Next up on Crimepieces is Tracey Sinclair who is choosing the music she writes her books to. The entire list of music chosen by authors can be found on the YouTube channel here.
Do you have particular pieces of music you write to?
I’m quite unadventurous with music, so tend to listen to the same things over and again, and go in phases with the same few CDs on rotation for a while before changing up to a new batch (I’m so unhip I’m still on CDs!). At the moment it’s Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, the Killers, and a band called American Music Club (and solo albums by their singer Mark Eitzel).
A friend bought me a Sophie Hunger CD, some of which is in German, and I’m enjoying that – it’s weirdly soothing listening to someone sing in a language you don’t speak.
I also love soundtrack albums, and mix CDs made for me by other people – my favourite treat is someone making me a CD, as I get to discover new music I’d never find myself!
Has a particular piece of music ever inspired you to write something?
There’s rarely a direct correlation, but if I’m in the middle of a project, a piece of music can spark something – for instance, a lot of Bruce Springsteen (particularly The River, which makes me well up every time I hear it!) is incredibly evocative of working-class dreams gone sour and that feeds into something I’m working on at the moment.
Could you recommend any particular pieces of music for a specific mood?
I rarely deliberately use music to set a mood – which is good, otherwise everything I wrote would either be super cheesy or incredibly depressing, as that tends to be where my music tastes lie! But I do like the sense of yearning evoked by Rufus Wainwright’s Want and Poses albums, or the melancholy of Leonard Cohen.
Are there any longer pieces you can recommend. If you need to write for an hour, for example, is there a particular composer/artist you’d chose.
If I don’t want the music to distract me too much but I don’t want to work in silence (which I often do – sometimes I find music too much of an interference) I’ll choose something classical, or with no vocals: probably my go-to is the Piano soundtrack, by Michal Nyman. It’s just a beautiful piece of music and it also has personal resonance for me, as it reminds me of a close friend who died a few years ago, so it’s always a slightly bittersweet listen.
I also like Massive Attack, earlier Radiohead, and Portishead as background to work to – low key and melodic but the album tracks blur into one another slightly so less distracting than albums full of very different tunes!
What are you working on at the moment?
I have a few things on the go – the first draft of a new play, the sequel to the last Dark Dates book Angel Falls (which ended on a cliff-hanger so I think people would kill me if I delay with it!) and a couple of other ideas for longer pieces. I like to be busy!