My Catchphrases

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Musical Moments: Guest Post: Zoe Marriott: The Soundtrack to Shadows on The Moon

Yes I know it isn't Thursday. But this is a very special guest post from the lovely Zoe Marriott whose new book is out next week. To celebrate Zoe is sharing the soundtrack with us lucky people:


First of all, I have to admit that I'm just a leeetle bit music crazy. Each book that I write usually ends up with four or five playlists during the course of drafting and revising, and I also have a set of standard playlists with names like 'Serious Business' and 'Love' and 'Heartbreak' and 'Fight' that I use when I need to get into the mood for a specific kind of scene. So what I decided to try and do here was to give a kind of cross section of the story - the emotional journey of the heroine (Suzume/Rin/Yue) as she moves through the book. These are mostly instrumental or wordless pieces, because I tend to find that, when I'm concentrating hard on finding a rhythm for a scene or a piece of dialogue, having someone singing away in the background sort of interferes.

Sorrow by Lisa Gerrard

I've loved Lisa Gerrard ever since I first heard her voice on the Gladiator soundtrack. I own all her albums, but this song sends shivers down my spine each time because it evokes mourning and loss so perfectly. This is the sound of Suzume's heart breaking at the beginning of Shadows on the Moon.

The Meadow by Alexandre Desplat

The soundtrack for Twilight: New Moon came out at about the same time that I was doing my first revision on Shadows on the Moon, and although I can't say I'm a great fan of the book or film, this song perfectly sums up Suzume's uncertainty and her search for a new identity. A quick check on iTunes tells me I've listened to this over a hundred times!

Suyuri's Theme by John Williams

As the book goes on, Suzume finally accepts her unique talent - she is Kage Oribito, a Shadow Weaver. This realisation gives her new strength and courage - but also leads her into danger. This beautiful piece from the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack sums it up perfectly.

Lost by Anouk

One of the few lyrical pieces on the Shadows on the Moon Playlist, this song sums up Suzume's feelings the first time she meets Otieno, the mysterious boy who saves her life.

Shadow Hunter by Lisa Gerrard

This song encapsulates Suzume's terror and desolation after she discovers a terrible secret and is forced to flee in order to save her life, disguising herself as a drudge, and taking on the name of Rin.

Eternal Vow by Tan Dun and Yo Yo Ma

I'm trying really hard not to give away spoilers at this point! But this bittersweet song expresses the joy and sorrow that Suzume - by now called Yue, and on the way to becoming the most beautiful and sought after courtesan in the Moonlit Lands - feels as she meets her one true love again, knowing that she can never be with him.

Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Nigel Hess

This piece of music sums up the end of the story - and I can tell you literally NOTHING about why without giving away huge spoilers! But I think if you read it, you'll know why and how.

Title: Shadows on the Moon
Author: Zoe Marriott
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: 7 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince – and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love.

Huge thanks to Zoe for doing this beautiful music post for me. I hope you have enjoyed it and hope you all enjoy reading Shadows on the Moon.


  1. I'm going to listen to these on my iphone as my laptop has been playing up with playing video's/sound for some time. Hysterically though, as I was reading Shadows on the Moon, I heard the gladiator soundtrack in my head for the beginning of the book. SPOOKY!

    Loved this post as I'm always interested in author's playlists :)

  2. You must be unusually sensitive to the emotional messages I embedded in the pages! Either that or you and I are linked in some spooky fashion (cue spooky ghost noises).

  3. I cant listen to these right now as I dont have my headphones and the man type thing is listening to something else... But I will favourite this and listen soon, It will be interesting if I associate them to my interpretation of the story

  4. Raimy: I'll give you a clue. The very last song I'm listing here goes with that final dance in the book. I think if you read and listen at the same time, you'll see why (even though it's not remotely Japanese!).

  5. Zoe, I LOVED this post! I could actually see parts of the book played out as I listened...especially the 1st and last songs. Sent shivers down my spine!

  6. What gorgeous music. I love the Memoirs of a Geisha one the most as it reminds me of the book.

  7. Thanks Vicki and Viv :) Listening to the final track again today actually made me tear up a little bit - it was like falling directly back into the character's head.

  8. Interesting. It's not easy for me to link a song with a book, or in this case, a scene.

    The only song I'm sure I've heard is the one from the Gladiator Soundtrack ;)

  9. Oh, I really like The Meadow by Alexandre Desplat!

  10. I loved Zoe Marriott's other books and can't wait to read Shadows on the moon.

  11. I need to add these to my writing playlists. Really ambient and inspiring. Thanks Zoe (and Emma)!

  12. I don't normally listen to playlists, but I want this one SO bad that I had too! :D And now, I think I'm seriously going to cry if I don't get my hands on this one soon! :P


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