ABC TO XTC Radio Show
John Connolly mounts a one-man campaign to convince the doubters that there is much to be cherished in the music of 1977-1989. From The Ramones to A Flock of Seagulls, and from Talk Talk to The Stranglers, not to mention the titular ABC and XTC, he plays a personal selection of his favourite tracks from those years; follows the careers of artists such as Kate Bush, The Cure, and Depeche Mode, who were products of that era and continue to produce new music; and picks up on modern artists such as Fever Ray and Ladytron who wear the influence of that earlier period on their sleeves. The only rule: there are no guilty pleasures. This is all just good music.
Well, most of it...
The Honeycomb World
When I was compiling Ghosts, the fourth of these soundtracks, one of the tracks I chose to include was an instrumental by Envoy entitled “Every Dead Thing.” I had known David O’Brien, who is Envoy, since his time as a bookseller, and had heard some of the music on which he was working, but had no idea that my own work had been a source of inspiration to him until he sent me some of the pieces involved, “Every Dead Thing” among them. I thought it was one of the standout tracks on the CD.
As it came time to consider a seventh volume, I felt a change of direction might be interesting. In the past I had picked tracks that resonated lyrically or thematically with my books, or the mood of which matched what I was trying to achieve in one of the novels. (The exceptions were a pair of songs by Mark Kozelek/ Sun Kil Moon, where my work had provided some small part of the creative stimulus, and Envoy’s “Every Dead Thing.”) Subsequent to the Ghosts compilation, David sent me a CD containing eight further Parker-inspired tracks, which seemed like fate. I suggested that these might form the basis of a longer suite of music, and David very graciously agreed to compose that suite. The result is The Honeycomb World.
This record is my attempt at creating a "world" that can inhabit, or co-exist, within the Charlie Parker Universe. I discovered John's books almost two decades ago, and since then I've found myself inspired to write music based on characters, scenes, and entire novels. The Honeycomb World is the culmination of that journey. John has very kindly allowed me to put this CD together as I thought best, and for that I am incredibly grateful. It's a dream come true for me to have this album released with The Woman in the Woods, and I'd be truly honoured if you enjoy listening to it even fraction as much as you enjoy reading the book.
I'd like to dedicate The Honeycomb World to my wife Joan and my daughter Odette, to my mother and father and, of course, to Mare.
1. The Stillness of a World...
2. Something Shedding Scales
3. Sleeper, Awake
4. The Echo of Worlds
5. The Wounds Left by Loss
7. Beneath The Cut
8. A Faceless Twin
9. The God of Wasps
10. The Honeycomb World
11. Then Oblivion
12. Into the Dark
14. The Glass Began to Crack
15. To Die in the Light
16. A Statue by the Sea
17. The Woman in the Woods
18. The Lovers
19. By A Lake
20. The Long Ride
The Deep Woods
The Deep Woods was the sixth in the Soundtracks series, although I hadn’t actually intended to create a CD to accompany A Time of Torment. The spur came from Mark Kozelek, who set a chapter from the preceding novel, A Song of Shadows, to music, and I was so touched by his gesture that I wanted as many people as possible to hear the track. Once I’d made the decision to put together another compilation, a number of songs seemed to fall into my lap, including a wonderful cover of The Cure’s “A Forest” by Northumbrian folk singers The Unthanks in collaboration with Phil Hartnoll of Orbital, and This Mortal Coil’s take on “I Come And Stand At Every Door”. This is probably the most somber and reflective of the six discs, with a nicely sinister undertow which pleases me greatly.
A FOREST 8:58 featuring The Unthanks
ARMORED SCARVES 13 & God
I COME AND STAND AT EVERY DOOR This Mortal Coil
WEIGHT OF THE WORLD Reservoir
SILENCER Susanne Sundfør
THE NEW WORLD Damon & Naomi with Ghost
CHAPTER 8 OF JOHN CONNOLLY’S “A SONG OF SHADOWS” Mark Kozelek
The Shadows CD was bound into a limited signed edition of A Song of Shadows sold by Waterstones bookstores in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and distributed at signings in Ireland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Italy and the United States.
Thank you, again, to my fellow author Kate O'Hearn, who was kind enough to take on the clearances for this compilation as a break from writing her own books. Thanks to MCPS Ireland Ltd for their assistance with mechanical rights; to all at Trend Studios in Dublin, who manufactured the CD; to Alasdair Oliver at Hodder & Stoughton for his fine design work; and, finally, to all the artists and record companies involved for allowing us to use their music.
A Violent Yet Flammable World Au Revoir Simone
Impossible Germany Wilco
I Am the Wolf Mark Lanegan Band
Gymnopédie 3 (Lent et Grave) Erik Satie, performed by Klára Körmendi
Detective Daughter Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Soft Wolf Tread Grant Lee Buffalo
This is the Song (Good Luck) Punch Brothers
Desperados Under the Eaves Warren Zevon
The Ghosts CD was bound into a limited signed edition of The Wolf in Winter sold by Waterstones bookstores in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and distributed at signings in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia. To reward/console American readers (and booksellers) for the six-month gap in publication dates between the United Kingdom and the United States, the American edition of the Ghosts CD includes additional tracks. Copies were distributed at signings in the United States and Mexico, and at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in Long Beach, CA. Some US independent booksellers will also have CDs to give away with the mass market publication of The Wolf in Winter in July 2015.
My thanks to all of the bands, artists, and record labels involved for their kindness and co-operation. Special thanks, too, to my fellow author Kate O'Hearn, who took time out from entertaining her readers to work on this project; to Alasdair Oliver at Hodder & Stoughton who, in addition to designing the wonderful covers for my books, took on the task of designing this CD; and to all at MCPS in Dublin and everyone at Trend Studios for their assistance with clearances and production respectively.
Among the Leaves Sun Kil Moon
Lay All Your Love on Me Susanna
Freight of Fire Scud Mountain Boys
Hares On The Mountain Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell
This One Eats Souls The Blackeyed Susans
Green Grass of Tunnel Múm (US CD only)
Every Dead Thing Envoy
Circle of Ash Candidate
Your Ghost Kristin Hersh
I Could Drive Forever (Smog) (US CD only)
Love Like Blood Icehouse
Who By Fire Giovanna Pessi, Susanna Wallumrød, Jane Achtman and Marco Ambrosini
It's Getting Late in the Evening Davide Rossi
I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead Mogwai
Love and Whispers
Love and Whispers was bound into a limited signed edition of The Whisperers sold by Waterstones bookstores in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and distributed at signings in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This volume, the third in the soundtrack series, is slightly different from its predecessors. Previous volumes have concentrated on music that has, for the most part, been directly referenced in the course of the Parker novels. The songs on this volume are those that have, in a sense, played in the background as I've written books, and particularly the two most recent Parker books, The Lovers and The Whisperers. While I prefer to write in silence, I often use music as a way to recharge my batteries, and to remind me of the mood of a book. Thus, certain songs become associated with specific books, or with the Parker series as a whole, often because of a particular lyrical reference, but sometimes simply because their mood resonates with me.
La Ballade Du Georges Sébastien Tellier
Captain's Table Shack
A Love Economy De Rosa
Honor My Wishes Joan As Police Woman
Some Velvet Morning Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra
Fall Patrick Phelan
Hard To Love A Man Magnolia Electric Co.
Hug The Harbour Emma Pollock
You Never Loved This City Piano Magic
Walking Back To Our Place At 3 A.M. Richard Fontaine
Each Dream Is An Example Gastr Del Sol
I Didn't Mean To Hurt You Spiritualized
Into The Dark
In 2005, to coincide with the publication of The Black Angel, I put together a compilation of various songs, Voices from the Dark, that reflected the mood of the books and the character of Charlie Parker, the detective at the heart of most of my work.
This second collection, Into the Dark, is slightly more eclectic than the first, featuring new folk, independent rock, americana, and electronica, and it enables readers to hear some of the songs that have been referred to in the books, either in the course of the narrative or as signposts to the action to come. Five are featured, directly or indirectly, in The Unquiet, one comes from an earlier novel, and the remainder are included because they are lyrically or tonally apt, and because, like every song on this compilation and its predecessor, I happen to like them, and the artists who perform them, a great deal.
When In Rome Nickel Creek
The Ghost of the Girl in the Well Willard Grant Conspiracy
Hymn The Czars
Collecting Shields Efterklang
The Lost You Hood
The Good Hand Woven Hand
Time Is For Leaving Starless & Bible Black
Thirsty The National
Come Undone The Delgados
Still Waters Jim White
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Sufjan Stevens
Dead King Espers
Weaving Song Phelan Sheppar
Voices From The Dark
Music has always played a large part in my life, so when it came to writing my books it seemed natural that music should have a role to play in them as well. I've written seven books, five of them featuring a detective named Charlie Parker (so you can see that the music references were pretty ingrained from the start.) Parker shares my musical tastes, so most of the artists on this CD have been referenced in the books in some way, and the songs chosen all have resonances for me, and for Parker. The Red House Painters' lovely, desolate "Summer Dress" brings to mind the figure of Parker's dead wife, who haunts the shadows of his life, and I've always thought that The Triffids' "Blinder by the Hour" might be about a man so overcome by grief that he wants nothing more than to be interred alongside his dead lover. The Walkabouts, Thee More Shallows, The Go-betweens and Lambchop have all made appearances in the books, and the lyrics of Pinetop Seven have graced three of my novels. The inclusion of the Radar Brothers and Hem stems from the way they seem to link with my second book, Dark Hollow, and in an ideal world Neko Case would play "Twist the Knife" during that book's dance hall scene, should it ever make it to the screen. Lullaby for the Working Class's "Good Morning" could almost be Parker's theme tune, and Kate Bush's "Ne T'En Fuis Pas" effectively soundtracks, for me, the moment when Parker and Rachel first make love in Every Dead Thing. I love the sense of promise and longing that suffuses Beachwood Sparks' "Ponce de Leon Blues", and as for The Blue Nile's "Happiness", well, there seemed no more apt way to close an album based around the troubled character of Charlie Parker than with Paul Buchanan asking how long his peace will last. . .
If you like these songs—and I hope that some, at least, resonate with you—then please hunt down the albums from which they come, and perhaps drop the artists a line to tell them where you heard their work. I'm immensely grateful to all of them for allowing me to use their music, and for the way in which their work has enriched both my own writing, and my life.
Good Morning Lullaby for the Working Class
Summer Dress Red House Painters
Crawl Away Lambchop
Ne T'En Fuis Pas Kate Bush
Cattle and Cane The Go-Betweens
Bordertown The Walkabouts
Ponce de Leon Blues Beachwood Sparks
Twist the Knife Neko Case
Where Are You Now? Thee More Shallows
November 4AM Pinetop Seven
Blinder by the Hour The Triffids
Rock of the Lake Radar Brothers
Happiness The Blue Nile