“If music be the food of love, play on…” ~ Duke Orsino, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
Music is, without a doubt, the single greatest contributor to the birth, growth and completion of The Origin Saga.
Music has been an enormous part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents’ tastes lean towards rock and heavy metal, giving me a solid education in and appreciation of the likes of Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Status Quo, Blue Oyster Cult… I could continue, but we’d be here for some time.
My personal journey through music, however, has produced an eclectic range of interests that is a direct result of the eras and influences I have experienced in my 31 years on this planet of ours.
Growing up, our house was always full of music. When I think back on my childhood, I remember there was always an album playing from some part of the house – with the exception of Saturdays, when my Mom would insist everything stop so she could watch the football all day. Every car journey began with a mix tape. Visits to my grandparents’ house on a Sunday involved my brother and I pulling Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxgѐne from their record collection, before watching Seven Brides For Seven Brothers or Lord Of The Dance for the 400th time. Visits to my other grandparents introduced me to joys of Jazz, Big Band and Swing.
As a child of the 90’s, I had little choice but to fall uncompromisingly in love with Disney, Steps, the Spice Girls, and Britney Spears. As a teenager in the early 00’s, nu-metal and pop punk burst onto the scene, appealing to my otherwise conflicting enjoyment of both the pop and rock genres. Around the same time, I began clubbing with friends whose tastes I felt were far more vanilla than my own (in all my worldly experience at 17…), and yet I came to love the wave of electronic dance and trance tracks that blared from every bar and club we frequented on Birmingham’s Broad Street. When I wasn’t busy dancing until my feet bled to Faithless or giving myself whiplash to Disturbed, I was singing my heart out to every musical soundtrack I could come by. By my early 20’s, my music playlist was as varied as my wardrobe; from Debussy to Slipknot, I had something for every occasion.
I’ve wasted countless hours over the years, staring mindlessly at a blank page or a blank screen, unable to conjour the simplest sentence, despite dozens of ideas racing through my brain. Writers block would hit hard and linger like a bad taste in the mouth for weeks or months on end, leaving me unfulfilled and exasperated. Considering myself as a woman of reasonable intelligence, it took me far longer than it should have to realise that whenever I had certain artists or tracks playing in the background, my fingers would dance across the keyboard merrily; notes, sentences, paragraphs, a whole chapter, HURRAH!
It was upon browsing the website of a favourite author of mine back in 2016 (if you’re interested, Deborah Harkness and her All Souls Trilogy touch my soul!) that I had my “A-HA!” moment. She’d shared a playlist of assorted tracks that had inspired her writing. It was clear that certain artists formed a significant part of her inspiration, but I was amazed and delighted at how varied the list was and I suddenly realised that this was what I was lacking. I’d spent years listening to the same albums over and over without actually listening to how my writing responded, so I set myself the task of creating my own playlist in trusty old Spotify to collate the tracks and artists that set my creativity ablaze.
Thus, the Origin playlist was born.
2½ years, 256 songs, 17 hours and 7 min of listening time later, my playlist continues to grow and adapt. Songs, albums, and artists have been added and removed again through the playlist’s lifetime; similar to friendships, some are there for the long haul whilst others only remain a while to serve their purpose and move on again. I have no rhyme or reason in the way I pick the songs that make the cut, I rely purely on instinct. Sometimes the lyrics so perfectly encapsulate a personality or a particular event, sometimes just one lyric might ring true. Sometimes it isn’t the lyrics at all, simply the mood of a melody or the story woven through an album is enough to rouse my imagination. I don’t know what it is, but when I hear it, I know.
It is my utmost pleasure to share my playlist with you and I hope you get as much enjoyment from it as I do. This collection of songs inspired the evolution of one short story from the heart and mind of a naïve 14-year old into the ever-growing Origin universe.
Love and light…