Time for a Score
Whenever I write a book, there comes a time when I start reading portions of the manuscript aloud to myself. It’s a sure-fire way to spot flaws in grammar, cadence, and voice. I’ve found that reading aloud also helps me to gauge, and adjust, the emotive power of individual passages, especially if I read them to music appropriate to the mood and setting of the narrative. For example, for my book The Devil in the White City, I played the George Winston album, Plains, over and over.
Now, even though I’m nowhere near done with my next book, I’m at a point where I need to start reading passages aloud, which means of course that I first need to build myself a soundtrack. So the other day I put the question out to my friends and fans on Twitter. I wanted gloom, melancholy, cello, viola. Did they have any suggestions?
They came through with excellent choices, some of which I’ve already acquired and started listening to–and reading to. Here are five, most of which were wholly new to me.
Glassworks by Philip Glass
Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Kabalevsky
Un Jour il Viendra, Sarah Brightman
Nessun Dorma, Andrea Bocelli
Gabriel’s Oboe, from The Mission
Throw in bits of the soundtracks from The English Patient and Atonement, and there it is: Gloom, melancholy, cello, viola, by the bucketload. Or something like that.