Stories that Matter

Listen To The Music…

“It’s all around you…” August Rush.

Here’s my favorite song from that movie-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxmZrJRvti0

I love that movie! Admittedly, it is a little hokey and as an author, I wanted to do SO much more with the characters, but the music in it was awesome. And of course, it has a happy ending. But it does a great job of showing how important music is. How it brings people together.

I can’t remember not being surrounded by music. My home was always filled with it. Not instrumental, as neither of my parents played anything, but Mom always had the radio on. She was always singing or humming a hymn. I believe music is a gift God gives us. We can use it to worship Him, and we should, but we can also find comfort in it. Inspiration. Hope. Those fortunate enough to be able to create music are blessed indeed. I tried to play guitar for a few years, but eventually gave up.

And so I sing.

I’m no Adele or Whitney by any stretch of the imagination, but on a few Sundays a month, you’ll find me on the worship team at church. I sure don’t do it to add anything to the mix, because honestly, I’m not that great, but I do it because I love it. Music is one way I feel completely connected to my Savior. Truth me told, I’d much rather sing my way through a worship set than sit through a Bible study. I don’t pretend to understand it or apologize for it. It’s the way He made me. I’m pretty sure He gets it.

Music inspires me to write.

I’m a product of the late ’60’s and a child of the ’70’s. My XM is tuned to The Bridge, which plays mostly music from those decades. Occasionally I’ll venture onto The Pulse, which is more of a mix of today’s music. I like some rock and pop and easy listening. I’ve never been a fan of country music. Until now.

Stories from the heart. That’s what music is to me. When I hear a song that tells me a story, I immediately fall in love with it. The more I listen to country music, the more I appreciate this. Compare a bunch of hastily strung together words, a grinding beat and a few derogatory comments about women to the smooth gravelly voice telling you about a lost love, with a beautiful guitar melody in the background, and I’ll tell you, country wins hands down. I’m not a die-hard yet, but they’re winning me over.

Who are you listening to? Do you have a favorite band or group that you play all the time – one that inspires you when you’re writing? At the moment, for me it’s Lady Antebellum. Their songs seem to fit perfectly with the story I’m working on. When I was writing Yesterday’s Tomorrow, all I listened to were songs from the ’60’s. I can’t imagine working or doing anything really, without some form of music playing. Sometimes I need silence, but for the most part, I’m really enjoying the music.

Are you?

Here’s a music video of Lady Antebellum’s “Hello World.” This is what I mean about telling a story.

Let’s talk music today! Tell me about your favorite music.

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8 Comments

  1. Nita on April 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I’m a music fan too, often though, I just hear the music and not all the words. Could never win a “fill in the lyric” type contest. Grew up listening to country music, haven’t listened to it lately, because of what it does so well – tell a story. Too often the stories are about love, which is good, since life is made of love. However, in the past few months it brought memories that brought tears. Recently the memories are turning to smiles, so maybe it’s time to go back to my country music. šŸ™‚ Nita

    • Cathy West on April 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Nita, I am glad to hear you’re listening to music again! Joy comes in the morning, and there is a season for everything.
      Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by the blog!

  2. Donna Pyle on April 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    What a great post, Cathy! Music is my soul’s language and I listen to it constantly. When I write, however, I can’t listen to music with words because I tend to sing along and lose my train of thought. šŸ™‚ I recently began listening to the beautiful contemporary piano music of David Nevue – absolutely beautiful. Aside from that, when writing I turn to the Classical era (Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Beethoven) or the Romantic era (Chopin, Berlioz, Mendelssohn). Good stuff!

    • Cathy West on April 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Ha, Donna, me too!! But sometimes I need to do that to take a break from my story and get some fresh inspiration. I love the romance you find in certain songs, mostly found in folk and country. šŸ™‚

  3. bethkvogt on April 3, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Cathy,
    I love, love, love Lady Antebellum! And that video is so powerful.
    I also love Rascal Flatts. And Sugarland. (Seeing a certain genre showing up here?)
    I try to imagine what music would listen to — and create a playlist. Right now, my heroine likes piano instrumentals.
    Kinda different.
    šŸ˜‰

    • Cathy West on April 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

      I’m always thinking about what my characters might or might not listen to! I think music defines a person really, so you can be guaranteed that in my books, music is definitely going to be mentioned in some way. I’m glad to share your favorite group!!

  4. bonnie leon on April 3, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Cathy, I’m with you . . . music does it for me–all sorts. And I even love Country, but my favorite music is Contemporary Christian. Casting Crowns is one of my favorite groups. I love their song, “We Cry Holy” One of my favorite songs is “Imagine Me Without You” — amazing song. I can walk on my treadmill and not even know I hate it because I get so lost in the music. Another song that tears at my heart is “What Love Really Means” by JJ Heller. Now, there’s a story. And of course there is Mercy Me and “I Can Only Imagine”.

    Okay, that’s all. I can go on and on. Music IS a gift from God. And oh yeah, I loved the movie “August Rush”.

    Rock on!

  5. bonnie leon on April 3, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Donna, I’m like you and I had to stop listening to music while I worked because either I’d get caught up in it and lose my train of thought or it would elbow in on the mood I needed for a scene. So, what I finally did is put the music on Sirius Radio in my front room, which is one room away from my office. It’s close enough to enjoy when I want, but not intrusive. It feels so good to have music in my home again during my work day.

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