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Music has always been a massively important part of my writing (see “A Film For Radio“). When I write, I listen to music.  Gideon Coe on 6 music has often been a trusted muse of mine as I settle down of an evening with my laptop and glass of wine close at hand.

I’ve always been a bit of a miserabalist and love a good ‘ol down beat song. I see my early draw to Joy Division as a kind of gate way drug into the musical world of melancholia.

I wrote a lot of Strings on the bus where it’s a necessity to plug yourself into something ethereal, melancholy and down right miserable to blend out the despair of the top deck of the X68 to Waterloo. I’m not too sure how it helps, but it just seems to work. To find a trusted friend to facilitate writing is a thing to hold on to. The Henryk Górecki “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

The symphony starts off with an oppresively disconcerting silence. From this a cello rises and builds as the piece evolves into something that is almost too painful to listen to. I sometimes fear that this music is so humble, beautiful and unbearable it feels like it is channelling some kind of cosmic grief and I fear it might break my heart. I know that all sounds a bit verbose, but I defy anyone to listen to this and not be moved.

The other playlist here is something that consists of songs that Simon in ‘Strings’ would have as part of his “hangover playlist”, something I think everyone should have. Oh yeah, you’ll need a Spotify account to listen to them, or you can listen to it on the Last FM radio I made, but it’s in a random order. Enjoy.


Or you can listen to the playlist as a lastFM radio station

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