Muzak for Books; or, Why I Am Not A "Playlist Person"

I came to music later in life than most people I know. All through grade school I listened to what other people were playing; but, if left to my own devices, I was content to sit in silence. I made a few exceptions for video game music—this was in the era of MIDI sound tracks and dial-up internet, back when rocks were soft.

I majored in Theatre in college (Design & Technical Theatre, Emphasis in Lighting Design), and so the music of my life was pretty much all showtunes, all the time. There were a few songs here and there I recall falling in love with, and I began dabbling in other albums (like The Killers' Hot Fuss), but mostly it was Wicked and Avenue Q and whatever else people were playing in the theater at the time.

Something interesting happened to me when I moved to Vancouver and rode the bus/walked for several blocks every day to go to film school. I had a lot more time to listen to music. Not only that, but my tastes began expanding. Friends recommended music (or at least played it and I loved it). I found my own loves, including Pink Floyd, which I was reintroduced to serendipitously while sitting in a movie theater.

Suffice it to say, I come at music differently than most people, especially in that I don't listen to songs. I listen to albums.

Seriously. I prefer to listen to an album the whole way through. I don't cherrypick songs and make playlists.

This bleeds into my writing tunes, too. Most people have Spotify playlists for their books; I have artists or albums for mine.

For example, DARIUS THE GREAT was written to two artists: Young the Giant (Young the GiantMind Over Matter, and Home of the Strange) and, on occasion, The Best of Simon & Garfunkle (for scenes featuring Darius's dad).

Other books have their own artists—including one written entirely to Pink Floyd. But I don't talk about that yet.