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The Soundtracks Of Other Worlds

Composer Murray Gold’s latest version of the “Doctor Who” theme tune is among my current rotating “playlist” before I delve into novel work. What artists and music do you enjoy, especially if you’re attempting to induce creative energy?
| Mar 8, 2011 | No comments |

Today I arrived home, and as planned (thanks to Amazon’s late estimate) I found my box of birthday gifts, half of which were paid for by a gift card. Inside I found four items, of which at least half should be familiar to Speculative Faith readers:

  • Nonfiction: Don’t Call It a Comeback, edited by author/pastor Kevin DeYoung. One of the essays within is written by Ted Kluck, whose views on writing and “young restless Reformed” readers will be featured in this Friday’s guest spot.
  • Nonfiction: Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis. After hearing this work of his quoted so often, I wanted finally to read it for myself.
  • Fiction: The Resurrection by a certain up-and-coming author named Mike Duran (who has written for Speculative Faith and often stops by for discussions).
  • And finally, audible musical majesty by composer Murray Gold: the two-disc (!) soundtrack from Doctor Who Series 5.

A future column may reveal my thoughts on The Resurrection, which I haven’t begun to read yet. Here I’ll instead ask what kinds of music you, as a writer or reader, absolutely love — music that transcends pop-culture stuff (some of which can be good) to point to worlds of exploration and wonder.

Murray Gold’s music is among the best elements of the revived Doctor Who program: all at once complex yet simple, thematic but not predictable, classical and contemporary, hilarious one moment (think Warner Brothers cartoons) and poignant the next.

Many of you may be familiar with the classic Doctor Who electronic theme tune. Gold has so far scored three versions of it.

Such as the following remix of the Series 5 version, which actually was performed live and in concert last year:

Just wow. And this is among my current rotating “playlist” before I delve back into novel work. My current project is fully pre-outlined, but often it takes a boost of energy to get me restarted — and music like this is like caffeine for my mind.

What about you? What artists and music do you enjoy, especially if you’re attempting to induce creative energy?

E. Stephen Burnett is coauthor (with Ted Turnau and Jared Moore) of The Pop Culture Parent: Helping Kids Engage Their World for Christ, which will release in spring 2020 from New Growth Press. He also explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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Brian Reaves

I listen to the soundtrack for a very old computer game called “The Dig”. I remember playing the game and being mesmerized by the music more than the game play, so I found the soundtrack on Ebay a few years back and have kept it in heavy rotation ever since.

I’m also very partial to the soundtracks from “The Road to Perdition” and “The Illusionist”, both of which are more introspective than anything else, I suppose. For suspenseful or action scenes, I have the soundtrack to “The Dark Knight”. I’m mostly a movie buff at heart.

Oh, and for any main character death or graveside scene I write, I put Peter Gabriel’s “I Grieve” on loop and have at it.

Grace Bridges

Love that soundtrack you posted! Amazing. Funny to think how that tune got its start as ground-breaking electronic music, and now has reverted to live orchestra!

My main music comes from Eleon – instrumental electronica worship in a huge variety of sounds. Try the other albums too, linked at the top; this one has got “Dive” and some other favourites of mine.

Grace Bridges

Oh, while I’m here, could I request to put a feed of your marvellous blog on the Lost Genre Guild page? http://lostgenreguild.blogspot.com Please let me know – I’d love to include your links!

Kaci Hill

A friend of mine just got me hooked on this series, and the soundtrack.

CDs I own:
Master & Commander of the Far Side of the World (gorgeous)
Lord of the Rings
Curse of the Black Pearl
Finding Neverland
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Pan’s Labyrinth
Fiddler on the Roof
Phantom of the Opera
The Fountain (which, oddly, I’ve never seen)
Last of the Mohicans
The Circle book soundtrack
The Dreamhouse Kings book soundtrack
Pride & Prejudice (Don’t laugh; the music’s relaxing and pretty)
Zoe Keating music (not a soundtrack, but she writes some)
The Passion of the Christ
The New World

Soundtracks I don’t own but probably will eventually
10,000 BC
The Other Boelyn Girl
The Dark Knight/Batman Begins
Prince Caspian
Harry Potter (at least some of them)
The Bourne music
Schindler’s List
Road to Perdition
Maybe the other two Pirates movies

Steve Trower

Much of my writing music is Brian Eno’s ambient work – especially Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, for the spacey sci-fi stuff.

I think I’ll have to check Eleon out now though 🙂