Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Futuristic/Robotic Music

Music, for me, has always been an inspirational tool. Make a playlist, hit play, stare out the window or close eyes and just let it all come. Scenes, settings, the ways in which characters act -- all of this makes for great first draft material.

But once the basic premise of a novel is established, I usually want to pick tracks to listen to while writing that helps the work along, rather than hindering it. As in, if one is working on a romance novel, one does not really want to listen to a slasher film soundtrack. Or maybe you do if it's I dunno -- some sort of vampire romance silliness.

Anyways, you get the point. So today I would like to explore some of the tracks that have inspired my novel (currently undergoing the Last Edit). It's a mixed bag, since the worlds of RoboNomics, the novel in question, are of the future and thus have yet to be seen, felt, heard, smelt, tasted, et cetera.

The other day I across an awesome song that perfectly sets the scene for a futuristic novel:

-Damn! I can't find it. It was on the Songza Blogged 50 playlist. I will find, I promise you that. And then I will update!

OOOOH! I found it! It's The Hunter by ON AN ON. (Or is that ON AN ON by the Hunter? Sometimes I am confused between songs and bands that could be interchangeable)



Despite the moving images that seem to come out at me from my screen from a different time -- a past time, listening to the track without the video makes for a fast forward.

Then there's Genesis by Grimes. I'm not entirely sure what makes this song futuristic. It just is:


Then for some reason there's something about late '90s british trip hop that puts one in the mind frame for writing fiction about robots. Maybe it has something to do with the Matrix? Cyberpunk and trip hop inextricably linked in my mind. Why? Who knows. Same time, same place?



Let's explore that musical era a little bit more with an amazing robot-related track. Well, in my mind it is robot-related, since it literally asks, "Are you human?"



It's all suitably dystopian. And then no creation of speculative fiction would be complete without a little Fever Ray:


And what would a soundtrack to an automated world be without Crystal Castles:


I'll round it out with some auto tuning, since it makes everyone sound like robots. Then again, so does wooden acting. Remember that?

 
That's just a sampling of what I've got so far. There are many other tracks on my 'RoboNomics' playlist but they are of the more atmospheric or action scene types that I would like to enumerate and talk about in a future post. For now, enjoy these songs as you imagine living in a world populated by intelligent machines...