07 July 2010

All the Way from Scotland

I listen to a Scottish podcast from Footstompin. The host, Simon, features artists like the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Peatbog Faeries, Martyn Bennett and other Scottish music artists. As my first novel is set mostly in a version of Scotland, I've created a playlist to put me in a Scottish frame of mind. Most of the music I found through the podcast.

Now, I'm happy to say that I've found another album to add to my playlist. But I didn't come by it by listening to the Scottish music podcast. In my never ending fascination with all things Scotland, I follow a few Scottish blogs. One of them, Scotland for the Senses, recently held a giveaway for a folk music CD. And lucky me, I won! Canaich, by Dunan Chisolm, arrived last night, all the way from Scotland.

PurestGreen, author of the blog Scotland for the Senses, loves the music. In my first few listens, I can see why. I look forward to spending more time, particularly with it playing in the background while I'm writing, or on those lazy Sunday mornings where all you want to do is lounge about and read a book.

I can already see how several of the songs fit in nicely with certain scenes, almost like they were made for my story. "Caoineadh Johnny Sheain Jeaic" is perfect for when Akeva mourns all she's lost. As I'm about to write the harvest ceilidh scene, the quick and upbeat tempo of "The Exile Reels" helps me to imagine the energy of the celebration. And "Camhanaich Air Machair" seems like a perfect theme song for Akeva and Brian as they become acquainted each other - playful, wistful, then the change of melody signals something more complicated.

Some writers talk about how they come up with a soundtrack to help them get in the mood. I've done that to an extent with my playlists - just to get a feel of the environment. Akeva's story playlist is all Scottish or Scottish inspired music. With Chisolm's Canaich, I can imagine an actual soundtrack to play while reading Akeva's story, with lots of the songs coming from Canaich.

I've already put the music on the main computer, my writing computer, and my iPhone. So, thanks PurestGreen for the contest and picking my name!

A short aside ... One of my minor characters is a Chisolm. Coincidence or Fate?

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