The Power of Music

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.
~ William Shakespeare

You probably know by now that music is a huge feature in my life. Huge. On a personal level, I love music and always have. I don’t play an instrument myself (and never have), but have always appreciated those who can. Learning to play is on my very long bucket list. One day. In the meantime, growing up, I was always involved with dance, theatre productions and even sang in the school choir, so music was never far away.

I’ve long been aware of the evocative power of music, even from a very young age. I have memories going further back than many people, and some of those key memories feature a song that will forever in my mind be associated with that event, or that time in my life. It’s such a powerful effect. As I get older I’m also increasingly aware of the power of music to both enhance and reflect a person’s moods. I find myself drawn to certain songs or artists not only because of the way the way their music sounds, but because of the emotions it triggers or connects with in me, as well.

On top of that, my husband is a musician, so music literally makes our world go round. Our house is full of instruments, there is always music playing, there are often rehearsals taking place, and a large number of our friends are also musicians. Music is all around. All the time.

I’m sure it’s no surprise then, to learn that I drew inspiration for Catching London from my experiences on tour and at gigs across the world. Arlo is of course a musician, and I was able to so easily imagine the world he lives in, because I’ve experienced it first hand. Music is obviously central to Arlo’s character, and to the whole storyline of Catching London. Arlo is lead singer and guitarist for one the world’s most popular bands, and as such, music plays a huge part in his life. It’s only fitting then, that Catching London has a soundtrack.

More than that, though, I found as I shaped Arlo and London’s stories, certain songs would remind me of one or other, or both characters. On other occasions, the sentiment of a song would spark an idea in my head that then lead me to take the story in a particular direction. Sometimes a song would provide a great metaphor for a feeling I wanted to evoke with my writing, and I would harness that feeling in scene or storyline.

Music has been one of my most powerful writing tools on my journey of taking Catching London from a series of ideas in my head, to a 90,000 word novel. The Shakespeare quote above felt right as part of the dedication in Catching London for so many reasons, as a result. All of that said, it will come as no surprise to learn that the playlist for Catching London seemed to almost assemble itself as I wrote the book, and the songs reflect different stages both in the completion of the book, but also in Arlo and London’s love story.  I put it together with, of and for love, and I hope you love it.

You can check it out on Spotify. Enjoy.

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