Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Song of Inspiration and Anomalies

My name is Lynn. Whenever November comes around, you can usually find me very close to my laptop, frantically writing 50,000 words of a novel which always turns out to be sci-fi or fantasy and inspired by something I saw somewhere, and I am an Anomaly.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I was very inspired by Game of Thrones.  I was so inspired that I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo with that inspiration. (By the way, Game of Thrones has a MUCH better plot). So when I went to the International Planetarium Society conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and met someone who was equally inspired by Game of Thrones, I got really excited. The fact that she's an Anomaly just made it so much better.

I met Maggie Smith (no, not that one) through some friends in the planetarium industry. The (awesome) people at Dome3D make roller coaster shows for planetariums. The shows are pretty cool, and if you ever get a chance to see one, don't pass it up. Even if you don't like roller coasters. It's there that you'll get to hear Maggie's music.

Because I like to sample new planetarium shows, and since I was at a big planetarium conference, I made a point of watching one from Dome3D. And then they told me: the music for their new show featured Maggie's music, and she wrote songs based on characters from Game of Thrones. Of course, they told me as if they weren't sure if I knew what GoT was. My squeals of delight showed their misconception. Then I started talking to Maggie. Here's about how it went:
Lynn: How did you get involved with Dome 3D?
Maggie Smith: I started working with Dome 3D because my producer, Will Wheeler, was in contact with a planetarium called Tellus that wanted new music for a Dome 3D show they were purchasing. It was called Spacepark 360, and it was a 3D rollercoaster ride through space. Will recommended me, and we started collaborating on what would grow to become Dome 3D's "Lucid Dreaming" edition of Spacepark 360.

Me: That album is awesome by the way. I can't stop listening to it. Tell me more about the project you are working on about Game of Thrones characters.
MS: I'm writing new songs for Spacepark 360's newest rides. I've been obsessed with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series of books and the HBO show Game of Thrones. I got inspired by the newest ride, which is an ice slide, and it made me think of the North kingdoms in the books, so I started writing about Arya...and it grew into a whole song about her and her direwolf, Nymeria. I don't know if the rest of the album will be all Game of Thrones songs, but it's always a possibility.

Me: Other than the story itself, what else inspired you to write these songs?
MS:I've always been inspired by literature in my music. Sometimes I just connect with characters in books, and I feel this empathy for them, like I can step outside myself and understand how I would react in their situations. It makes me want to explore the feeling further, so I write a song. I wrote a song for Jack London's klondike men, and my most recent song is about Edmond Dantes, the Count of monte Cristo.
 Side note from Lynn: You should click now and come back and finish the article when it's done. I'll wait.

Done? Ok, now back at it.

Me:Who is your favorite GoT character?
MS: I love Arya. I think she's a fascinating look at how we can want the wrong things for the right reasons. She's this girl that's been abandoned because of betrayal, scheming, and violence, and to punish those who have wronged her, she turns into a scheming, violent person herself. And the whole time, you really pull for her; you want her to wipe out her enemies. What does that say about us, when we encourage children to become the monsters they are trying to fight?

Me: You mentioned that you recently posted a song on YouTube about the Count of Monte Cristo? Have you always paid homage to your favorite books in this way?
MS:Yes! I wish I had a recording of the Jack London song. I'll need to make one soon. I think it's good as a writer to sometimes step outside yourself and write about something outside your own life experiences. Nothing will be as true as a song that comes from personal experience, of course, but sometimes, you can observe characters and learn something worth sharing in a song.

Me: Any other particularly geeky projects in the works?
MS:I'm working on the music video for "Nymeria," and it might involve me fencing, so that's exciting. I'm also a painter, and I've been researching Norse mythology for my newest exhibit, so that's been delightful and a bit nerdy.

Me: What makes you an Anomaly?
MS: I think I'm an Anomaly because I believe in many things at once. There's this idea circulating our culture that it is better to be an expert in one area, rather than explore all the various talents and interests you possess. I truly believe that if you turn off the tv and engage yourself in the hours you are given each day, you can pursue multiple things and satisfy your desires. I don't believe in denial of parts of yourself, I think you should indulge all your passions moderately.
Now, one just can't be that insightful and talented without being an Anomaly. It's refreshing to find a young female musician who's insightful and sings about emotions other than lust or giddiness, so if you want to hear more of Maggie's music, she has a YouTube site and a Wix site you can visit, and you can find her on Facebook. I highly recommend doing all three. And if you're in the Atlanta, GA area, find out where she's playing and go see her. Tell her I sent you.

No comments: