brilliant. It also seems to be rather epic for a docudrama that never was.

Zbigniew Preisner’s The Beautiful Country is another wonderful soundtrack. It’s gentle, soothing, soaring, jazzy, with a mix of both Eastern and Western influences.

I very much enjoyed Zbigniew Preisner’s other works, especially his Requiem For My Friend, a sort of modern-classical piece, but this is something rather different and manages to maintain an elegance throughout. It’s probably well-worth finding anything by Preisner, to be honest, and it will still be ideal to get your head in a good mood for writing.

Never seen The Borgias, but it’s got a splendid soundtrack, which was written by Trevor Morris. A sinister streak runs throughout the entirety of the album, which mixes orchestral scores alongside classical guitar and often more ambient pieces. It’s certainly something I’d recommend to any fantasy writer if you want to get into the right mood.

Incidentally, Trevor Morris worked as part of Hans Zimmer’s team on quite a few Hollywood scores, so he knows his way around a production studio.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

3 replies on “The Best Soundtracks For Writing #3”

Interesting fact: Excelsius is on the label founded by the guy behind Immediate Music and Globus, one being a trailer music group and the other being a more commercial project based on the work of Immediate Music. You should *totally* check out the two Trailerhead albums and Globus’ Epicon, which has some utterly stunning pieces.

I think I’ve got them/heard them – they felt a little too… insincere or manufactured for my tastes. It was very ‘straight out of a can’, which is probably what they were designed for.  

Yes, I know what you mean. Some trailer music works insanely well even out of context, but some doesn’t. I tend to listen more to E.S. Posthumus, Two Steps From Hell, Thomas Bergersen (one of Two Steps From Hell) than I do Immediate, although Globus’ Epicon album is always on my rotation.

I absolutely have to recommend E.S. Posthumus’ Cartographer, though. Some stunningly beautiful tracks. Thomas Bergersen’s Illusions (a bunch of TSFH tracks, sort of) is also worth picking up for a few tracks. Starvation is perfect, Sonera is really quite good and… well, I recommend all of it.

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