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Writing Prompt: Music Inspiration

12 Jun

Music is often a soundtrack in our lives, the music playing on the radio the last day of school before summer, the song we dance to at our wedding, the lullabies our mom sang to us and that we sing to our own children.  Some of my favorite author’s like Carrie Vaughn in her Kitty Norville series include playlists of music that was inspirational in writing the story or that goes particularly well with different scenes in the book.  I’ve enjoyed a lot of her picks including Mr. Brightside by the Killers in Kitty Takes a Holiday.

For this week’s Writing Prompt listen to some of your favorite music and see what it inspires.  What type of romance does your favorite love song put you in mind of?  Maybe that Metal Ballad will inspire a dark fantasy story or that quirky pop hit could have the next great American novel hiding in it.  Don’t just think about the lyrics, but also the sound of the music, what could you imagine happening that would accompany it. Let your imagination go wild.  You do not necessarily need to have the story be what one would necessarily expect from the music.  Look at how the pop music of Scandinavian band Abba became a hit musical set on a Greek Island.  You can have each song represent a chapter of a novel or simply let the music play in the background as you work on a short story.

Of course, this writing prompt works great in reverse too. If you are a musician you can take inspiration from an author’s book or poem.  What type of sound do you imagine accompanying your favorite novel; break out your favorite instrument and create the perfect soundrtrack.  You could even think of transforming an older, no longer in copyright, poem into a song.  You can hear two very different versions of Poe’s Annabelle Lee, one rock and one classical available from Freegal Music.

Hoboken Library patrons can find inspiration in the many ebooks and streaming music the library provides.

We hope you have enjoyed our Friday Writing Prompts! As the library gets ready to ramp up to our reopening we will be going back to one weekly post on Wednesday, but for those that have enjoyed our Writing Inspiration posts we will continue to feature them occasionally. Best luck on all your writing endeavors!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Our Newest Streaming Resource Medici.TV is an Absolute Dream for Classical Music, Opera, and Ballet Fans!

29 Jan

This month, we just debuted our newest streaming resource Medici.TV for our Hoboken resident card holders.  Medici.TV is the world’s leading classical music channel, which includes over 1,800 programs (3,000 original works), including: concerts and archived historical concerts; operas; ballets; documentaries, artist portraits and educational programs; and master classes.  The New York Times has said Medici.TV is “The closest thing to a classical Netflix.”

As a working mom it feels impossible sometimes to get out to see the multitude of ballets, concerts and operas that are going on just across the river so I am particularly excited by the fact that Medici. TV has more than 100 live events are broadcast each year, in partnership with the world’s most prestigious venues, opera houses, festivals and competitions.  So if like me life is keeping you from getting into the city to see live performances, you don’t have to miss out, just tune in to Medici.TV.  If you can’t go to Carnegie Hall, have Carnegie Hall come to you!

I’ve just started exploring all the amazing things that Medici.TV has to offer.  I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so one of the first things I chose to stream was the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland.  The opera composed by Unsuk Chin and commissioned by conductor Kent Nagano, features a libretto by David Henry Hwang and Chin.

unsuk-chin-alice-in-wonderland-nationaltheater-munchen

image from Medici.TV

The opera is just as unique as Lewis Carroll’s original work and puts a fresh spin on the source material.  Despite musically referencing classical composers like Handel, Puccini, and Stravinsky it also includes unusual instruments like musical saws, accordions, and a harmonica.  This was Korean born Chin’s first opera.

Also available for Wonderland fans is Being Alice, a documentary which records Lauren Cuthbertson, who performed Alice in the Royal Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation.  Being Alice follows her as she rehearses and then performs through the season’s final performance.  I really enjoy that with Medici.TV we don’t just get to see performances, but also get insight into what goes on behind them.  If you liked the book Mozart in the Jungle, here’s your chance to get more behind the scene peaks at the actual world of classical music and dance.

Have you streamed anything on Medici.TV?  Let us know what you have enjoyed in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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