It was only a matter of time before I felt compelled to share my subjective and somewhat strange list of favourite music to write to/get inspiration from. Some of this music I used to roleplay to as well, so it’s been in my collection a long time. I highly recommend it for either purpose, or for general listening, whatever floats your boat. So here goes:
- Elizium, and Earth Inferno (Fields of the Nephilim) – I have some gothic tastes in music. The Nephilim reference Sumerian religion, magic and Cthulu. Carl growls his lyrics like a chain smoking god of ancient Mesopotamia. I mean, what’s not to like?
- Takk (Sigur Ros) – my new favourite. I love their gravity defying soundscapes and unique brand of lyrical nonsense
- A Passage in Time (Dead Can Dance) – it’s actually the only album of theirs which I own. Hmm, I must rectify that error…
- Songs from a Secret Garden (Secret Garden) – for those lighter moments. I first heard this band being played in a music store in New Zealand, and had to get it. They are an Irish/Norwegian duo and their music a similarly interesting blend of gentle melodies, featuring one of my favourite instruments the uilleann pipes
- Live Chronicles (Hawkwind) – Pretty much anything by Hawkwind will take you places, but this album is the most fantasy-esque. Influenced heavily by the Elric novels and featuring Michael Moorcock himself.
The heavy stuff (good for drama, battle scenes etc)
- Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Wagner) – Siegfried’s Funeral March being the most stirring piece, it was used as the theme for John Boorman’s excellent 1981 film ‘Excalibur’
- Carmina Burana (Carl Orff) – no surprises there
- Tyr (Black Sabbath) – a 1990 concept album, not exactly stereotypical Sabbath but the heavy riffs on ‘Anno Mundi’ and ‘Valhalla’ are very fantasy.
The dark stuff
- The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails) – it’s more industrial than fantasy but it’s helped me get to the places no other music can reach.
- 1492 (Vangelis)
- Conan the Barbarian (Basil Poledouris) – don’t laugh, this is seriously one of the best film scores of its kind
- Gladiator (Hans Zimmer) – predictable? Also featuring Lisa Gerrard from… you guessed it, Dead Can Dance. You can probably sense a theme by now.
So there we are. If you feel even remotely intrigued to listen to some of this fine music, I will consider my work today done. And if you have some suggestions of your own, I would love to hear them.
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