Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Game of Love -- The Music that Influenced the Book

The Power of Music

I've blogged about this before: music is an important element of my writing.

When a new concept is developing, one of the first things I do is build the playlist for the book. As the name suggests, I go through songs in my library that evoke the right image and mood. The song may influence a scene, a chapter, a line of dialogue... sometimes an entire scene.

This is how it starts and by the time I'm about a quarter of the way into writing the book, I have a complete play list of songs. I will share my playlist in a later post. For now, I want to focus on one song that helped set the right tone of loss. In the excerpt below, Gemma has been with Andre's friends at Zuma Beach, near Point Dume. Here is the scene from GAME OF LOVE



“Love all, but trust a few.”

~William Shakespeare

Gemma allowed herself to relax as more songs came from Dan’s guitar. A sense of melancholy had joined the tent, though. Maybe it was the selection of songs. She doubted it. 
She leaned over to Andre. “This isn’t just a regular day at the beach, is it?” 
He shook his head. “We’re here to remember a friend who passed away just over a year ago. He was Linda’s fiancĂ©.”
Gemma’s face froze, and a combination of grief and shame overwhelmed her. She did not belong here. She needed to say something to Linda, to apologize. Instead Andre spoke. 
“Dan, play ‘Empty Space’.” 
Silence draped the canopy. Andre held Gemma’s hand. They focused on Dan, who after a moment’s hesitation played an airy guitar intro, transporting her somewhere in the heavens. Then he sang: 
Can we walk away, pretending not to see the empty space?
We don’t give reasons why, the gleaming tears flow gently from our eyes.
Miss you so, dear friendfly, to your cloud, dear friend.
Lamenting what’s too late, we never talk about the tears we cried.
It comes to us all, we’re bound by the time that keeps us here for a while.
And I miss you so, dear friendfly, to your cloud, dear friend.
When the song ended, Gemma came out of her trance and saw everyone hugging Linda. Red swollen eyes and wet cheeks reshaped the faces of the clan. She wiped her own tears. Maybe she didn’t belong, but she wanted to.


These were the lyrics of Empty Space written by my brother, Armen Grigorian, nearly 20 years ago. The lyrics are raw and honest. And the melody, haunting.

For the first time, you get to hear the actual song as written and performed by my brother, nearly two decades ago.

It pays off to have creative people in your life ;)

Fight the good fight!

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