Like most authors, I have a soundtrack for every book I’ve written. Depending on the characters, or the scene, or even the setting, I have a different playlist. Thank you, Pandora! Sounds ranging from pounding electronica and soothing vocals pour into my brain as I sit in front of my laptop.
Yet, very recently, I had an almost spiritual experience at a live show. Now, many of us have seen concerts. I saw David Bowie in his heyday, Twisted Sister in a small LA club, and did not miss a show of Depeche Mode for twenty years. Each band I’ve heard, whether in giant amphitheatres or intimate halls, played a good show. So why was this one so different?
First, I should tell you who I saw. Thanks to my wonderful husband, we had amazing seats to see Apocalyptica play Metallica. Who’s Apocalyptica, you ask? (Hopefully, I don’t have to explain who Metallica is.) Apocalyptica is a quartet of Finnish cellists.
Just gonna let that settle in for a moment.
Yes. I did say Metallica.
And yes. I did say cellists.
These classically trained and talented musicians have strayed from the pack and created music for the gods. In the audience was every walk of life. Long haired head bangers sporting metal head t-shirts stood in line for drinks next to the Armani wearing silver spoon set. All ages and ethnicities mingle and share the experience of the genre-jumping musical stylings.
But the importance for me goes deeper. I first discovered the band around 2007, a friend raving about this amazing group who played heavy metal on cellos. As a lover of both hard rock and classical music, I naturally jumped in. The melodies were haunting and I was hooked. I loved the music so much, when my husband deployed in 2009, I loaded his iPod with every Apocalyptica album I had.
As I sat down to pen my first novel, Spirit Fall, I decided to weave my love for words with my love of music. During a trip to a local second-hand music store, my heroine, Voni, stumbles onto a copy of Apocalyptica’s Worlds Collide. Attracted to the purple cover, she gives the CD a test-listen and falls immediate in love with the swirling and all-encompassing melodies. The magic, musical spell is only broken when our seductive hero finds her once again. But, in the vein of all good heroes, not only has he heard of the group, he has seen them perform live.
Now, after so many years and several replaced CDs, I too rank among those who have seen the quartet live. And as only live music can inspire, I look forward to seeing them again. Their music will continue to inspire my words, creating backgrounds for passionate love scenes, hard-hitting fight scenes and every possible scene in between.
For the show must always go on.