Elysium, by Jo Blankenburg – my new nanowrimo music

Today dawned cold, wet and miserable, but it’s getting better because I now have a great new CD to listen to! The CD is Elysium by an ex-pat German composer called Jo Blankenburg.

Never heard of him? Neither had I until about half an hour ago when I went looking for some new, epic music to listen to while I write nano. Nano starts in five days [Australian time] and I didn’t want to use my Two Steps from Hell music because those songs belong to Vokhtah somehow. Perhaps it’s just the way my odd little brain works, but the Two Steps from Hell tracks make me feel that harsh planet and its alien inhabitants better than anything else I have ever listened to before. There are moments of soft-ish music but the general mood is strong, determined and angry, attributes that fit the Vokh, and to a lesser extent the iVokh, very well. For nano however, I will be writing about humans for a change and so I needed music with contrasts of tenderness and the other, softer emotions we humans feel with such abandon. And Elysium gives me that.

Unfortunately buying Elysium in time for nano proved to be a bit trickier than finding it. I generally prefer buying actual, physical music CDs because I’m a bit slack when it comes to backups, and with physical CDs I know I will never lose precious music. This time, however, I just didn’t have the time to wait around for Amazon to send me a CD by snail mail. Instead I took the radical [for me] step of signing up with iTunes and buying Elysium through Apple.

Now I know that most of you will have been on iTunes since its inception, but I have always hated the incestuous nature of Apple products and the restrictions placed on their use. I understand the business model, and it has certainly worked for Apple, but I like the freedom of being able burn my CDs so I can listen to them in the car while I’m driving, and I’m pretty sure iTunes won’t let me do that. It’s been a while since The Daughter tried, so apologies if I’m maligning Apple without cause.

Anyway, my point was simply to show that I am a dinosaur forced into the 21st century by need. So, I signed up for iTunes. I downloaded the client side software, installed it, did all the verification protocols and finally managed to reach the part where I could actually get my music. And then I came face to face with the reality of living in Australia. When I was searching for a CD online, Elysium was touted as costing $9.99. Given the relative standing of the Australian dollar at the moment I was expecting to pay just under $9.99 but no, on iTunes, Elysium was going to cost me $16.00.

I’ll be honest, I did think about giving iTunes the finger and going elsewhere, but by then I had already downloaded and installed all the crap. In a very real sense I was primed for gratification NOW. So I gave in and bought the music, blowing my new, self-imposed budget in the process. -sigh-

Needless to say I will be a lot more organized, and self-disciplined, the next time I decide to buy music online because $16.00 is a bit rich when I could buy the mp3 version of the CD for $5.99 from Amazon… if Amazon would only let Australians buy mp3s.  I don’t know why we are not allowed to buy mp3s but that’s the sad reality. Talk about feeling like a 3rd class world citizen. 😦

I don’t wish to end this post on a sour note however, so I’ve included the Youtube video clip of Elysium for your listening enjoyment. Be warned though – it goes for 30 minutes!



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

10 responses to “Elysium, by Jo Blankenburg – my new nanowrimo music

  • Candy Korman

    I am with you about CDs. I still prefer them and then I load the music into iTunes on my computer & iPhone. Having the CDs saved me a few years go when my external drive died. Call me Old fashioned but…


    • acflory

      lol – The thing about being ‘old’ fashioned is that we’ve had experience of the dark side of computing. I like to keep physical copies of everything that’s important to me for exactly that reason. I assume if you harddrive went south iTunes would let you download your stuff again but I’d hate to find out that I was wrong.


  • metan

    Start loving your ipod Meeks!

    Once you put all your cds etc on it you can buy yourself a small FM transmitter that will plug into the bottom of the ipod. You tune the transmitter and your car radio to the same channel and then you can play anything in your ipod on your car radio.

    The Apple empire is annoying but it is great to be able to buy that one song that you like on itunes and not have to pay out for an entire album.

    Even the Man has one now, he got sick of having to listen to my music every time we went out!


  • Carrie Rubin

    I don’t listen to music when I write. I think I’d find it too distracting. For example, I’m playing your music clip while I write this comment, and it’s difficult for me to stay focused–the music is so great I want to just stop and enjoy it. 🙂


    • acflory

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Like you I can’t listen to music when I’m doing just ‘normal’ writing and I can NEVER listen to anything with lyrics [except for opera in Italian coz I don’t understand it. lol]

      When I’m writing fiction however… ah now that’s a different story. The music puts me into a mood and then it seems to fade into the background, like the soundtrack to a movie where you’re aware of it at a subliminal level but not really at a conscious level.

      I find that with the ‘right’ music, I can see, feel and almost smell the place I’m writing about, and even the characters seem to become more substantial… and therefore easier to write about.

      Believe me, I took a lot of convincing in the beginning too. 😀


      • Carrie Rubin

        You’ve intrigued me. I may have to give it a try sometime. 🙂


        • acflory

          When I was doing technical writing I never listened to music at all because the writing was… logical. When I started writing fiction I found I was writing like a technical writer – precise, unemotional, logical prose. Ugh. The Daughter and another writer friend suggested I try music. I did, and bit by bit my writing loosened up as the music set something free. lol My muse perhaps. 🙂


      • Colin

        I’m with AC on this. Then again, I don’t think I ever don’t have music on, except when I sleep. So not having music when I write would be very odd for me personally. But yeah, it’s great for mood.


        • acflory

          The odd thing is that even though I’m not aware of the music after the first 5 minutes, I still look forward to hearing it. Adds a kind of small incentive to the daily grind of writing [esp. when the writing isn’t going well].


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