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.