Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Music & Fiction: Peanut Butter & Jelly For The Soul

Here's a secret.

Not only am I an author, but I'm also a musician.

My tangled love affair with music and fiction has been persistent throughout most of my life. I was the kid who, on middle school and high school field trips, would sit quietly at the back of the bus with a novel in hand and headphones clutching my ears as I fell deeper and deeper into my own imagination. Oddly enough, I've never done drugs. I guess creativity was my only addiction.

I've always been fascinated by soundtracks. The way well-crafted music can emphasize cinematic elements is magical; for this reason, I am a huge fan of composers like John Williams, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, and Ramin Djawadi. But I'm also a fan of hard rock... and I'm not talking bands like KISS or ACDC. I'm talking progressive metal, blistering rock that is intelligent and primal at the same time. I go crazy for bands like Mastodon, Dream Theatre, Alice in Chains. You get the picture.

So, I'm a musician. And I make music that I would like to hear, heavily influenced by the bands I just mentioned (and so many others). I've been making music for about fifteen years; I've been writing fiction for about the same time.

You see, it's all about expression. Sometimes, the written word gets the job done. It tells the story sufficiently and I can live my life when I'm done writing.

But sometimes, words don't work. Sometimes it's just the sound that tells the story. It's the sound that carries me forward, allows me to express something deeper than words can describe.

And sometimes, I can put the two together.

I discovered a few years ago that I could incorporate spoken word into many of the songs that I compose. For a long time, I was afraid of singing, but I knew my writing was pretty decent. And so was my guitar-playing. So I started melding music and fiction, developing this unique blend that I'm about to unleash on a global level.

If you're particularly observant, you've probably noticed a few new items on the blog. First, there's a ReverbNation player that features a few of the songs I'll be making available for download in coming weeks. They are part of a project I call "The Pale Hypnotic", which is actually a huge fusion of storytelling, music, and virtual reality. It's one part concert, one part play, and one part audio book about a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, epic comedy. Yeah, you heard me correctly.

And it will be streamed to this website whenever I do a performance in Second Life (that's a subject to be covered in another post). The second new item you might have noticed? At the top of the page I've added a player that will stream my upcoming shows and readings right to this website. So you won't have to be in Second Life to hear the music or the fiction. You can just enjoy it wherever you have an internet connection.

Beyond those two additions, I'm also working on a soundtrack for the fantasy novel I'll be publishing soon. All instrumental music, all original, and made specifically for you loyal readers.

The (r)evolution of indie publishing is taking a new turn. And I'll be the one holding your hand and guiding you around the blind curves. Let's have an adventure, shall we?


  1. Great post! I've followed a similar path in terms of writing and music. Like you say it's all about expression and sometimes the written word isn't enough and music offers us that other outlet. In terms of my personal expereince I would also add art to the forms of artistic expression. I've been a keen artist since forever and that's another way of expressing an idea or a feeling - the directness and simplicity of an image. Unfortunately, due to the many responsiblities and demands on my time I've had to radically reduce the amount of time I can spend on my music and art, focusing what little free time I have on the writing.

    Your musical project sounds incredibly exciting. I look forward to hearing more about it. I will certainly do my best to spread the word about it.

  2. Thanks, Lee. I originally wanted to be a comic book artist and writer (way back when I was in elementary school). But time is a tricky beast to wrangle and at some point, I decided my writing had outgrown my ability to draw.

    One of these days, if I can reclaim some free time, I'd like to try my hand at a web comic again.