Music to love zombies by: part one

I’ve been strolling around the Inter­net late­ly, most­ly in a vain attempt to stop think­ing about the next book and/or start writ­ing it. Yeah, I’m scared, what’s it to you? Sor­ry, that’s wasn’t fair, I’m tak­ing my psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems out on you. But real­ly, you shouldn’t stand so close.

Zom­bie in the Rain” cour­tesy of Cow Shell Graph­ics

Any­ways, I’ve come across some exam­ples of authors set­ting their books to music; cre­at­ing a lit­er­ary score, in oth­er words. And being the cin­e­ma afi­ciona­do that I am, I couldn’t help but do the same. Many have list­ed music they lis­tened to while writ­ing and while that’s a valid choice, I’d rather aim for music that height­ens the expe­ri­ence, or at least shows you what I was going for.

I’ve begun tak­ing seg­ments of my nov­el Husk and attempt to find music that some­how suits the mood, or at least the mood I was try­ing to cre­ate. It’s aston­ish­ing­ly dif­fi­cult some­times, and effort­less at oth­er points. There’s noth­ing that’s per­fect, and if I was up to it I could prob­a­bly find music to suit every sin­gle page. But I’m not near­ly that obses­sive-com­pul­sive.

And while a shame­ful part of me wants to make every selec­tion a cheesy ‘80s rock bal­lad (i.e. Ken­ny Log­gins’ Dan­ger Zone play­ing while my zom­bies wreak hav­oc), I’m try­ing to be more or less seri­ous here.

This will like­ly be an ongo­ing fea­ture, as I slow­ly add on pieces until I arrive at an entire sound­track you can play in the back­ground as you read my pub­lished pleas for atten­tion. I’ll be jump­ing around a bit, but if I can come up with enough I’ll make the entire score a sep­a­rate menu item for ease of enjoy­ment.

So if you’re up to it, grab your copy of Husk (or go out and pur­chase one), find the pas­sages I’ve high­light­ed below, and put the music pro­vid­ed on a loop.

*SPOILERS* are like­ly ahead. You have been warned.

A vis­it to Craig’s apart­ment - pages 98–102

This is as close to a “seri­ous” scene as I get in Husk, as lead zom­bie Shel­don Funk vis­its the apart­ment of his first vic­tim, Craig the morgue atten­dant (pages 8–10). Shel­don is a) look­ing to see if Craig has pos­si­ble become a zom­bie like him­self and b) if so, hop­ing he might be some­one with whom to form a friend­ship. Alas, things do not go well, and Shel­don finds an apart­ment in sham­bles, with blood stains on the walls and some­thing far worse in the bed­room.

I’ve cho­sen for accom­pa­ni­ment the main theme from Dar­ren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, writ­ten by Clint Mansell. I’m a huge fan of Mansell’s work (The Foun­tainMoon), and this piece (often used in trail­ers for oth­er films) nev­er fails to haunt me. It’s a sim­ple theme that gets bleak­er and bleak­er as it goes on, the vio­lins ris­ing to a shriek­ing cry of pain. It’s absolute per­fec­tion in Aronofsky’s film, and I think it goes well with Sheldon’s dis­cov­ery not only of Craig’s state, but of his own involve­ment in an act of sav­age bru­tal­i­ty.