Basing your music on literature

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  • @howthenightcame Feb 3

    Hello everyone,

    To give myself focus, I have chosen to write an album based on Jorge Luis Borges' wonderful short story "The House of Asterion". It mentions the number fourteen many times, which makes for a nice coincidence since our aim is to write fourteen songs this month!!

    If anyone is interested, they can find further details about my project here:

    Is anyone else basing some or all of their music on a work of literature? It would be nice to hear from you if you are.

    Best wishes everyone,

    how the night came

  • @haim  Feb 3

    I thought about it. It can be really nice. Enjoy your project, sounds challenging.

  • @jessi14  Feb 3

    I love Borges! Great project!

  • @gromwaf Feb 3

    I occasionally read the bible, it's sometimes inspiring...

  • @torniojaws  Feb 3

    Not all of it, but I sometimes visit the themes of Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft 😀

  • @tunecat Feb 3

    Nice idea- I did an album during nasoalmo that was inspired by the folk song "early one morning" I did a song/ poem earlier today which hints at t s Elliot. I we really like to write a whole album in which the songs lik together and reuse elements to create a coherent whole

  • @declan Feb 3

    Fascinating. I just reread the story - I can’t believe you can get so much inspiration from a three page story.

    Good luck.

  • @frenchcricket  Feb 3

    I did one based upon Ovid's Metamorphoses

    but to be honest I got the idea after hearing @owl reinterpret a Rilke poem about Apollo

  • @jwhanberry  Feb 3

    I have used material from the I Ching as inspiration for skirmish prompts.

  • @jamkar  Feb 3

    I will be doing the H.P. Lovecraft challenge this time around. So yes!

  • @apertome  Feb 3

    @howthenightcame great topic ... also, I love Borges, kudos on your excellent taste.

    Most of my music is instrumental, but I have done a few songs with vocals, at least one of which was literature-inspired ... by a line from Suttree (Cormac McCarthy).

    A lot of my song titles are inspired by/drawn from books. such as
    "The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life" by Thomas Moore (not exactly literature, I suppose).

    I didn't set out to do it this way but so far my FAWM titles this year are from Aldous Huxley, mostly Eyeless in Gaza ... incredible book, btw!

    When I'm reading something that has a lot of good ideas/phrases/words in it, I'll often record things of interest to later us in songs. These days I usually just take a picture of the pages of interest with my phone. Sometimes I will write in a journal and later transcribe that. Unfortunately doing this does impede my reading mojo sometimes, but it's worth it.

    I don't think I've done anything based on Borges yet, but that's a serious oversight!

  • @steviez  Feb 4

    Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden has made a wonderful career, and written many fantastic songs based on books he’d read.

  • @konemake  Feb 4

    I have done this many times. Last year's FAWM my main sources were
    The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World:

    And some old + weird horror comic (from 60s?) , strange / weird tales or something.

    One year on FAWM I think I used Ursula Le Guin's books a lot.

    This year so far I've just used random samples, because at the moment at least I have problems with recording my own vocals.

  • @bradbrubaker  Feb 4

    Here's mine, 10 ten-second songs that take the first lines from famous novels and sets them to music:

  • @reisupstudio  Feb 5

    I have written 9 songs based or inspired by each of the Ten Commandments, and hope to finally finish the 10th this FAWM! This project has lovingly taken 7 years!

  • @cathymc  Feb 5

    My FAWM focus this year is on Arthurian legends meandering between Mary Stewart's trilogy (The Crystal Cave/The Hollow Hills/The Last Enchantment) and Marion ZImmer Bradley's _Mists of Avalon_ (and possibly a book or two back in the timeline if I can get to them before the end of the month). I like different character treatments by the different authors. I'm am also stretching my wings by composing instrumental music for at least 50% of my songs, which is totally new for me.

  • @mikeb Feb 5

    I have been inspired by many stories or books I've read, but never written any songs solely based on one.
    I think the most-recent was the Neil Young biography 'Shakey', and my song was called 'Look Down the Road', got the idea from when Neil left Ontario for California.

  • @ballyhoot Feb 5

    One of my first FAWMs, I went through my bookshelves and picked about a dozen book titles to serve as song titles, and then wrote the lyrics. The ones I can remember off the top of my head were Another Fine Myth, The Trouble with Physics, Dead Souls, Sister Carrie, Selfish Gene, Sophie's World, and Cenotaph Road.

    So not really "based on literature" but .... sorta!

    Anyway, I hadn't taught myself guitar yet at that time so it was all just lyrics, but I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, and several of them got put to music by generous FAWMers.

  • @smileymn Feb 5

    In past years I’ve akways done this. Usually pick out 3-4 books from beat writers to Huxley or William Blake. Trying something new this year but taking ideas from literature has improved my writing tenfold.

  • @jackketch Feb 8

    2 of my songs are based on 'The Terror' by Dan Simmons, along with 'Erebus' by Michael Palin. I don't know now whether to jump ship or continue with the theme..

  • @schlimminycricket Feb 8

    I'm thinking my album will be built around character dynamics from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. extremely loosely though

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