Tag Archives: music

Jam of the Week: “War”, by Poets of the Fall

If you’re like me, then you have a hard time functioning without music. I especially find that I pretty much can’t write without it, whether I’m looking (listening?) for inspiration, or just want something playing in the background. I find different artists and different genres useful for different reasons. Sometimes songs just make me think about writing in a different light.

Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall aree pretty inspirational, especially this Jam of the Week. “War” is from their fourth album, Twilight Theater, which the band has described as “cinematic rock.” I don’t exactly know what that means, but it seems like a pretty good description. The song is epic; it’s moody, and spooky, and kind of uplifting. It feels like watching a film.

The video is dark, both literally and figuratively, and the narrative is focused on loss and confusion, but there’s a sense of longing and desire too. It puts me in the mood for shows like Twin Peaks, or games like Alan Wake (in which the song is featured, and is where I first heard it), stories with dreamlike, and often nightmarish, qualities.

For all of that though, I still find it uplifting (especially the beginning of the chorus); like the story might still have a happy ending, it’s just going to take a lot of work on the part of the protagonist. Not a bad metaphor, especially for the writing process. Sometimes writing is an uphill battle, but it will still come out okay in the end. And just like the narrator in the song, sometimes you have to remember that you’re not always in it alone, and there are people who can help you with that process, like us here at The Writing Center.

The Jazz of Writing

Music is one of those things that inherently has an incredible amount of power. It can move people, incite them to action, inspire creation, create moods, dispel fears, and ease pain, to name a few of the vast abilities it possesses. Music’s influence can be as individual as the carefully crafted playlist that hypes you up on your way to work or class, or as broad as that arena concert where you and thousands of others feel the bass beating its way through your bodies and the melody swirling around your collective figures.

Within this fluid and ever-changing experience of music is one particularly intriguing genre: Jazz. Since its inception, jazz has evolved into many different areas. There’s Gypsy Jazz that first arose in France during the 1930s, which combines a dark flavor with heavy swing to create a dramatic and deep series of songs. There’s Bebop Jazz, known for its fast tempo and instrumental variety that keeps a night alive for hours. There’s Afro-Cuban Jazz, which mixes strong rhythms with harmonies and served as the base for today’s Latin Jazz. These are just a few of the many styles that all lay claim to the genre of Jazz; though differing in details, what they have in common is a propensity towards improvisation, the root of this type of music. Continue reading