Sunday, August 19, 2012

Do your read or write to music?

Do you listen to music when you read? When you write? Well, I do—and I love it! I find it soothing and the kind I listen to puts me in the mood of the historical romances I'm reading (or these days, writing). It sets the stage.

Today I thought I’d share with you my updated playlist..or much of it...the music I love to read and write by. My favorite composer is the French filmscore composer, Alexandre Desplat (pictured above). He's been nominated four times for an Oscar and is one of the most acclaimed composers of his generation. It was his joint passion for music and cinema that led him firmly in the direction of composition for film. He believes that a great film score should find a balance between function and fiction. Function will ensure that the music fits well into the mechanics of the film but the fiction can tap into the invisible - the deep psychology and emotions of the characters, creating a "vibration." When I listen to his scores, I feel that emotion.

You might not know his name but I’m certain you have heard his music.

Here are some of the scores I have selected from, in some cases using almost all of the album:

By Alexandre Desplat:

• Coco Before Channel
• Girl With a Pearl Earring
• The King’s Speech
• The Twilight Saga: New Moon
• Lust, Caution
• The Painted Veil
• The Golden Compass
• The Queen
• Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close
• Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
• The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

To those works of Desplat, I have added the following:

By James Newton Howard:

• Peter Pan
• The Village
• The Water Horse
• Lady in the Water

By others:

• Becoming Jane (Adrian Johnston)
• Pride & Prejudice (Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
• Celtic Romance (David Arkenstone)
• December and Forest albums (George Winston)
• The Duchess (Rachel Portman)

I’d love to hear from you. Do you listen to music when you read? Or, if you are a romance writer, when you write? If so, share your favorites with me!


  1. Hi, Reagan! I loved many of those movies whose music you mentioned. Thank you for sharing your list. I'll pay more attention now.

    I mostly listen to classical guitar. No words and incredible music. Fast flying fingers.

    1. Thanks, Vicki. Classical guitar sounds wonderful, too!


  2. Great post, Reagan! I always have music going when I write. I consider it my "soundtrack". I'm an Urban Fantasy writer so my music is a bit more sharp edged. Each of my characters have their own playlist which helps get me into the right frame of mind and bring their voices to the fore. My list of artists is long and varies, ranging from haunting voices like Enya, Sarah MacLahlan, Tori Amos, Florence & the Machine to the darker edges of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, Korn, Sisters of Mercy and everything in between!

    1. Wow! A playlist for each character. That's amazing! I like Enya but could not write my Regencies to her music. Still, it's that haunting Celtic sound I like.


  3. Hi Regan,

    I wonder if some readers listen to music when they read our novels or if they'd be taken aback if I recommended certain pieces to fit each scene or embedding the music via Youtube into an e-novel. I'm not sure if that's possible.

    1. Intriguing idea. One author I read does this on her website (can't recall who). I might do it as a list at the beginning of the book but I would not imbed it. Too distracting.

  4. As one of ten children raised in a five room apartment, I write in silence and cherish it. I use music to edit.

  5. That "Liz on Top of the World" by Thibaudet is marvelous.

  6. I envy you ladies. I can't have anything on when I write. It's too distracting.

  7. My playlist is too long to put here, but some of the performers on it are Depeche Mode, Corvis Corax, James Galway, Joanie Madden, Ramin Djawadi, Enigma, and Enya.

    If I really need to concentrate and block outside distractions/noises, I play pair of long environmental cuts of waves on the beach from both the Atlantic and Pacific.

  8. I listen to music all the time. For writing I use They have a channel called Regency Era reading music that's classical music. I also have a channel for soft piano music for more pensive moments.

    Amy Pfaff