Friday, September 17, 2010

When the sun is shining differently

In which our Diva seeks musical inspiration yet again

A friend recently pointed out a curious thing about the Pre-Raphaelites as a group that should have been obvious, but which had never occurred to me: None of them really cared a fig about music. They drew or painted people making and listening to it, and DGR drove people nuts by humming constantly while he worked, but they didn't think of it in the same artistic terms as the disciplines where they made their mark: painting, poetry, design.

Which hasn't stopped a variety of recording artists from being directly or indirectly inspired by them. The second half of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love is a mini-concept album called The Ninth Wave, with a secondary album "cover" intentionally based on Millais' Ophelia. Broadway star Rebecca Luker's last album features a lovely setting of a Christina Rossetti poem. And if you've ever seen or heard Loreena McKennitt, well.

The voice of my Lizzie is coming more easily as I write, and as with many characters I've played, I've assembled a playlist for her. Because unlike the PRs, I am very much a musical creature! Like the show, the playlist is a work in progress, and will probably shift a lot by the time I'm ready to put this baby on stage. (And suggestions, if you have them, are always welcome!) But for now, this is what I'm writing to.

I didn't set out for quite so much of it to speak to her relationship with Gabriel, since part of my intention has always been to bring out her own point of view, which history has tangled so inextricably with his. But then she did that herself to a large extent, and I'm finding my way more to acknowledging and dealing with that, while keeping the story very much hers. It remains to be seen if I succeed.
  1. Loreena McKennitt ~ Stolen Child
  2. Idina Menzel ~ Gorgeous
  3. Sarah McLachlan ~ Fear
  4. Plumb ~ Better
  5. Sarah McLachlan ~ Stupid
  6. Anne Buckley ~ Our Wedding Day
  7. Evanescence ~ Going Under
  8. Sarah McLachlan ~ Ice
  9. Jewel ~ Foolish Games
  10. Emilie Autumn ~ Opheliac
  11. Rebecca Luker ~ Remember
  12. Loreena McKennitt ~ The Lady of Shalott
 At least one of the above is equally applicable to the Lizzie and Gabriel of the BBC's rollicking and gorgeous Desperate Romantics, as evidenced by this fan-made music video. Inspiration abounds!

4 comments:

Sister_Joan said...
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J.A. Cummings said...
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J.A. Cummings said...

I <3 your playlist liek woah.

It is a very strange thing about the Pre-Raphaelite approach to music. It never occurred to me before, which, given my own natural tendency to set my life to music, is very odd. Good luck with your writing. I look forward to finally seeing this show come to life.

Valerie Meachum said...

Thanks! I'm having a blast.

I often wonder if I'd be so music-centric if I hadn't grown up in a culture with the technology to make it so easily accessible. I can't imagine being otherwise, but so many of my early memories are shaped by what Mom had on the record player!