Let The Music Carry You Away

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Berthold Auerbach

If I had to choose which of the five senses I’d lose, sight and hearing would be the last to go.

I listen to music mostly for background ambience when I write or do something on the computer. Classic music and movie soundtracks are perfect for that purpose.  Soundtrack music can be especially powerful since it was composed to bring the listened to a certain mood and to enchance the scene it ties to. And many classic music pieces were supposed to create a whole ‘movie’ in the listener’s mind. No wonder that Disney based it’s film Fantasia (1940) on classical pieces like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet.

One of my favourite movie composers is Thomas Newman who has done the scores of Meet Joe Black, The American Beauty and Road To Perdition among others. The American Beauty soundtrack is perfect chill out music but I picked Whisper of a Thrill from Joe Black because I loved the movie.


Wojciech Kilar did wonderful job with the soundtrack for the Dracula movie. Love Remembered reflects the melancholy of the scene where Mina refuses to meet Count Dracula at the restaurant.



I meant to choose something more upbeat for the last piece but in the end I had to go with Tango Roxanne from Baz Luhrman’s musical Moulin Rouge. It’s melodramatic but so are jealousy and lost love.



How about you? Which songs touch you? When do you listen to music? Do you find the lyrics or the tune more powerful?


  1. Debra Eve
    Apr 3, 2012

    Thanks for the intro to Thomas Newman, Reeta. I loved all the movies he scored but didn’t pay as much attention to their soundtracks. Truly beautiful. One of my favorite soundtracks of all time is Kingdom of Heaven by Harry Gregson-Williams. I also adore everything Hans Zimmer has scored.

    • Arette
      Apr 3, 2012

      I’m glad you liked Thomas Newman’s music, Debra. And if you didn’t notice the soundtrack while watching the movie, then the score succeeded 🙂 Kingdom of Heaven was a powerful movie and I have some of the score in my playlist.
      Hans Zimmer is a genius and insanely productive. My all time favourite from him is the Gladiator soundtrack thanks to Lisa Gerrard’s vocals.

  2. Karen McFarland
    Apr 3, 2012

    Reetta, I can’t believe you made us wait until now to start reading your posts! They are absolutely inspiring! Thank you for reminding me of the music written by Thomas Newman. What a beautiful score! One of my most favorite music from a movie goes back to Out of Africa. Loved the music in that film. And you are right. Music can set a tone, stirring our soul to inspire our writing. Thank you so much Reetta! 🙂

    • Arette
      Apr 3, 2012

      Aww, thank you so much, Karen. Thanks for the tip about Out of Africa’s soundtrack. I haven’t seen the movie but it sounds really interesting.

  3. Diane Capri
    Apr 3, 2012

    I love movie soundtracks, Reetta, and often sit all the way through to the end of the credits at movies. I write in complete silence, or as near as I can get to that dream. But I love music and listen whenever I can.

    • Arette
      Apr 3, 2012

      It’s great how we all have our own way to work. And the end credits are often the best part of the soundtrack.

  4. Lynette M Burrows
    Apr 3, 2012

    I listen to music when writing. No lyrics, though or the wrong words end up in my manuscript. Reetta, I love every song you’ve put in this post! Debra, I love Hans Zimmer as well. Great scores to inspire my writing! Great post, Reeta!

    • Arette
      Apr 3, 2012

      Hah, I’ve found myself writing down the lyrcs too. Music sang in a foreign language works but it can be a bit distracting.

  5. CC MacKenzie
    Apr 7, 2012

    Hi Arette,

    I love Thomas Newman and Hans Zimmer. I write to music all the time especially in creative mode. Enigma mixes are great for romance so I listen to them a lot. I love Sara MacLachlan and have a complete story I wrote to her CD which I’ve just finished. Loreena MacKennitt’s voice brings me out in goosebumps. Orchestral music for games like Final Fantasy hit the spot too.

    The strange thing is I don’t actually’hear’ the music, it ends up almost like background noise. A good rock & roll will jazz up my mood for sassy scenes so Rhianna and Adele will have me jigging in my chair.

    Great post!

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Apr 9, 2012

      Enigma is great background music, and Loreena MacKennitt has one of the most beautiful voices of our time. I agree with you about game music too. I’ve used the soundtracks of Jade Empire and Mass Effect.

      Modern music is perfect for scenes with attitude and Rihanna and Adele rock.

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