Writer’s Music: Mychael Danna III

51tlmvsqpelMy love for Mychael Danna’s music originates here, with Capote. This is the music that pulls the floor out from under your characters and crashes realization down upon them. Hard. Crudely put, Capote’s perfect for the moment your character whispers, “Oh, shit.

At some point, our characters discover just how far out of depth they are from their comfort zones. This may be the introduction of fresh conflict, a singular plot point, or even a change of setting. I rely heavily on Capote when describing the moment my protagonist learns her sister is missing. This moment comes in the country, with few facts based in reality for her to follow. I suppose that is why I love the strings and piano in Capote—they disturb my emotional base with their harsh simplicity. Nothing can just be beautiful. There is a menace underlying every track, even in “Epigraph.”

“Epigraph” is unique in two ways: piano dominates the track, and the menace of the strings is weakened by the kindness in the piano’s melody. One feels an almost-hope in this song, and that can translate well to characters unsure of where they stand, especially after a downfall.

Which brings me to that second uniqueness: that “Epigraph” is music to bring characters together. So much of Capote can be utilized to alienate your characters, to make them feel cut off from everything they know. “Epigraph” is almost physical in the way it helps characters connect, be it in their resolve, their consolation, or even grief.

Bring Capote into your world. Watch your characters grow as they fall…and come together in almost-hope.

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