Dark “Fuer Elise”

This is one of my favorite musical pieces from YouTube. Dark, eerie, and a remake of famous Beethoven piano piece, it’s perfect for a website with an emphasis on horror. Listen to this one night when you are alone in an isolated cabin with your favorite wine and only a few candles for light and the company of a favorite lover. It will be even better if a thunderstorm is approaching. Enjoy.

Update: May 14, 2019–Social Life in Farmington

Last night, I had a busy night after work.

First, I went to my first advisory board meeting of the local public radio station KSJE as a member of the advisory board. I was accepted some months ago, but have been unable to attend until last night due to scheduling conflicts.  There were only four of us, including general manager Scott Michlin, but it was relaxing and informative.  I enjoyed it very much and I enjoyed hearing about the upcoming projects, including the “Zero-Mile Fun Run” on this coming Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at San Juan College.  If you are in the Farmington, NM area, I recommend you come.  Participants will run about 27 feet and will receive a t-shirt.  The “run” is primarily for fun, socializing, and making contacts.

After the meeting at about 5:30, I dropped by Studio 116 to find out what time their concert started. They weren’t starting until 7:00. I mentioned I would pass the time by going to dinner across the street at the Chile Pod.  Karen recommended the Nacho Fries appetizer as a whole meal.  She was right.  They put a lot of Nacho Fries on a plate for a very reasonable price and the fries include Carne Adovada!

After dinner, I went down to Karen Ellsbury’s Studio 116. They host jazz and other bands in their back lot.  This summer, they are hosting a free concert by a small band every Wednesday from about 6-8.  I plan on attending one tonight. Last night, they had a special guest, Levi Platero’s blues band, which is very popular in the Four Corners area.  They were terrific! Incredible soulful blues.  You listen to it and think, “This is what the blues is about.”  Studio 116 did charge a cover charge for this performance, but it was well worth it. I noticed, as you can see in the accompanying photos, that Levi, the lead singer and guitarist, played his guitar with his eyes closed and seem to be into his playing in a spiritual way.  I have seen my share of big name concerts, but the only other performer I have seen play his guitar like this was Eric Clapton in a concert in Seattle in probably the late 80’s-early 90’s.  I ran into a few friends from the Farmington Writers Circle and we watched the concert together.

Following the concert, I went to Lucky Break Billiards and Darts, where I shot pool for a little over an hour before picking up some dog food and fruit at Wal-Mart and then heading home.

Tonight, I will probably go back to Karen’s for a free concert (I don’t know who’s playing tonight) preceded by a quick run to Hobby Lobby, where I will pick up a glass jar, probably a faux mason jar, in which to store some small cigars, which have dried out. I found out a few years ago, that dry pipe tobacco can be rejuvenated by putting it into a jar with a slice of apple wrapped in a paper towel. This works very well and can keep them moist for months to years.  Tonight, I will see if the same will work with small cigars (specifically, Macanudo Maduros). It will take a few days for them to absorb the juice.


What music inspires you to horror?

Poster from Johannascheezburger.com via Halloween Mike's Horror Everyday on Facebook.

Poster from Johannascheezburger.com via Halloween Mike’s Horror Everyday on Facebook.

For the first time in a long time, I was listening to CDs on the car stereo as I drove back from Farmington (New Mexico) on the 14th, when I started feeling once again the latent but powerful emotions I associate with certain songs.  The songs in question were Puddle of Mudd’s “Spaceship” from Songs in the Key of Love and Hate and “Would?” from Alice in Chains’s Dirt.  When I was not that much younger than I am now, I used to listen to a broad range of music (from classical to hard rock to New Age and more) almost constantly.  Therefore it will not be surprising if I state that others that stir me range from ACDC’s “Back in Black” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to  Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and, for a complete change of pace, to Enya’s “Orinoco Flow” and Michael Gettel’s San Juan Suite, both of which seem to stir not a tumult of emotions, but instead have the opposite effect and cause me to almost drift away on a sea of tranquility.

As I am sure is the case with most people, I find all my favorite songs enjoyable, but there were, and still are, some that stir me deeply and can even now resurrect feelings of intense excitement and passion as if I were reliving my “Glory Days” (which, by the way, is an excellent Springsteen tune that really hits home these days).

Out of those that stir my emotions the most, are a select group that have a certain je ne sais quois, a combination of primal rhythm, deep-toned vocalization, and soul-stirring guitar riffs,  that do not stimulate the intellect as much as they instigate remote, subconscious parts of the mind to coalesce into a riot of images shaping themselves into the essential kernel of some grim tale that I know I can nurture, expand, and carefully, painstakingly mold into a narrative that would enthrall Dante or Milton–had I the time or unswerving diligence to concentrate on its writing.

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica is an excellent example of this.  Even though the song is about the destruction of a family (according to Wikipedia), something about it compels me to write an intricate novel of espionage, assassination, betrayal, deception, and the inner horrors of the human psyche that paces back and forth in the recesses of my mind like a tiger in a cage, watching for an opportunity to spring forth into the light of day upon an unsuspecting yet willing audience.   I have probably  20,000-30,000 or more words in the current draft of this story and I will probably trash most of these the next time I sit down to tackle this task.    One day I will have to dedicate myself to finishing the story, because this is the only way I know I will be able to rid myself of the tiger’s pacing and of his relentless stare that bores into the back of my neocortex.  As my life stands now, between chores at home and working 50-60 hours per week at my day job, I can find little time during an average week to work on the various short stories, novelettes, and novellas I have started over the past year.

Sad to say, I have two or three good novels that have been waiting over a decade or more for their genesis.  Probably with each of them I associate some tune from my more turbulent past, if not with the entire work, then with at least some scene that plays over and over in my head like a teaser clip from a movie trailer.

For me, this is one of the delicious agonies of being a writer.  I have so many fascinating concepts whirling through my head that I just know instinctively can be great works and that I enjoy revisiting whenever I have a few seconds to daydream but the lack of time in my daily life stymies their creation.

My question to you tonight, is are there musical works that inspire you to create works of horror and terror?