‘The lives and loves the sea has claimed’ – The Undercover Soundtrack, Wyl Menmuir

redpianoupdate-3This week’s guest first conceptualised his novel to the sound of the sea. Waves on rocks, rain against a hood. On a visit to a sea shanty festival, it took a firmer shape as he walked through the streets, hearing snatches of songs about love and loss. It became a novel about people struggling with grief and trying to make sense of it, catalysed by the spacey loops of ambient composers such as William Basinski, and the fragile otherworldliness of Ravel and Debussy. I listened to the entire set early one morning and it was like being pulled into a wild, melancholy dream. He is 2016 Man Booker nominee Wyl Menmuir and he’s on the Red Blog with his Undercover Soundtrack.

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  1. #1 by William Grabowski on January 23, 2017 - 5:27 am

    Menmuir is right on! Ambient music complements writing like nothing else. Basinski is brilliant, as is Lawrence English, Steven Wilson’s little-known Bass Communion, Grouper, Stars of the Lid, and one of dark ambient’s originators: Klaus Schulze, who began his career with Tangerine Dream.

    • #2 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on January 23, 2017 - 6:58 am

      Klaus Schulze! There’s a name I haven’t heard since college, when an ambient music enthusiast used to play me his albums. Thanks for the comment and the tips about the other musicians, William. I’m always on the lookout for writing music.

  2. #3 by William Grabowski on January 24, 2017 - 5:07 am

    My pleasure, Roz. College . . . I remember nearly all of those daze. Love this great site!

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