Sunday, December 18, 2016

Nightmare Music and More

This one goes out to my author friends, particularly those who specialize in works of the scary persuasion and who enjoy writing with something other than silence in the background. When I'm hard at work, I actually find silence distracting, so I generally write with music playing at low volume — preferably mellow tunes, with few or no lyrics, and that are rich in atmosphere. I listen to lots of smooth jazz, lounge music — samba, bossa nova, et. al. — and dark, ambient compositions that evoke the spirit of Halloween, regardless of the season. Relatively recently, I discovered the perfect writing companions on YouTube: several collections of moody, nightmarish music on the Cryo Chamber label, known as the Atrium Carceri project. Several videos are available, each running over an hour, with titles such as “Nightmare Music” (embedded above), “Ambient Winter Music,” “Alien Abduction Music,” “Dark Gothic Music of Abandoned Castles and Forgotten Temples,” and many others. For me, these provide the ideal soundtrack for whatever dark piece happens to be forthcoming from my brain at any given moment.

From the Cryo Chamber website:

“Atrium Carceri is a Swedish musical project by Simon Heath. Atrium Carceri’s albums incorporate cinematic themes that help make the sound that much more haunting. The perfect soundtracks to untold horror movies.... Atrium Carceri is typically described as dark ambient and industrial ambient music. Similar to projects like Lull and Lustmord, Atrium Carceri uses synthesizers, sound effects, field recordings, piano and other instrumentation to create 'slow rhythms, bitter melodies and complex textures' generally based on themes of desolation, loneliness (especially solitary confinement) and environmental decay.”

Naturally, one mustn't be a writer to enjoy these works — I figure they're bound to please about any aficionado of the outrĂ©, especially when played with the lights out. Hell, I'd happily write in the dark listening to this stuff if my eyes wouldn't think the rest of me was stupid. So listen to some Atrium Carceri for yourself, check out the many other offerings at Cryo Chamber, and have yourself some pleasant little nightmares.

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