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?
on 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 explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.
  1. Brian Reaves says:

    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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Kaci says:

    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

  5. Steve Trower says:

    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 🙂

What do you think?