Most every story I've written has a soundtrack. I don't listen to the music itself while writing, though; it's hard to concentrate otherwise (I have a dedicated playlist for that, mostly Brian Eno and such). Still, every story has its own playlist, scored scene by scene as if it were a movie. It helps me visualize the goings-on and establish the mood. But with The Fall Of The Hammer, my current novel-in-progress, I feared I was running out of music.
My fault entirely. I'm picky as hell about what music I like; it takes a lot for something to rise from the thundering herd and bless my ears. Some of the artists I've drawn on most heavily for needle-drops are retired, dead, or just not anywhere near what they used to be.
Every now and then, though, you have a happy accident, and you find a new (old) artist to round out the lists, present and future. I didn't know anything about the latter half of Talk Talk's career until I blundered across "Desire" and could not get my synapses to accept that this was from the same Mark Hollis that gave us "It's My Life". Now I have several cuts from them waiting to find homes in future project soundtracks. And I was late to Death Grips as well — Money Store and Year Of The Snitch are the most exciting things I've heard in I don't know how long — and so their cuts, too, await slots in works-to-come.
I never know what will grab me. Sometimes it's attitude; I ought to've gravitated to Death Grips sooner what with my love of Killing Joke and Skinny Puppy. All three of those are in heavy rotation for various book playlists. But sometimes it's just the voice of another human being reaching out of the dark. Never did I expect to become a Sandy Denny fan; no Fairport Convention or Brit-folk generally ever appealed to me. But then I heard her cover of "Down In The Flood" on college radio one day ages ago, sought out the curiously titled album it appeared on (The North Star Grassman And The Ravens), and, well, fell in love. And sometimes it's just total random alchemy, like Hidden Orchestra or Coil providing just the right mood for a moment.
Still haven't found a story that would work for Merzbow tracks, though. Maybe next time.
(Addendum: There's a moment in Summerworld where Merzbow's Takemitsu seems to fit nicely. But that's about it so far.)