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Soundtrack Saturday – Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

February 19, 2011
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Soundtrack Saturdays an opportunity to share a song I think would fit on the soundtrack for the book I’m currently reading.

Feel free to join in! Either leave your soundtrack pick or the link to your soundtrack post in the comments.

From the author’s website:
Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully-trained unicorn hunter, but she’s learning she can’t solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend Giovanni has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid fears that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover The Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants…or can she? At the Gordian Pharmaceuticals headquarters deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and – most of all – her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?

Soundtrack Song: “O ignis Spiritus Paracliti” by Hildegard von Bingen
Hildegard von Bingen was a medieval German nun who is mentioned in Ascendant a couple times (I have a feeling she’ll come up a couple more times). When I was looking for today’s Soundtrack song, I learned that Hildegard was not only interested in herbal medicine (which is brought up in the book) but she also wrote liturgical songs. Listening to her music makes me think if when Astrid alone with the einhorns, completely absorbed in the magic flowing between them and unaware of the outside world. It’s when she feels most like a unicorn hunter goddess from a much earlier time, what she believes her ancestors felt when in communion with the unicorns.

What song would you add to the soundtrack for this book or the one you’re currently reading?

To check out previous Soundtrack Saturday posts, click here.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sig aka Mom permalink
    February 19, 2011 1:38 pm

    I’m so glad you’ve discovered Hildegard! One of my voice teachers had Hildegard posters from Germany (where she has rock star status) all over her studio.

    She invented instruments, wrote music, had visions and was generally her own person. A true mystic.

  2. February 20, 2011 4:01 am

    Amazing song, though very different from what I normally listen to!

    I’m currently reading The Magicians and Mrs Quent and it’s making me want to listen to slightly baroque indie rock/pop along the lines of Rufus Wainwright’s Want albums.

  3. February 20, 2011 7:56 am

    please tell me how you hear about all this esoteric music??? here i was thinking i’m cool listening to the bee-gees AND the beastie boys. you’ve got me beat. lol. ascendant sounds good but i’m a bit off fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi right now so i’ll have to wait until i’m craving it again. :)

  4. February 20, 2011 11:12 am

    Hi, thanks for reading!

    Actually, I listened to a LOT of Hildegard von Bingen while writing RAMPANT and ASCENDANT. My favorite performances of her work are from the album LUX VIVENS by Jocelyn Montgomery and David Lynch (you can probably guess with Lynch as a producer that it’s got a lot of production flourishes, but I think it works great).

    I have an iTunes playlist that I listened to as I wrote (I called it “Unicorn Hunting Songs”) and “Et Ideo” “Clarissima” “Deus Enim” and “Battle and Aftermath” were all on it from that album. This one is great, too!

    Anyway, thanks for featuring Rampant and Ascendant on your blog. This is a really fun feature and I love your picks. (The Coheed and Cambria pick for Rampant was inspired.) FWIW, I also listened to “Free” by Illumine, “In the Walls” by Stella*Star, the Low Strung Cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You”, “Eternal Life” by Jeff Buckley…. okay, I’ll stop now. I have a rather long list, as it was a rather long book…

  5. February 20, 2011 2:03 pm

    Wow. This is truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing it ;)

  6. February 20, 2011 2:10 pm

    Sig/Mom – I thought her name sounded familiar, I’m sure I’ve heard you mention her before. Or it could just be I remember you talking about some other Hildegard, which is entirely possible.

    nymeth – Very different from what I usually listen to, too! I need to listen to more Rufus Wainwright. Going to look up the Want albums.

    Nat – Well, for this one, after sifting through my entire iTunes library, I googled “warrior princess song” and Hildegard was one of the results that came up :) When you’re back in the mood for some fantasy, I highly recommend picking these books up, especially the first one, Rampant.

    Diana – Thanks so much for stopping by! And thanks for sharing all those songs – I love hearing what music authors listened to while writing. I just looked up Low Strung’s “Fix You” cover. So good, it gave me chills! I’ll now be listening to it as I finish up Ascendant.

    Juju – You’re welcome – thanks for listening :)

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