Notes

“Finding Your Way to ‘Other Time’”: Music for Imagination

From Doug McKelvey, “Finding Your Way to ‘Other Time’” at The Rabbit Room.

… Music, it will be seen (or rather heard) then, is both a transport, and a key into that other kingdom. Or, to put it more literally, music (the right music, mind you) is a secret tunnel that the guardians at the gates of Other Time are unaware of. The enchantment of music will sometimes allow one to bypass the gates and the guardians altogether, and so, simply to arrive at one’s destination. …

What sorts of songs do, and what sorts of songs do not, serve this end? When writing fiction, one requires music that will easily carry one out of the pressing and the daily. One requires music that is capable of stirring emotions and opening new folds of imagination, but that is consistently able to do so without announcing itself too boldly or clamoring too cleverly for attention. …

In the end what you really need (if we may speak bluntly as friends) are songs that will play you. …

Here, presented in the most practical of terms (being a list), and for the benefit of those readers who are also creators, are the transport pieces that I have recently discovered and employed:

  1. Zoë Keating: One Cello x 16: Natoma
  2. Nils Frahm: Felt
  3. Caspian: Hymn for the Greatest Generation
  4. Caspian: Waking Season
  5. Explosions in the Sky: All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
  6. Explosions in the Sky: Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
  7. Message To Bears: Departures
  8. Message To Bears: Folding Leaves
  9. Message To Bears: Maps
  10. This Will Destroy You: Tunnel Blanket
  11. Eluvium: Copia
  12. Eluvium: Nightmare Ending
  13. Eluvium: Talk Amongst the Trees
  14. Eluvium: An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death
  15. Eluvium: When I Live by the Garden and the Sea

[Read the page for McKelvey’s winsome writing and more music recommendations in the comments. —C.M.H.]