When I write, I put on music. When I play RPGs, I put on music. I don’t know anything about music, really, but here’s something I’m listening to.
Sometimes, it’s just a small part of a soundtrack that makes its way into my repertoire for writing or play. Case in point: “Beowulf Slays the Beast” from Alan Silvestri’s musical score for the Robert Zemekis adaptation of Beowulf. I haven’t actually, uh, seen the film. I’ve heard only samples of the rest of the score but I’ve heard this one track approximately one-hundred million times. It’s a staple of my fantasy action/adventure playlists and RPG adventures.
Why? Momentum. It has bold horns and a dramatic choral element and great percussion and it’s all brought together with a terrific forward momentum for six minutes. I first bought this track for my Northlanders-meets-D&D campaign a few years ago but I use it in fantasy RPG play of all sorts now. It’s a great backdrop to battle. It starts with a wonderful verve for battle and becomes more serious and dark as it goes. And it loops nicely. Great action music for play.
I bought Alan Silvestri’s “Beowulf Slays the Beast” at the iTunes store.