I lead a busy life in a busy house. I don’t have the luxury of a writer’s retreat – a cabin in the woods or a cottage on an isolated island. I do have a shed, like Roald Dahl, but it’s full of junk. In such circumstances a pair of headphones can help to create an enclosed space. Any music can provide a barrier. When I’m writing I tend to favour choices that stir the emotions. Some are bombastic pieces, some delicate and atmospheric, some quirky and exciting. They provide a creative ambiance – a wall of sound against which the mind’s eye can be projected.
I listen to a range of pieces at any one time – the vast majority coming from cinematic soundtracks. The great thing about soundtracks is that they already have drama and emotion written into their movements. I’d like to share some of my favourites - not in any particular order - from time to time and encourage others to indulge in the magic of individual tracks. Also, good films can have lousy tracks and awful films can be blessed with some excellent music. For me the tracks exist in isolation: I like the films to which some tracks belong and dislike others. The first is the soundtrack suite from the film Apollo 13 by James Horner.