Behind the Scenes: Pandora Has an “Epic Soundtracks” Station, in Case You Were Wondering

by E.V. Jacob on September 6, 2012

One of the things I’m almost always doing while writing is listening to music. I love to listen to music while I write, so unless there’s something directly preventing me from putting on my headphones, you can bet I’m rocking out while typing.

Well, kinda.  The type of music I play largely depends on my mood, but I do have an affinity for dramatic orchestral soundtracks from epic movies.  Here are a few of the songs that are on my “Writing” playlist, and get a lot of airtime on my iPod:

John Murphy – “Surface of the Sun” (Sunshine OST)

A beautiful song perfect for writing sad scenes and conveying emotion through writing. This song is just so moving.

Hans Zimmer – “528491″ (Inception OST)

This song. I don’t even know what I use it for. Every time it comes up on shuffle I hit REPEAT and just listen to it until I get interrupted in my writing.

Jalan Jalan – “Lotus” (Dragonhunters OST)

This song is very relaxing. I love using it when writing calm passages.

Apocalyptica – “Until it Sleeps”

This song is also pretty powerful and moving, and I love it for harsher, more intense scenes.

Hans Zimmer – “A Fire Will Rise” (The Dark Knight Rises OST)

It’s just epic. Also, the picture is cool (not that that matters much when I’m writing).

Hans Zimmer – “Time” (Inception OST)

This is perfect for really dramatic scenes. The slow but super-heavy kind that evoke tremendous emotion.

Clint Mansell – “Death is the Road to Awe” (The Fountain OST)

This song. I don’t even know what to say. It is my all-time favorites. It is so incredibly beautiful. The last minute or so is entirely overwhelming (at least for me). I don’t use this for specific scenes so much as I use it to feel incredibly epic. Simply put: I want my books to feel how this song sounds. It inspires me like nothing else.

So basically, whenever you’re reading a story on this site (or reading one of our books–something you will be able to do in the near future!), remember that I was probably listening to one of the seven songs posted above.  In fact, it would probably be pretty cool to listen to some of this music while reading…there’s a thought: Maybe I should start embedding a music player for theme music to go with each story! :D

How about you?  How do you write?  Do you have specific music you listen to when writing–or reading?  Share your favorite reading/writing/creating music in the comments below!

  • Ryan Dalton

    Looks like we have similar taste in writing music. I use soundtracks and instrumentals more than anything. For my current WIP I’ve used music from Unbreakable, Hancock, Buffy, and Avengers. I’m already using songs from Inception, X-Men: First Class, and The Village while I outline the sequel. The right song helps me set the tone and rhythm of a scene, and it’s great for visualizing and choreographing action. Building project soundtracks is one of my favorite parts of writing :)

    • Elena Victoria Elizabeth Jacob

      Awesome! Unbreakable has an excellent soundtrack, as does X-Men First class :D I haven’t tried out those others you mentioned, though–excellent! It’ll be nice to have some new material to listen to while writing.

      Thanks for the comment, and best of luck on your WIP! :)

  • Mark Lidstone

    Fantastic choices. I don’t listen to much music while I write, when I do it’s a lot like these with a bit of Massive Attack thrown in. I spend a lot of my time writing in public and am mostly inspired by the conversations and actions of people around me. I should add these songs to my mp3 player, though. Just in case ;)

    • Elena Jacob

      Thanks :D People can be pretty fascinating to watch, too. I have a section of my notebook reserved specifically for strange things I observe while around other people, haha.

  • Michael K. Eidson

    I’m almost always listening to music when I’m on the computer, whether I’m writing fiction or software. But you won’t catch me listening to soundtracks for enhancing the mood of what I’m writing. Instead, I’m usually listening to female vocalists and pop music. Logic comes too easily to me, being a mathematician by education and a computer engineer by trade, and I need something to jolt my brain into the creative realm. Listening to music that is almost at odds with the setting and the mood of what I’m writing helps me think of what else might be going on in the story in addition to the logical consequences.

    • Elena Jacob

      Haha I can definitely see the logic behind this. I can’t listen to music with vocals when I work for one simple reason: I will invariably start singing along, possibly even dancing, and that has a tendency to interfere with getting my work done :D

  • Patti Roberts

    I am going to check those out – they look great – some of mine here –

    • Elena Jacob

      Thank you! I’ll have to look through yours as well :) Thank you for sharing!

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