|Christof Unterberger, Austrian Cellist and Film Music Composer|
But it doesn't stop there. I have gone a step further to involve music in my writing.
I work in the film industry. My friend Christof Unterberger is a talented and successful film composer and cellist. He is also my musical partner in crime. Almost every project I have produced in the last six years has been touched and elevated by his music. As with any creative partnership, Christof is also interested in my writing.
When I started working on my debut novel Terminal Rage, Christof was only the second person after my wife to know about it and to read the synopsis. He started composing small vignettes, spontaneously and inspired only by the little he knew of the story. And he nailed it. The musical pieces he composed back then were so reflective of the essence of my thriller, and so sublime and cinematic, that I started listening to them as I was writing. As a result, my writing and writing regimen improved. My story inspired his music, and his music inspired my writing - cyclical and symbiotic creativity at its very best.
Now that Terminal Rage has been published and Christof has read it, we are doing something even more daring. We are composing a soundtrack for the book. One piece for every chapter. You can listen to the entire sequence here.
I believe we are breaking new ground with this derivative work, which we plan to sell as a companion product once all thirty-two chapters have been scored.
Here is the opening sequence of the Soundtrack, which sets the tone for the entire work:
And this piece is from an action-packed chapter in the book at the halfway mark. Notice how the music is layered and develops subtly:
Finally, here is a sample of a more emotional, melancholic chapter towards the end:
What intrigues me about this process, is that people who've read the book connect emotionally with the music almost immediately. They appreciate it as a bonus and unexpected layer of the story that expands and enhances their experience with my work.
Mind you, Christof is a highly sought-after film composer, and time is his most precious commodity. Working on the "book" soundtrack of Terminal Rage is a labor of love for him that comes with no material benefit in the short run. He just fell in love with the story and decided to score some amazing music to it while we wait for the film version. Talking of which, can you guess who will score the music to the film adaptation of Terminal Rage, one day? I joke with Christof and say: Alexander Despalt of course!
As a new and independent writer, thinking out of the box and innovating ideas is an essential component of setting myself apart and building my brand. It's not enough to follow the script dictated by the archaic traditional publishing universe we have all inherited.
Readers: Do you hear music in your minds when you connect with a good story? And are you able to read with music in the background? Writers, what do you think of my literary musical experience: does it add value to a book?
As a special promotion for thriller and music aficionados, if you buy the paperback edition of Terminal Rage before January 1, 2014 and let me know about it on my site www.amkhalifa.com, you will find a copy of the Terminal Rage CD in your mailbox sometime early next year!
A.M. Khalifa, author of international thrillers, writes exhilarating, contemporary stories pulsating with life and unforgettable characters. His debut novel, Terminal Rage, is a layered thrill ride that moves seamlessly from inside a nerve-wracking hostage situation to far-flung locations across the world, challenging readers to stay ahead of its unpredictable plot.
The ebook version of Terminal Rage is now on sale for $2.99 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.