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Cloud Atlas
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2012 Reads > CA: Music while reading

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library_jim | 212 comments Yeah, the Philip Glass mix on Pandora was great for this book. Actually, it's a pretty good mix for reading in general.


terpkristin | 3636 comments This topic has come up in other books, too. There might even be a thread in the general section for what people listen to while reading. I usually can't listen to things while I'm reading, but I can see how Glass or some more "upbeat" classical could do well. I'm thinking something like Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" or Mussoursgky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." This would especially be fitting during the second story, I'd think. Maybe less so during Somni.


Ronan O'Driscoll | 13 comments A Sephardic romance, composed before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, fills the Lost Chord Music Store on the northwest corner of Spinoza Square and Sixth Avenue.pg. 119


Jonathon Dez-la-lour (jd2607) | 173 comments I'm not so much listening to anything in particular (although I can see people are going for the lieks of Philip Glass), I'm just listening to whatever I fancy on my iPod rather than something specifically for listening.

That said, I am writing my own Cloud Atlas Sextet... or well... more a sextet of sextets. Each piece will be written for sextet (Flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, violin and cello) and will be written to feature each instrument individually. I've only got the most basic sketches for anything at the minute, but I'm hopeful.


message 5: by Jenny (Reading Envy) (last edited Oct 10, 2012 05:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2272 comments I listened to Max Richter, which is not quite right but I couldn't get him out of my head. At least he's British, born 1966.

On the Nature of Daylight for a small string ensemble, sounds like quartet or quintet. Not quite sextet.

This is out there in several arrangements, most famously mixed with Dinah Washington for Shutter Island, but I prefer the original.

For Matt, who started this thread, I find some similarities here with Sigur Ros, or maybe Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I find it to be rather cloudy, like music you would hear as you laid on your back watching clouds go by.

Jonathon wrote: "I'm not so much listening to anything in particular (although I can see people are going for the lieks of Philip Glass), I'm just listening to whatever I fancy on my iPod rather than something spec..."
This music librarian would really like to hear this. I have to admit that this is the part I'm most curious about with the movie.


Mikael Thinsz | 3 comments Oh, Philip Glass was a great recommendation, it's definitely going into my regular reading playlist.

But I agree that classical music and instrumental music in general is excellent for reading, especially if you manage to match the tone of the music with the current mood of the book.

Usually, I actually like to listen to matching videogame and movie soundtracks while reading, for example the Fable soundtrack for fantasy books and the Mass Effect soundtrack for sci-fi.


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Spriggan1 | 25 comments I never listen to music while reading, but before purchasing the book I read a fair bit of it in Barnes and Noble. To tune out the background noise I had a repeating playlist running through my headphones consisting of like 3 tracks: "Nocturne no 9 op 2" by Chopin, "Claire De Lune (piano)" by Debussy, "Farewell" by Eddie (really smooth).

All smooth, piano based tracks with heavy repetition, which sort of fits the theme of the book in the loosest sense, but mainly because any track with more sharpness to it would distract me.


message 8: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments Did anybody try and listen to Toshi Ichiyanagi while reading this? I audiobooked this, but I listened to a little beforehand to sort of inform myself. I find myself hearing Ichiyanagi's Cloud Atlas, when Robert Frobisher talks about his Cloud Atlas. The description makes them sound similar.

As a general rule I don't listen to classical music while reading. It's too distracting. I usually like film or video game scores. And, for the right sort of book, Metallica or Dragonforce.


message 9: by Dirk (new)

Dirk | 39 comments Generally I can listen to any music while reading. As long as it doesn't have any lyrics or if I know the lyrics already.

I'd suggest Olafur Arnalds to anybody as reading music. It's really nice.

Then you have to play some 2 steps from hell in fighting scenes! Just to get that action movie feeling. X_x


message 10: by bookthump (last edited Oct 14, 2012 01:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

bookthump | 44 comments I have been listening to Hans Zimmer's scores for "The Thin Red Line" and "Inception" as well as the score from "The Social Network" by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. All three of them have haunting elements that seem to fit my mood when I'm reading Cloud Atlas.


Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments Oh I love me some Two Steps From Hell. Actually, I love alot of these selections being mentioned. I haven't actually listened to any music while reading this, but I have a feeling some of the Tron Legacy score would probably work with the Sonmi story.


Andre (AndreB) | 34 comments Amen to the Philip Glass. Here are some other great Pandora channels that I've been hooked on while reading this:

Clint Mansell (you all know him from his soundtrack work (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and other films)
Domenico Scarletti (mentioned by Frobisher)
Inception (already mentioned)


Philip (pkinchington) | 16 comments It might be a little too grand or dramatic (some may say pompous or pretentious - they'd be wrong) but Hymn to the Immortal Wind by Mono might also work quite well too.

Unfortunately I couldn't try it out as that album is inextricably linked to Anathem in my brain now.

I don't know why I didn't think of trying Philip Glass. Seems so obvious in hindsight.


message 14: by Aquamora (new)

Aquamora | 3 comments Providing myself a soundtrack to read to can thoroughly heighten my reading experience. I've dreamed of someone writing a book and including a CD, with track suggestions for different parts of the book. I am excited to try some of your suggestions for Cloud Atlas!


message 15: by Dwayne (last edited Oct 16, 2012 07:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments Michael Nyman's Gattaca and David Julyan's The Prestige.


message 16: by JoJo (new)

JoJo Laforte (jojolaforte) | 23 comments I can listen to music without lyrics. If there are words they distract me too easily.


message 17: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2140 comments I also will listen to music while reading but it can't have lyrics or it's distracting. Movie soundtracks are good (I see Inception was already mentioned and Clint Mansell) as are game soundtracks (I usually go for Mansell's Mass Effect 3 soundtrack and Jeremy Soule's Skyrim). Hammock, The American Dollar and Eluvium are all great as well.


Philip (pkinchington) | 16 comments Whit whit?! Clint Mansell did the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. Wow, I need to go and investigate this (still only halfway through 2). Thanks Dara.


message 19: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2140 comments Philip wrote: "Whit whit?! Clint Mansell did the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. Wow, I need to go and investigate this (still only halfway through 2). Thanks Dara."

You are welcome! Hope you enjoy it.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I too can only listen to music without lyrics while reading.

Recently it's been a lot of Clint Mansell(!!!), E.S. Posthumus and Balmorhea.


Angstrom | 1 comments I like listening to dreamy atmospheric music by artists such as Steve Roach ("The Magnificent Void" for Cloud Atlas) and Robert Rich.


message 22: by Nixi (new)

Nixi (competine) | 28 comments Philip wrote: "Whit whit?! Clint Mansell did the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. Wow, I need to go and investigate this (still only halfway through 2). Thanks Dara."

Watch out for spoilers! ;) But yes, Clint Mansell's ME3 soundtrack is amazing, too bad it has only few tracks!
And it's great to listen to while reading!

I would also recommend Bear McCreary!

But I don't usually listen to anithing while reading, I prefer perfect quiet! It's too distracting.. I don't want to read a book , but in the back of my mind think of Galactica.. :)


message 23: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Catalfano (Cattfish) Hearts of Space


Andre (AndreB) | 34 comments Philip wrote: "Whit whit?! Clint Mansell did the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. Wow, I need to go and investigate this (still only halfway through 2). Thanks Dara."

Its so funny, I had no idea Mansell did the soundtrack for that, but I always thought whoever did the soundtrack must be influenced by Philip Glass. I may need to rush out and get The Mass Effect soundtrack now.


Andre (AndreB) | 34 comments Brooklyn Rider. Another great listen for reading.


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