Thursday, September 09, 2010

Soundtrack - Seth Lakeman

Brigid Coady talks Seth Lakeman and how sometimes you need music that evokes the place you are writing about.

If you have been reading The Pink Heart Society for awhile you'll know that I am a country music fan. More than that I write, produce and present a country music chart show every week on CMR Nashville, an internet radio station. For me country has always hit the spot when looking for soundtracks to my writing. Other genres are there but the base is country. Until the latest one.

I am writing a YA novel set in Cumbria in the north of England just before you hit Scotland. Rugged, beautiful and quintessentially English. I am writing about places thousands of years old, looking at stories and folk tales. And much as I love country music it was too American. It was made for wide open spaces while I was looking for something more intimate, more English. Now I scoffed my parents taste in the folk music of the 60s and 70s. But yet I was drawn towards folk music but I needed something up to date yet timeless which is why I ended up with Seth Lakeman.

Seth Lakeman was born in Devon in 1977 and began playing with his parents and brothers from an early age. His second album Kitty Jay was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2004/5 which is when I came across him. And as you can see he is as beautiful to look at as to listen to. Future Male on Monday maybe?

Ok so the picky ones among you might notice that Devon is quite a way from Cumbria. And that folk music is influenced by the Scots and the Irish but really go with me on this. Listening to his first three albums as I wrote my YA kept me going weaving the fantastical with the real.

On Sunday night I was lucky enough to hear him play at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre. WOW! The setting, the music all came together. I was spellbound. The songs that had been mine and my characters alone for the past six months were suddenly being shared by hundreds of other people. It was fantastic.

It was also serendipitous. I am about to start revising the YA and hearing its soundtrack live revved my engines, got my juices going and if it hadn't been so dark I would have started taking notes! It also sparked in me a new story.

How do music and place relate for you?

Brigid's short story 'The Great Leap Forward' is published in 'Even More Tonto Short Stories'. And the revising of the YA novel begins... NOW!!


  1. Bids, while not country, still certainly major influences with...I don't know, regional flavour? Kind of reminds me of what Great Big Sea is to Atlantic Canada and Corb Lund is to the prairies, you know?

  2. I think it is the common Gaelic/Celtic roots probably.