Music That Drives My Writing | The Joe Hisaishi Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing all my favorite Joe Hisaishi scores. I hope you’ll also check out other posts in the “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, Part 6: The SyFy Edition, Part 7: The James Horner Edition, Part 8: The Hans Zimmer Edition, Part 9: The John Williams Edition, and Part 10: The Michael Giacchino Edition. This is Part 11: The Joe Hisaishi Edition. Perhaps you’ll find some new music to love!

Today I am cheating. Why? Because all my favorite songs are rolled into one giant concert. I don’t mind taking a short cut this week, because this is my absolute favorite video of all time. It’s the 25 year anniversary for Studio Ghibli, and Hisaishi wrote many scores for Miyazaki’s fabulous films. The scores I adore the most are from Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Spirited Away.

This video is nearly two hours long, and I’m jealous of absolutely everyone who got to be there!

This week’s Music That Drives My Writing post will be the last in this series. As much fun as it’s been to put all my favorite songs in one place, it’s time to move on to bigger and better things! Check out the announcement here for the next blog series.


Music That Drives My Writing | The Michael Giacchino Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite Michael Giacchino scores. I hope you’ll also check out other posts in the “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, Part 6: The SyFy Edition, Part 7: The James Horner Edition, Part 8: The Hans Zimmer Edition, and Part 9: The John Williams Edition.
This is Part 10: The Michael Giacchino Edition. Perhaps you’ll find some new music to love!

1. “Main Theme” from Star Trek: Into Darkness

This was the first score I ever heard – or the first one which caused me to look him up – of Giacchino’s. Love or hate this version of Star Trek, its score is certainly one of my favorites.

2. “Life & Death” from Lost

Lost is another one of those shows you either love to death or love to hate. I stopped watching it because college in 2005 > television. But I remember loving its score.

3. “Night on the Yorktown” from Star Trek: Beyond

Fight me if you will, but I firmly believe this to be one of the most gorgeous themes in all Star Trek.

4. “If You Don’t Make It, It’s Your Own Damn Fault” from Land of the Lost

This film came out in 2009, but this score gives me early 1990s vibes.

5. “Commitment” from Jupiter Ascending

If you want to indulge in a really weird, confusing film with bad sound editing, watch Jupiter Ascending. The budget was all in the film score and CGI. Certainly not writing a coherent script… But I like the music, so it has that going for it, I suppose.

6. “As the Jurassic World Turns” from Jurassic World

How can you not love this epic piece of art?

7. “Peter’s Lament” from The Book of Henry

I’ve never seen this film, but the beginning of this lament sounds similar to Night on the Yorktown and I love it.

8. “Declaration of Indo-Pendence” from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Looking for something to write a great action sequence to? Look no further than the scores for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!


Music That Drives My Writing | The John Williams Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite John Williams scores. I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, Part 6: The SyFy Edition, Part 7: The James Horner Edition, and Part 8: The Hans Zimmer Edition.
This is Part 9: The John Williams Edition. Perhaps you’ll find some new music to love!

1. “The Raiders March” from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc

Iconic. One of the most recognizable scores in all Hollywood. I dare you to fight me on this one; or am I just channeling Indy??

2. “The Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back

One of the most classic musical cues in film history. When this march is played, everyone knows this tune whether they’re Star Wars fans or not. There’s also something magical about really good orchestral live performances.

3. “The Throne Room” from Star Wars: The Last Jedi

An amazing job on this medley by some very amazing young musicians.

4. “Flight to Neverland” from Hook

One of my favorite films from childhood is Hook. This song is one of the main reasons why.

5. “Main Theme” from Jurassic Park

And you thought I’d forget about Jurassic Park.

“Without John Williams, bikes don’t really fly. Nor do brooms in Quidditch matches. Nor do men in red capes. There is no Force. Dinosaurs do not walk the earth. We do not wonder. We do not weep. We do not believe.“

Steven Speilberg

6. “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Ok. This a contender for the “most iconic piece of music in Hollywood history” prize. I mean, it basically set the tone for the whole Harry Potter film franchise.

7. “Viktor’s Tale” from The Terminal

Where Hans Zimmer excels at capturing drama and grandeur, John Williams perfectly captures whimsy and story telling in his themes.

8. “Sayuri’s Theme” from Memoirs of a Geisha

Anything this man composes is pure gold.


Music That Drives My Writing | The Hans Zimmer Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite Hans Zimmer compositions. Did The Lion King make the cut?

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, Part 6: The SyFy Edition. and Part 7: The James Horner Edition. This is Part 8. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Time” from Inception

I’ve yet to see half the films represented in this list, but from the first, ahem, time I heard this score, I most definitely was hooked!

2. “Now We Are Free” from Gladiator

Put those earbuds in for the full effect and I promise you won’t regret it. Maybe the applause portion at the end.

3. “One Day” from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

One Day is the second track in this amazing live medley. I love how this particular piece contains musical elements from the other films.

4. “Cornfield Chase” from Interstellar

Another film I know absolutely nothing about but still adore its score. It’s so “syfy” and mysterious and hopeful.

5. “Mombasa” from Inception

The first time I ever heard Mombasa was by 2CELLOS. I didn’t realize, at the time, it’s origins. I love the original as well as 2CELLOS’ version.

6. “This Land” from The Lion King

Oh how I’ve wished this track was longer from the first time I heard it in a York, PA movie theatre the year it came out.

7. “Honor (main title)” from The Pacific

I’ve never seen this series, but I’ve definitely heard the music before. Goosebumps from beginning to end! Every. Single. Time.

8. “Main Suite” from Planet Earth II

Anything this man composes for the Blue Planet/Planet Earth series is pure gold.

9. “Main Title” from The Crown

Mesmerizing. Magnificent. Magnanimous. Magnifique. And every praiseworthy word in between. The Crown‘s producers went all out for its score and it shows.

10. “The Dragon Scroll” from Kung Fu Panda

I had to share the scene because, even with the voice acting and effects, it must be listened to as a whole to get the full effect!

11. “The Blue Planet” from Blue Planet II

To quote one of the posts in this video’s comment section, “[Zimmer] A man who can tell stories without a single word.” I couldn’t agree more.

12. “Seven Worlds One Planet” from Seven Worlds One Planet

Just sit and listen. I don’t think you’ll need any of my commentary for this one.

13. “All I Ever Wanted” from The Prince of Egypt

A favorite film since childhood with an absolutely gorgeous film score. Even if you aren’t religious, give this story a chance.


Music That Drives My Writing | The James Horner Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing my favorite James Horner compositions. Let’s just say I had a difficult time keeping myself from including the entire Titanic soundtrack.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, Part 5: The 1940s Edition, and Part 6: The SyFy Edition. This is Part 7. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Alfred, Tristan, The Colonel” from Legends of the Fall

2. “Becoming Spider-Man” from The Amazing Spider-man

3. “Never an Absolution” from Titanic

4. “Southampton” from Titanic

5. “Main Title” from Apollo 13

6. “Final Contest” from The Karate Kid (2010)

7. “Jake’s First Flight” from Avatar

8. “Jack Dawson’s Luck” from Titanic

9. “My Family Is My Life” from The Legend of Zorro

10. “The Machine Age” from Bicentennial Man


Music That Drives My Writing | The SyFy Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. In today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing five “syfy” albums I can listen to from beginning to end.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, Part 4: The Film Score Edition, and Part 5: The 1940s Edition. This is Part 6. I hope you find some new music to love!

1. “Passengers” composed by Thomas Newman

If I’m being completely honest, I’d say Thomas Newman’s soundtrack MADE the film for me. Even with all of Passengers’ visuals and CGI, this album stuck itself in my head like flies on poo.

2. “Star Trek: Insurrection” composed by Jerry Goldsmith

Since I couldn’t find the full Star Trek: Insurrection film score on Spotify, here’s a compilation album to enjoy!

3. “Transformers” composed by Steve Jablonsky

Say what you will about the franchise; its film score is the best thing about it. I listened to this score nonstop while I was in China in 2008. That was 12 years ago. Autobots is an awesome song.

4. “The Rocketeer” composed by James Horner

Not every syfy film has to take place in space. I’ve adored The Rocketeer since childhood, and this score still gives me goosebumps.

Seriously – watch the film. It’s old school Disney at its finest. I promise you won’t regret it!

5. “Apollo 13” composed by James Horner

I’m a huge James Horner fan, what can I say? If you aren’t, what are you even doing with your life?

Honorable Mentions

  1. Jurassic Park
  2. Firefly
  3. Back to the Future
  4. The Host
  5. The X-Files

Music That Drives My Writing | 1940s Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and this method has yet to steer me wrong. For today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing ten songs from the 1940s that drive my writing. This is also a great playlist for 4th of July fireworks, or to play on a train (not even kidding about the train). My love for music of this era comes from my Grandma Redman. When I spent afternoons with her as a kid, she always had either these tunes or the Oldies on the radio.

I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: the Kpop Edition, and Part 4: The Film Score Edition. This is Part 5. I hope some of the names look familiar!

1. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters

2. “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

3. “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman

4. “Begin the Beguine” by Artie Shaw

5. “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” by Dean Martin

6. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin

7. “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra

8. “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny Oh!” by The Andrews Sisters

9. “Lazy River” by Bobby Darin

10. “I’ve Got A Gal in Kalamazoo” by Glenn Miller


Music That Drives My Writing | Film Score Edition

It’s no secret that music breathes life into my writing sessions. I know many fellow authors who do better in silence. I, for one, am very much driven in my craft by a song’s flow. This method has yet to steer me wrong.

For those who know me, this list shouldn’t come as a surprise, as my five favorite composers are: Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Joe Hisaishi, John Williams and James Horner. Okay, so not all of these songs are instrumentals, but their flow together in my Spotify really gets my creative juices flowing.

For today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing eight instrumental songs that drive my writing. I hope you’ll also check out other posts I have for this “Music That Drives My Writing” blog series – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, the Kpop Edition. This is Part 4, unsurprisingly heavy on the Hans Zimmer.

1. “Cornfield Chase” by Hans Zimmer

2. “Star Trek Into Darkness Main Theme” by Michael Giacchino

3. “Cap’s Promise” by Henry Jackman

4. “Why Do We Fall” by Hans Zimmer

5. “Code of Conduct” by Hans Zimmer

6. “The Healing” by James Newton Howard

7. “Halo 2 Theme, Gungnir Mix” by Paul Lipson, Lennie Moore, Tom Salta, Brian Trifon, Brian Lee White, Steve Vai

8. “Jake’s First Flight” by James Horner


Music That Drives My Writing | KPop Edition

It’s no secret I love Korean dramas. I’ve divulged in them since discovering Boys Over Flowers in 2009. Around the same time I fell in love with Korean pop music, or kpop. Some of the biggest names you may be familiar with are BTS (Bangtan Boys), Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, Blackpink and Twice.

Kpop is an interesting world with a long, harsh, convoluted history. There’s a myriad of articles out there about how their idols are treated, or how bad fans act. I tuned in to what’s called the “Second Generation” of kpop groups when I spent a summer working on my college campus in Tennessee. Since then I’ve built up several Spotify playlists filled with favorite tunes. Some of it absolutely puts me in the mood to write – which is strange considering I write historical adventure set in Victorian Pennsylvania!

Holy Water by SHINee’s Taemin is currently in my ears.

For today’s musically charged post, I’m sharing twenty kpop songs that drive my writing. They’re a healthy mix of recent tunes and old school jams. Even if kpop isn’t your thing, music is universal. Perhaps you’ll find something new to love! In no particular order, here they are:

1. “On” by BTS

2. “Power” by EXO

3. “Mic Drop Remix” by BTS ft. Steve Aoki

4. “Holiday” by Girls’ Generation

5. “Holler” by Girls’ Generation sub unit, TTS

6. “In the Air” by SHINHWA

7. “U & I” by Sumin

8. “Ninano” by Minzy

9. “HOLUP!” by Bobby

10. “BLUE MOON” by Hyolyn

11. “Electric Shock” by f(x)

12. “Roller Coaster” by Chung Ha

13. “Black Dress” by CLC

14. “Rise As One” by Max

15. “Hurt Locker” by 9Muses

16. “Electric Kiss” by EXO

17. “Starry Night” by Mamamoo

18. “WANT” by Taemin

19. “Lil’Touch” by Girls’ Generation sub-unit, Oh!GG

20. “Get the Treasure” by SHINee


Music That Drives My Writing – Part 2

You’d think my music choices would be reflected in what I write. There’s lots of sci-fi, fantasy and epic battle music involved. However, I write historical adventure fiction, so I suppose it works for the adventure part? This post is a rehash of one I did earlier in 2019, but things have changed. National Treasure’s and Dragonheart’s themes are still high on the list, but here’s an updated collection of music that drives my writing.

Title: One Million Voices
Artist: Thomas Bergersen
Genre: Epic

Title: Believer
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Genre: Pop Rock

Title: Thunder
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Genre: Pop Rock

Title: Breath of Life
Artist: Florence + The Machine
Genre: Indie Rock

Title: Victory
Artist: Two Steps From Hell
Genre: Film music

Title: To the Faeries They Draw Near
Artist: Loreena McKennitt
Genre: Celtic, New Age

Title: Forgive Me Friend
Artist: Smith & Thell
Genre: Pop/Folk

Title: Federkleid
Artist: Faun
Genre: Neo-Medieval, German folk

Title: Heart of Courage
Artist: Thomas Bergersen
Genre: Epic

I thought I’d end with an oldie but a goody – STAR TREK!

Title: Star Trek Mega Suite: 50th Anniversary Tribute
Artist: Various
Genre: TREK (of course!)

All right. I admit, ten songs is a lot. The problem is I’ve got such an eclectic taste in music I couldn’t showcase just one or two genres. Did you find some new loves or discover some old favorites? What music drives your writing?