As part of the character work I've been scrambling to finish this weekend, I did some shuffling of my soundtrack for TOB, making sure that each key character has his or her own theme song. I also auditioned new songs for the love theme, and checked that the few "atmospheric" songs still feel relevant. Here's what I wound up with:
Willa's song is Emergency Exit by Beck. I'm a huge Beck fan, and I love this song and have been listening to it a lot for the past year without connecting it to Willa. For a while I wished it could be Akenam's song, but it's not earnest enough. The twangy guitar, the cadence of the vocals, and the agricultural references made me think of it as a "Haven" song (Haven is Willa's nation), but it only just dawned on me that it was a good one for Willa herself. Maybe the male singer threw me off. But Willa's not exactly a girly girl.
The lines that particularly remind me of her:
it's a little too much to ask of faith
it's a little too late to wait for fate
so tell the angels what you seen:
scarecrow shadow on a Nazarene.
kindness will find you
when darkness has fallen
'round your bed...
Akenam's song is still Just Breathe by Pearl Jam.
practiced are my sins, never gonna let me win.
under everything just another human being.
yeah I don't wanna hurt
there's so much in this world
to make me bleed
stay with me
you're all I see...
did I say that I need you?
did I say that I want you?
oh, if I didn't I'm a fool you see
no one knows this more than me.
Tom's song is It's Good to Be King by another Tom (Petty).
it's good to be king
and have your own world.
it's helps to have friends
it's good to meet girls.
a sweet little queen
who won't run away
it's good to be king
whatever it pays.
Ruyad's song is Fix You -- but the version from the movie Young @ Heart, not the Coldplay original. Needs to be an old man singing it, because no matter how she appears in the story, Ruyad is an old man inside. She's not exactly the warmest or fuzziest of characters, but this song really gets to the heart of the pain and conflict in her backstory.
when you lose something you can't replace
when you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?
lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
and I will try to fix you.
Ottoline is Willa's deceased mother, but her story is vital to the events in TOB. Her song is Search and Destroy by Sanders Bohlke, and it's another killer. Listening to it has made Ottoline so much more real to me.
I was wide awake with the bodies in the gutter
waiting on a man who gave his word
I was told before to be not afraid
soon my fears will emerge.
and the lovers did feast and the birds flew away
and I was so mad at the coming of the day
but I will leave the monsters all at bay
and we can believe it's better this way.
And then there's the love theme. Willa and Akenam outgrew their old one, so now I'm trying out:
Strangers by the Kinks. If Akenam existed in the here and now, he'd definitely be a Kinks fan.
so I will follow you wherever you go
if your offered hand is still open to me
strangers on this road we are on
we are not two we are one
And, finally, the songs that remind me of specific scenes or sections:
"On the Road to Find Out" by Cat Stevens (Act I)
"This Time Tomorrow" by The Kinks (Act II, and the very end of Act III)
"Fuse Box" by Mychael Danna (all flirtation/romantic scenes)
"Allah Hoo" by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (beginning of Act III)
ETA: "Drifting In and Out" by Porcelain Raft (Act II and parts of Act III)