Words and music

Doing a reading with a musical accompaniment: I’d recommend it to any writer.

This was at Pulp Fiction Bookshop in Edinburgh (a very lively little place with cafe attached), with Southern Tenant Folk Union (a bunch of really talented musicians who play lovely bluegrass-influenced music). I did a couple of readings from Dark Eden.  For the second reading, the band cycled round and round the same four bars in the background.  It was a bit of an experiment, but really seemed to create tension, allowing long pauses between paragraphs and lines.  It was something of a revelation to me, too, having to fit my words around a rhythmic base, and surely the nearest I’ll ever now get to being the frontman of a band.

It’s not all that often done, as far as I’m aware – story-telling to music – or at any rate it’s not a big phenomenon, but the potential is surely huge, when so many people walking around listening to their iPods.

My son Dominic is way ahead of me on this one, by the way, and unlike me, he can do the words and the music.  Here is his beautiful The Receipt and Escape.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *