I had to share this article when I found it. I was raised on horror films and one of the things that stand out for me are often the soundtracks. The Changeling is an excellent example of how sound helps transcend a visual medium into something even more powerful. It’s more than building a generalised mood or atmosphere, it’s about conveying emotion. It’s not just the music that does this in The Changeling. The repetitive, haunting thud of a drowning boy as he beats his limbs againt the bath is something which has stayed with me and is the first thing I think of when someone mentions the film.
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to films. In literature, the presence of noise (although we may not hear it) can help set the scene and mirror the emotions of the characters within the piece. Music plays an important part for me in the writing process and in my mind I have a clear soundtrack for all my books. Some of that music will literally be present in the work (eg. A Summer Place in Relative Strangers), but others may just conjure up a sense of what the story is about – what it is telling me. When I write, I play my books like a movie in my head. Setting the opening title music, mood music and so on is pivotal. It also forms part of my characterisation process. Thinking about how a person sounds, the music they listen to, verbal ticks are all important.
But I digress! Check out this article as it’s a good read – even if you just like film. It doesn’t have to be horror.
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