Inspiration Through Music: Little People

Ever watched a montage scene in your favorite television show or movie? It’s where the characters are working together (or sometimes against one another) and they are not necessarily in the same scene as one another. This is usually a fill in scene that lets people know how these characters accomplish their tasks at hand. This is a little trickier to do in books because it ends up usually just being a lot of exposition and no dialogue. But, as long as the language is rich enough and the task being done captures the attention of the reader, that’s all that matters. I mean, honestly, we’re not going to be interested in a character with a montage scene of him doing his daily chores, are we? Odds are probably not. One of the television shows that is famous for pairing awesome music with montage scenes is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Now imagine you have Little People’s music playing through a scene of the characters processing evidence. It feels like it belongs there. This band is so chameleon-like with their various pieces that I feel they can fit into several different genres quite seamlessly. Little People has described their musical style as “downtempo instrumental with hip-hop beats and bleets.” This basically means that they like to experiment a lot with their music. In my opinion, the end results are always phenomenal. I’ve listened to their stuff for a few years now. One of their pieces even inspired a scene for “Aequitas”. Today, I’m going to share six of their songs with you and tell you what I see when I listen to them.

Eitheror: He knew that the car held a secret. In what tiny crack or crevice this secret hid was the question. He clicked on his flashlight, popped the door open, and let the beam glide into the car’s interior. It ran over the creases in the seat where he dug his fingers, searching for a note, a coin with blood; anything that could help him piece together what had happened. There was a strange peace he found himself in when he got wrapped up in investigating. Like being swallowed in the moment, allowing himself to wholly and completely focus on the task at hand. Any other thoughts about homelife, about friends or family all evaporated into the air, disappearing behind a crackling energy that infused him while he looked. His eyes navigated the surfaces of the car with precision, picking apart inconsistencies and noting each one with a tick mark to a check box in his head. Finally, his gaze passed over something slight but reflective, as tiny as a bead of blood could be. It was solid between the forceps as he lifted it to examine closer. A small red jewel with strange facets gleamed under the flashlight.

Inutile et Indispensable: He had to hurry. She wouldn’t be expecting it. He had slipped into the bathroom with the intention of collecting himself, of calming himself down. Maybe he should just leave? It would be minutes before she realized he had and he’d be far away. His knees buckled at the thought. For that to be the last time that he’d ever see her though. For that to be the crushing knowledge that he’d failed her, that he’d allowed her to become something truly horrible sat like a terrible weight on his chest. He braced himself on the sink, head hung as the tears began to flow. He never cried. He hadn’t cried when his best friend had died. He hadn’t wanted to show any weakness toward her. But now it was too late. He scanned the bottoms of the stalls. No one else was in the bathroom. In one swift movement, he elbowed the mirror and watched the various shards fall to the ground in a melody of tinkling. After he’d wrapped his hand in a cloth, he selected a long and jagged piece from the sink and carefully viewed his reflection in it. There was only resignation there. He wasn’t sure what else he’d expected to see. Perhaps hope. It was too late for hope now. He turned and left the bathroom. (This is actually a scene from one of my favorite miniseries, “Ultraviolet”. It happens toward the end of the fifth episode. Very emotionally charged. I recommend you watch it.)

Fisticuffs at Dawn: The sun had risen so that the tips of the bare trees were back-lit by a strange glowing red burst of light. The sky around it burned pink. This was the day it all ended. This was the last day he’d seen people.

Behind Closed Doors (Edit):  The darkness had just closed in in what had seemed like only minutes. He had been comforted by the fact that it was light and that he might just be able to find his way back to the inn if it lasted. Now, however, it was going to take longer. As he started down the street ahead of him. He heard a noise, like a strange scream echo up from the alleyway on his left. He stopped short and listened for it again. Nothing. In the distance, people laughed and cars honked. He knew he should keep walking. He knew he should just go. But his curiosity overwhelmed any concerns of safety. What if someone was in trouble down there? How terrible and guilty would he feel if he just left? He entered the alley. The walls were so much more cramped around him that he practically had to turn sideways in order to slip down the pathway that had become a crack. By the time he cleared it, his heart was hammering and sweat dripped off the back of his neck. A court of buildings stood around him, empty of life, sound, and light. They seemed oddly ancient, as if the place hadn’t been touched in many, many years. Something creaked up ahead of him. A door slowly revealed itself from a darkened interior as it softly rested in the jam. This place wasn’t so empty after all.

Moon: This piece, a remixed version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, was actually inspiration for me while working on a scene for my second book, Aequitas. Main character, the cocky and arrogant Torrent finds himself once again trying to get down to the bottom of some gruesome murders as he and his sidekick, Vinh, investigate the body of a victim at the morgue in Linz, Austria. Morgue scenes, for some reason or another, always end up finding a way into my books. I have a couple of in depth research books that give you all you need to know about forensics and police investigations. It also helps that this is a subject I was interested in pursuing at one point as a career. Got obsessed with CSI, joined that whole fad of wanting to be a crime scene investigator… you catch the drift. A lot of Little People’s music inspires crime scene investigation scenes. This one, while also adding a bit of humor, stays in the mood of the story by adding an atmosphere of uncertainty and danger.

Eminence Grise: I see this piece working in a more futuristic setting. The piano keys tinkling remind of computer buttons being pressed, lights flashing on and off slowly. The violin, however, has the effect of time traveling us back to something more like the French Renaissance. There are low notes that really add a haunting effect to it. I can picture this working well in a historical fiction but also in science fiction. This is really a unique piece. I’ve been listening to it for an untitled project of mine that dates back to Victorian era London. The book has paranormal elements but will also be a science fiction. This book isn’t a part of The Monstrum Chronicles, nor does it utilize any familiar monsters ie: vampires, werewolves… etc. Like most of my projects, it will be more character driven rather than plot. I prefer to focus on characterization over plot because they are what drive the narrative, they are the reason we follow along so willingly. This project is unfortunately not on the front burner so it will probably be a few years before I really get back to it to work on it.

Next week, we’ll be doing something a bit more upbeat! Fleet Foxes will be next week! Stay tuned!

~KSilva

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