Books and Music

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Last night I finished Seanan McGuire’s fantastically fun urban fantasy novel Chaos Choreography (see my Goodreads review here), which is set in the midst of a reality TV show dance competition. The dancing was so vividly described, I kept wishing I knew exactly what the songs sounded like – so I was thrilled to find a playlist of songs the heroine had danced to at the end of the book. It was exactly the perfect way to round off that particular reading experience!

Right now, because I’m reading a paranormal romance with a Canadian violinist heroine, I’m listening to Canadian violinist Lara St. John’s classical/New Age/world-music fusion album Re: Bach, which reminds me of the musical style described in the book (as well as her breathtakingly gorgeous album of Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, just because I was reminded of how much I love that album).

So in other words, I’ve been thinking a lot today about the connections between music and books, and how nice it feels as a reader to get to enjoy both of them together!

Of course, my own most musical book was Masks and Shadows, which had a castrato singer as the hero and a setting at Haydn’s opera house at Eszterháza Palace. Yesterday, my sequel short story, Shadow Duet, came out into the world as a 99c/99p ebook. Hooray! So I thought I’d mention a couple of musical recommendations to go with it.

As with Masks and Shadows, I would absolutely recommend listening to the soundtrack for the film Farinelli, because that’s the closest approximation we have so far of what a castrato singer in his prime would have sounded like. (Also, it is just gorgeous music!) However, all of the music in that soundtrack comes from earlier in the century than “Shadow Duet,” which is set in London in 1781 (18 months after the end of Masks and Shadows). So for a period-specific music recommendation, I’d recommend Haydn’s six Op. 33 string quartets, which are wonderful.

(And if you’d like to buy Shadow Duet, you can find it at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Smashwords. I hope you guys enjoy it! You can also add it on Goodreads now.)

I always keep a specific playlist of music as a soundtrack for each different writing project I work on, to get myself into the right mindset for that story every time. I haven’t always shared those playlists here, though, and I think I’m going to get better about doing that! I’d also love to hear about any music you ever looked up or listened to just because of a book you read – or any music that just feels linked to any particular books or stories for you. I love those literary/musical combinations!


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