If the Upper Kingdom had a music theme what would it be?
H. Leighton Dickson
Oh I was hoping someone would ask me that question! I actually have a series of soundtracks that I listen to while writing the Upper Kingdom series, including Tan Dun's 'Hero' and 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and Ramin Djawadi's 'Game of Thrones', but if I were to pick a theme, I'd have to say either 'Marco Polo' or 'Night Ride Across the Caucasus' in Loreena McKennitt's wonderful CD 'Book of Secrets.' That entire CD is very evocative of the haunting Celtic and Asian blend that continue to inspire the Upper Kingdom.
Oddly enough, while I was writing TO WALK IN THE WAY OF LIONS, I went through a huge Lord of the Dance phase, and my kids will often say "Oh that's Kerris' theme!" ('Breakout') or "Oh, there's Sherah!" ('Gypsy') You can hear Ursa in 'Warriors', Ling in "Celtic Dream", Sireth in 'Lament' and Fallon in any of the singing pieces. It's kind of funny that I can listen to that CD and pick out the subtle shaping of scenes including the powerful scene in Book 2 where the Alchemists converge on Sireth in the tent. If you listen to that piece of music ('Nightmare'), you can literally see the scene play out in your head.
I think if Kirin were to have a theme, it would have to the theme "Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn" - so powerful and majestic and a little sad.
What do you think? Do you have a piece of music that you listen to when you're reading the Upper Kingdom books?