Thursday, January 31, 2013

SoundTrack Thursday -- Highlights from Les Miserables

PHS Editor Michelle Styles shares her latest writing background music --Highlights for Les Miserables

It took me a long time but several years ago, I discovered that I was more productive writing with music in the background. With each different manuscript and time period, I tend to have different music but certain things are tried and trusted, particularly when I am writing a first draft and the song of the book isn't clear in my mind.

For Viking set books, I do find Runrig helpful but there are times when I want something a bit different. One of my go tos has been various songs from Les Mis the original cast album. I first discovered Les Mis when my daughter took part in her high school production.  A couple of the songs stuck in my brain and then I got the cd. About this time, I used to take my daughter to riding and would write in the car while I waited. Les Mis proved a good choice to write to. "Bring Him Home" still reminds me of Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife".

When the movie premiered in the UK, my daughter took me for my CHristmas present. I watched and cried my way through.  Then as part of my birthday present, I was given the Highlights album.
It includes the new song  "Suddenly" which I think is very evocative. Thankfully it does not have some of the songs I am not fond of on... but a couple I sort of like are missing.

It is a very powerful rendition of Les Mis with proper orchestration.
I was interested to learn that the director Tom Hooper decided he wanted to do the singing raw after seeing The Commitments and being thinking how powerful the singing on the bus scene was.  In the main, I think it works.
Anyway, it is very soaring and powerful music to have in the background. So if you are searching for music to write by you could do a lot worse then to listen to Les Miserables The Highlights.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide range of time periods. Her next book An Ideal Husband? will be published in April 2013. To learn more about Michelle's books visit

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