Soundtracking books/music for reading


#1

I’m reading Neuromancer at the moment—a lurid sci-fi about jacking into the matrix and gobbling drugs—and found it works very well alongside Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven (perhaps unsurprisingly)

Reminded me how much I like pairing reading Cormac McCarthy with listening to Earth—Hex: or Printing in the Infernal Method is a sort of unofficial score to his book Blood Meridian—and how when I was reading Heidegger’s Being & Time for uni I figured I might as well try to listen to the Ring Cycle at the same time (difficult and even more ideologically suspect).

Do you have any book/record pairings? I want some recommendations.


#2

NB I don’t mean “what modern classical/ambient/drone records are good for putting on in the background while reading?” That’s a good question but a separate one.


#3

Great book and great match. Unfortunately I find it very hard to read with anything but Hammock-type astral stuff in the background but would be intrigued to see other pairings.


#4

My best ever combo is American modern gothic cult hit “house of Leaves” soundtracked by Canadian experimental post rock types Set Fire To Flames’ first album “sings reign rebuilder”

The lp was recorded in an abandoned and condemned house and the creaks and groans of the timbers become a key Component of the music which is just as unsettling and about unheimlich physical spaces as the novel.


#5

You could also try listening to slightly dreadful tech-metal outfit Johnny Truant

Yours sounds better, though. When I was reading that book I was listening to quite a lot of (also possibly slightly dreadful) The Sound of Animals Fighting.


#6

Ha I have both that album and another of there’s on CD that I bought in the midst of my HOL-mania. I also have the CD that Danielewski’s sister recorded which is mostly sweet electro-pop with some HOL references thrown in!


#7

#8

I remember the Haruki Murakami short story ‘The Dancing Dwarf’ fitting really well with that instrumental Yo La Tengo album soundtracking old undersea documentaries – The Sounds of the Sounds of Science.


#9

The Great Gatsby goes down well with the Grateful Dead’s seminal Live/Dead album. Both are spectral and mercurial.


#10

Remember soundtracking pretty much the entirety of The Passage with Thomas Koner’s Permafrost.


#11

I can’t do this. Find I zone out and concentrate on the music (whatever it is) too easily, and have to re-read swathes of text that I’ve just glanced over.


#12

I can’t do this either. But sometimes I associate books and songs. Like Tom Waits’ Come On Up To The House reminds me of Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, because both feel like drunken invites from a dude yowling on about communal living.