‘I needed the plangent, plaintive music of the 12th century to understand Hugo’s pain’ – Katherine Langrish on The Undercover Soundtrack

We’re getting medieval this week on The Undercover Soundtrack. My guest is Katherine Langrish, the acclaimed author of several fantasy novels for children and young adults, including the Troll Fell trilogy. She says she usually has to write in silence – but her latest novel, Dark Angels (The Shadow Hunt in the US), didn’t come alive until she found her way to the 12th-century troubadour songs of southern France. Pull up a chair to the red blog and let her spin you a magic, medieval tale.

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  1. #1 by William C. Seward on January 11, 2012 - 12:02 am

    For myself I’ve noticed that what works as writing background is just about any easy listening sort of music without intelligible words. In instrumental that includes baroque, ambient, new age, some slower jazz or classical. About the only vocal music I use would be the Gregorian chant type things or possibly Enya. Some foreign language vocals work. If the words are clear and in English I seem to feel a need to pay attention, but other languages or instrumentals work fine. I listen to a lot of Enigma and Govinda.

    • #2 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on January 11, 2012 - 8:18 am

      William, I like the idea of writing to music whose lyrics you don’t understand! Or maybe you do – I shouldn’t assume. I like Enya for writing – and sometimes just brainstorming – too. Haven’t listened to Enigma for years – thanks for the reminder, that might be good to haul out again.

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