Story & Song: Part 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of my blog series that I’m calling Story & Song. Each post will feature two pieces of music: a modern/contemporary song from the playlist of The Violinist of Venice, and a piece of Vivaldi’s music that features in the novel. I’ll describe how both pieces fit into the story with a minimum of spoilers!

Today I am again featuring my all-time favorite band: Nightwish!

Nightwish – “Slow, Love, Slow”

As you might guess after listening to this song, this goes with one of the love scenes in the book 🙂 Specifically, chapter 13. Obviously, it’s a very sexy song, both in the music and the lyrics. Something else that made it really fit the story for me, though, is the sound of the ticking clock that comes in at the very end of the song. Vivaldi and Adriana know from the beginning that their relationship is on borrowed time, and it’s time that they are always running out of. So that clock ticking away their time is also very fitting.

The Four Seasons

I think it goes without saying that The Four Seasons is Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous work – most people have heard it, even if they didn’t realize what it was or what it’s called. The Spring concerto is probably the most well known – it’s in a lot of movies and commercials and TV shows, you name it – so here I decided to include the Winter concerto, which is just gorgeous. I go back and forth on whether Winter or Summer is my favorite, but lately I like Winter, and hey, it’s seasonally appropriate as well!

The Four Seasons makes an appearance in chapter 63 of the novel, and is the first time Adriana – or indeed anyone – hears it. It’s not certain when and where The Four Seasons was first performed, so I took the liberty of supplying my own answer in the novel.

While in Venice researching the novel, I went to hear an orchestra perform The Four Seasons, and hearing that music in the very city in which Vivaldi had written it was absolutely one of the coolest experiences of my life. Not to mention that the orchestra was phenomenal!

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Story & Song: Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of my blog series that I’m calling Story & Song. Each post will feature two pieces of music: a modern/contemporary song from the playlist of The Violinist of Venice, and a piece of Vivaldi’s music that features in the novel. I’ll describe how both pieces fit into the story with a minimum of spoilers!

Welcome to Part 2 of Story & Song! Today’s post features an artist who will surely be appearing in this series a few more times – my favorite band of all time, Nightwish.

 

Nightwish – “She Is My Sin”

This song first appeared on the Finnish heavy metal band’s 2000 album, Wishmaster. It has since been given new life as the band has performed it live on their recent tours with new lead singer Floor Jansen, and it was included on their 2013 live album/DVD Showtime, Storytime, a recording of their performance at Wacken Open Air that year (which is where the above video comes from). The band played it when I saw them live in Buffalo in April, and I was rocking out and dancing like crazy through the whole thing (causing Marco Hietala, the bass player, to keep looking over at me approvingly – I was right down in front!).

This is a song for the first love scene in The Violinist of Venice, and in listening to the song I’m sure you can see why – it’s a sexy, groovy song, and the lyrics speak of temptation and forbidden desire – perfect for my two main characters, who are embarking on a very forbidden relationship indeed.

 

Concerto for 2 Violins in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 8, II. Larghetto e spirituoso

The second movement is what is most important to the story out of this concerto, though the entire thing does figure into the novel in a later chapter. Start the above video at 3:24 to hear the second movement.

This movement appears in the novel in chapter 5, when Adriana arrives for a lesson with Vivaldi and he asks her to play it with him, as it is something he has been working on. The two play the movement together and, as I think you’ll hear, Adriana is struck by its emotional beauty. It’s an important scene because it’s the moment when the attraction between these two main characters manifests itself for the first time, and the reader gets to see how they react to it.

The Official Violinist of Venice Playlist

Here, at last, is the official playlist for The Violinist of Venice! These are all the (modern) songs that I listened to and that inspired me while writing the novel, while revising it, while editing it, while reading through it. They were added at all stages of the process – one as recently as last week, when I was reading first pass pages – and the book would not be the same as it is today without these songs. Many of them fit with a certain scene, soundtrack style, and some fit more with the overall themes of the story.

Though my love of heavy metal will be obvious here, my taste in music can be somewhat eclectic, and I think you’ll see that in these songs.

Without any further ado, here it is! Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Heavy Rotation: The Albums of The Violinist of Venice

I just recently finished up my copy edits for The Violinist of Venice and sent them back to my editor. Things are really moving along now!

The evening that I finished going through the copy edits, I was playing some vinyl records (newly converted vinyl devotee that I am) and without thinking about it, one of the albums I put on towards the end of my trip through the manuscript was one of the ones that I listened to the most while working on the book initially. It made for a rather emotional moment, quite frankly – especially when one of the songs came on just as I reached the scene that it went with.

Music and writing are inextricably linked for me. Perhaps this comes as no surprise, since I wrote a book largely about musicians and music and the impact of music on their lives. Yet other than the music of Vivaldi himself that inspired and is featured in the book, Violinist also has a very carefully curated (and long) playlist of modern music, by my favorite artists, that fits in with the general storyline, with a specific scene, or was just something that I listened to a lot while writing the book and so became entwined with the story.

The full playlist will be posted later, and I have lots of fun music-related blog posts and features up my sleeve for the future 🙂 In the meantime, though, my experience while copy editing inspired me to write this post about the four albums that were on heaviest rotation while I wrote Violinist.

1. Lacuna Coil – Shallow Life

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This album, by Italian heavy metallers Lacuna Coil, came out just as I really started rolling on the very first draft of Violinist. The first single, “Spellbound”, which was released before the album itself, became the perfect song for the beginning of the book, when the tension and attraction between Adriana and Vivaldi first begins to manifest itself. The album as a whole is full of heavy, urgent songs that fit well with the story in certain places.

Songs from this album on the Violinist playlist: “Not Enough”, “Spellbound”, “Shallow Life”.

2. Delain – April Rain

Delain_April_Rain

This album came out in the spring of 2009, when was I deep into the first draft. I had liked Delain’s first album, Lucidity, well enough, but April Rain, their sophomore album, made them one of my favorite bands, a title they still hold to this day. I recently saw them live for the first time when they opened for Nightwish on their North American tour. If you ever get the chance to see this band, go – Charlotte’s voice is even more beautiful in person (and the band are a super nice group of guys/girl!) I’m off on a bit of a tangent now, but I was right down in front for the show, and Charlotte liked me because I knew all the lyrics 🙂

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Anyway! Delain’s music has always been, to me, both intimate and epic – and I would love it if someone were to use that same term to describe Violinist. To this day, when the song “On the Other Side” comes on, it takes me right back to the final pages of the book.

Fun fact: I use the phrase “April rain” in the first chapter of the book as a nod to this band and this album.

Songs from this album on the Violinist playlist: Most of them! “Stay Forever”, “Control the Storm”, “On the Other Side”, “Start Swimming”, “Lost”, “Nothing Left,” “Come Closer”.

3. Stream of Passion – The Flame Within

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Another summer 2009 release (believe me when I say that I was really spoiled for music that year), The Flame Within is Dutch/Mexican progressive metal band Stream of Passion’s second album – this band can’t make a bad album, I’ve found in the years since. They write some of the most gorgeous songs of anyone in the metal scene, in my opinion. Marcela Bovio’s angelic voice, coupled with the lush piano arrangements and haunting strings, all against a driving backdrop of guitars and drums, make Stream of Passion’s music a real treat to listen to. And furthermore, their songs are so rich with emotion, which make them perfect fits for a story like Violinist, where my main character goes through so very many emotions over the course of the book.

Songs from this album on the Violinist playlist: “In the End”, “Games We Play”, “This Endless Night”, “A Part of You”.

4. Nightwish – Imaginaerum

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This is the album I put on while finishing up my copy edits. Nightwish is my favorite band of all time and space, as those of you who follow me on Twitter will know. Imaginaerum, released in January of 2011 in the US, was the second and last album to feature vocalist Anette Olzon. Though Nightwish’s most recent album and their first with Dutch vocalist (and one of my idols!) Floor Jansen, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, has the title of my favorite album of all time, Imaginaerum will forever have a place in my heart. Every note of this album is burned onto my soul. By the time this album came out, I was into the second draft of Violinist, yet this album left its mark on the book in a major way all the same. So much of what Violinist currently is came about in draft 2, with this album playing in the background. The album’s themes of fantasy, storytelling, and imagination are also perfect for a writer!

Everything I ever write will have Nightwish songs on the playlist; this band is just so deeply ingrained into my life. Their music inspires me like no other band’s does; it’s epic and thought-provoking, and manages to be both beautiful and brutal at the same time. I got to meet the band before their show that I attended in April, and I got the chance to tell Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish’s keyboardist and the main composer) how much his music meant to me and had inspired me, and he seemed to appreciate my saying so. It was a big moment for me.

Songs from this album on the Violinist playlist: “Slow, Love, Slow” and “The Crow, the Owl, and the Dove”.