Monday, April 11, 2016

Musical Monday - Carnelians by Point Valid with Catherine Asaro

In 2009, Catherine Asaro collaborated with the Baltimore band Point Valid on the "Diamond Star Project" to create an album of songs related to her novel Diamond Star, which contains the story of a rock star living in the interstellar society of her Skolian Saga series. The project was conceived as a companion to the novel, providing a collection of songs based on the events that take place in the book.

Point Valid's lead singer Hayim Ani wrote the music for most of the album, while Asaro provided the lyrics for all of the songs. The project produced an album, titled Diamond Star, and an EP, titled Goodbye Note. The name of this song is a reference to the semi-precious gemstone the carnelian: Gemstones are theme that runs through many of the books in Asaro's Skolian Saga, most notably showing up as the name of the ruling family of the Skolian Empire, the Ruby Dynasty. Other gem-themed songs on the album include Diamond Star, Sapphire Clouds, Rubies, and Emeralds.

There are a lot of science fiction and fantasy books that include songs as part of the story. I have seen a couple of other authors get involved in making music - Seanan McGuire, for example, has an active filk career and has released a couple of music CDs - but very few have taken on a project like this to accompany one of their books. This seems slightly odd, given that authors are skilled with words, it seems natural that they would write song lyrics and incorporate them into their stories. From there, it seems like only a very small leap to actually recording songs. yet so very few seem to actually make that leap. Given the results of the Diamond Star Project, maybe more should.

Previous Musical Monday: Arwen's Song by Peter Hollens

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