Here are some links to bonus material that was previously exclusive to newsletter subscribers. Enjoy.
Below is an interview I did at KOWZ-FM radio on November 18, 2016, to promote Castle Danger.
The Castle Danger “Soundtrack.”
Here’s the link to the YouTube playlist I assembled.
Discography for Castle Danger:
Track 1. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Bach
Matt has come to a dead stop on Snowfall Lake, and he’s thinking he is doomed to die before reaching safety.
Track 2. How High the Moon by A. Drake and F. Comstock; performed by Ella Fitzgerald and the Count Basie Orchestra
Matt uses this upbeat tune to buoy his spirits and keep his pace strong after he gets his second wind
Track 3. Marche Slave by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Matt is exhausted but sees his finish line in the blowing snow and calls upon deep reserves to keep going and maintain at least a march-like pace.
Track 4. Largo (2nd mvmt) from Symphony No. 9 by Antonin Dvorak
Matt decides to leave his wilderness camp and go to Castle Danger in hopes of starting some sort of new life now that he’s been forced from hiding. He’s hopeful for the future, but he mourns the recent past he’s endured and knows he’ll never be able to return to what he once called “home.”
Track 5. Cherokee by Ray Noble; performed by the Wynton Marsalis Quartet
Matt is mesmerized by the intense swinging and musicianship of the local jazz-pop trio, and Allyson finally figures out he is or was a great musician.
Track 6. Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Since Matt is so attuned to sound and connecting human voices with musical instruments, he fantasizes a bit that Allyson is playing the part of Scheherazade (represented by the solo violin theme throughout the piece) and weaving a seductive story in order to enlist his help with Josh by hiding him from Vossler.
Track 7. Happy Trails to You by Dale Evans Rogers
In a casual but intimate moment with Josh present in the cabin, Matt breaks the sexual tension between him and Allyson by whistling this classic cowboy tune as Allyson leaves them for the night.
Track 8. Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walkure by Richard Wagner
Matt is pursuing Vossler and Galvin for their final battle. He briefly and incongruously envisions himself as riding to the rescue much as the helicopters flew into action during the Viet Nam War in the iconic scene from the movie Apocalypse Now. It was less likely that he imagined himself as one of the legendary Nordic goddesses (Valkyries) who ride into a battle on horses and decide which warriors will live and die.
Note: I chose the recordings mainly for quality performances of the music, but to also highlight the vast array of musical talent worldwide. The performance of Cherokee in the book would have only been played by piano, bass, and drums. The recording you hear is merely demonstrating a common version of the tune.
And Matt only hears or imagines short fragments of most of these pieces, as if he were thinking about a favorite movie or book, not going through the entire story, but locking on the highlights. However, the early scenes as he’s hauling the trapper to safety, he would have hummed or heard or imagined the entire work, since he used music to distract his mind from feeling his pain, exhaustion, and fear of what might come.