ARTEFACT has been out for a few days, and the response so far has been great. It’s encouraging to see people enjoying the book. There’s plenty more of THE LAZARUS WAR to come, with the upcoming release of LEGION (now moved to September 2015) and later in the year REDEMPTION (November 2015).
Although there is no official soundtrack to ARTEFACT (at least, not yet!) I listen to music a lot whilst I write. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I used music: it has become essential to my writing process. Unless I have my earphones on and the music takes me, I find it very difficult to get into the zone. And not just any music, either: it has to be the right music. I’ve heard other writers make the same claim, so I know that I’m not unique in this. I have a preset list of favourite writing tracks – almost completely soundtrack-based.
So, here is the soundtrack to ARTEFACT!
Joseph Kosinski’s 2013 movie, starring Tom Cruise, remains one of my favourite SF movies in recent years. This is in no small part as a result of the intense soundtrack. Almost every track is sublime: the perfect combination of real and synthetic instruments. Many of the action sequences in ARTEFACT were composed alongside M83’s album. “Oblivion” (featuring Susanne Sundfor) is my favourite.
Whilst I listen to a huge variety of music, when I’m not writing I prefer electronic music. Daft Punk are a particular favourite: I’ve followed them since the release of HOMEWORK in 1997.
TRON: LEGACY is a departure from Daft Punk’s usual sound in every sense, but it just works. The huge synths alongside stunning orchestral vistas instantly engage my imagination. “Son of Tron” is maybe the best track on the album (although picking just one is not an easy decision!). For a more upbeat version of the soundtrack, also search out TRON: LEGACY RECONFIGURED, which contains some more bass-heavy remixes of the original album.
This is one of my stock soundtracks. Slow-building tracks like “Vespertilio” are the perfect accompaniment to visiting alien worlds. “Myotis” and “Molossus” drive the prose of an action scene. There’s a depth of emotion on many tracks, with mournful undertones that get the writing juices flowing.
Check out THE DARK KNIGHT, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and INCEPTION for further masterpieces by Hans Zimmer…
Another very common choice in my musical armoury, Jackman has produced several soundtracks by which to write. THE WINTER SOLDIER is my top choice. “End of the Line” and “Captain America” are the best tracks. The album also has some esoteric, almost discordant pieces: “The Winter Soldier” inspired me whilst I was writing some of the more chaotic action sequences later in ARTEFACT!
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is another excellent choice by Henry Jackman.
This is an obvious pick, but one that I can’t resist making! James Cameron’s 1986 ALIENS effected me on every level: just listening to “Aliens” sets my mind racing. And if you want the ultimate accompaniment to that climatic action sequence, then look no further than “Futile Escape”. “Escape” is probably the best action-oriented musical piece of all time!
Not by Horner, but almost as evocative, also look up the soundtracks to ALIEN (for a collection of more ambient pieces), ALIEN 3 (more of those emotional beats here) and even ALIEN: RESURRECTION.