Wednesday 29 September 2010

Angel by L.A Weatherly blog tour: The soundtrack


The Music of Angel by L.A. Weatherly

I often listen to music while I write, usually pieces that won’t distract me while I try to focus – such as lyrics in a different language or purely instrumental. I think of it as ‘soundtrack’ music, and especially love pieces that help me visualise what I’m writing, as if I’m seeing it up on the big screen!

When I wrote the first draft of Angel, I listened over and over to Cantamus Aurora by Sarah Class. The album has an ‘angelic’ feel in places, but also quite a dark sense of drama and power. I could just see the angels flying in, and hear Alex shouting Willow’s name.
When I wrote the second draft of Angel, I changed to Adiemus, Songs of Sanctuary by Karl Jenkins. While the music is really different from Cantamus Aurora – it has an almost African feel at times – it’s similar in its very filmic sense of mood and drama. The last piece, ‘Hymn’, I can hardly listen to without crying; I listened to it continuously while writing the scene where Alex and Willow have to part.
However, I can’t listen to these albums now that I’m writing Angel Fire, because they belong to Angel! At the moment, I’m listening a lot to a composer called Bear McCreary, who (geek alert!) composed all the music to the new Battlestar Galactica series. This is soundtrack music to die for! Dark, weird and powerful. Plus lots of drums. Big, dramatic, echoing drums. Fab.

Lee Weatherly’s Reaction to the Angel Soundtrack

I LOVE it, and often listen to it as well now while I’m writing! From the moment I heard the Kings of Leon piece, I knew how much thought had gone into choosing each song.

I love almost every song on it (and am probably going to have to buy everything Muse has ever done now), but a few particular favourites:
‘Crawl’ perfectly encompasses Alex at the story’s beginning. I can just see him, wearing his trench coat, rifle hidden as he stalks the angel…
‘Rambling Man’ really sums up Willow’s reactions to Alex as they first start becoming friends – the lyrics are so apt:
Oh, naïve little me,

Asking what things you have seen.

You’re vulnerable in your head…

But give me to a rambling man

Let it always be known that I was who I am.

(And of course the Rambling Man is Alex!)

‘Many of Horror’ – oh my god, SO perfect as a song from Alex’s viewpoint as he’s falling in love with Willow, and finally decides that being with her is worth the potential pain:

When we collide and come together,

If we don’t we’ll always be apart.

I’ll take a bruise, I know you’re worth it

When you hit me, hit me hard.
‘Forever’ – Willow in the climactic scene, longing for Alex, knowing that she could die. And again, the lyrics are so apt: ‘Tell me you’re here…take hold of my heart, show me you love me…’ Plus I love the hard rock, almost grunge sound to this – the singer has such a great ‘rock chick’ voice.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there! I’m forever grateful to Usborne Marketing for the Angel playlist; it’s such an amazing thing to have. (And I really want to know what songs didn’t quite make their final cut, too…!)

The making of… the Angel soundtrack

When choosing the music for this soundtrack, we wanted to sum up the two main characters – Alex and Willow – the atmosphere of the book, and also some of the key scenes.

Kings of Leon – Crawl
Angel opens with Alex driving into town in his Porsche Carrera – handsome, aloof and totally cool – so we wanted to kick off the soundtrack with something quite masculine, edgy and fast-paced.

Laura Marling – Rambling Man
As the perspective in the novel switches to Willow, we wanted to show the contrast between her and Alex with a soft, feminine song. However, just like Willow, this track also has a strong, fearless quality.

Biffy Clyro – Many of Horror
This song starts of quite tentatively but builds to a dramatic crescendo. We felt this described the blossoming romance between Alex and Willow really well.

Kasabian – Fire
A great driving track – you can imagine Alex and Willow cruising through the desert in their battered old Mustang listening to this languid but rocky tune.

The Pretty Reckless – Make Me Wanna Die
We wanted some really strong female voices on the soundtrack, as Willow is such a strong character. This song is about the lengths that a girl would go to for the guy she loves, and so it seemed to be a great fit for the scenes in the book where Willow uses her strength and determination to save Alex’s life. Plus, we thought Taylor Momsen would make a pretty good Willow in a film version of the book!

Florence + The Machine – Cosmic Love
An epic, theatrical love song, chosen to show the depth of feeling between Alex and Willow as they really begin to realise how much they mean to each other.

Jade Gallagher – Iris
This is a really gentle love song, to accompany the quiet time that Alex and Willow spend together at Alex’s camp, gradually getting to know one another.

Muse – Time is Running Out
We couldn’t resist including a bit of Muse! Every good soundtrack needs a couple of really big numbers to provide a dramatic climax, and this certainly does that. As Alex races against time to reach The Church of Angels Cathedral in Denver, time is literally running out for Willow…

Jimmy Eat World – Hear You Me
Alex has found Willow but she’s badly injured and he doesn’t know if she’ll put through. In this song, the lyrics are from the point of view of a guy who is losing the love of his life, describing her as ‘so lucky, so strong, so proud; I never said thank you for that – now I’ll never have a chance’. We also thought the lyric ‘may angels lead you in’ was a nice touch!

Fireflight – Forever
This song is about a girl struggling to survive – she feels like she’s drowning, choking, and then the person she loves is reaching out to help her. We thought this song fitted perfectly with the scene where Willow is near death and Alex is trying desperately to save her.

Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow
Despite everything they’ve been through, Alex and Willow can’t rest – The Church of Angels are still after them, and this is a great, fast-paced song to finish on as they race off into the sunset.

What do you guys think? We think the song choices are pretty awesome! if you guys actually want to buy the songs on the soundtrack click HERE to buy the songs on itunes!


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