You might have guessed it from the title, but that's right, The Color of Music was hugely inspired by music. Author Valerie was particularly inspired by the bands of her youth like The Beatles when creating her fictional band, The Black Hats.
So naturally, as a musician myself, I was drawn to this story and loved reading about the band members and their adventures. I’m a big lover of fantasy and fiction novels, in general, and often when I’m composing I draw from stories or ideas that I’ve stumbled across. That is the beautiful thing about art, it continues to inspire and influence creativity. So here are a few books that were inspired by music and in turn have inspired me as a composer.
The Hobbit - I read this for the first time as a 9-year-old and it really was where my love of fantasy fiction began. I recently listened to the audiobook version and was struck again by how many original songs are included. The dwarves, the elves and even Bilbo, sing a number of songs throughout their journey. Author J.R.R Tolkien was notably a philologist (someone who specializes in philology, the study of literary texts and written records) and therefore was a student of many styles of literature, including poem and song. Naturally, many classical and contemporary songwriters have been inspired to set his words to music.
The Name of the Wind - This has got to be one of my favorite books. Part of the reason is that author Patrick Rothfuss really seems to understand the melancholic temperament of most songwriters (I suspect authors share this quality.) The main character Kvothe is not only a talented wielder of magic, but a gifted and tortured artist.
Daisy Jones and The Six - My latest read (and obsession) is LOOSELY based on the real-life story of the band Fleetwood Mac. It’s hard to escape the comparisons between lead characters, Daisy and Billy, and the tumultuous relationship of musical legends Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Author Taylor Jenkins Reid penned a whole album of songs for her fictional band and now you can listen to them thanks to the new TV adaptation. It really helps that the songs are actually good!
If you want to listen to the music that was inspired by The Color of Music, you can head over to Chapter One and listen along to the music whilst you read. We hope it in turn inspires you.