Inspiration comes from many places. The movies we see, the people we meet, the stories we read, the music we hear; they all affect us. One of those influences for Red Jade came from my friend, and composer, Jared Reed.
Our friendship started from a completely different direction. I was struggling through rampant insomnia and was looking for a non-medicated solution. I had no motivation to exercise on my own so I hired a trainer to put me through the paces. Jared showed up at my door and assessed my skill set. He asked me to do as many push-ups as possible and at the end of all of them he nodded his head and hesitantly stated, “We’ll… call that one.”
As he helped me grow physically stronger and develop more endurance, we talked about many things–mostly to distract me from the dreaded lunges and jogging. It turned out we both enjoyed fantasy and had played a number of the same video games, some Final Fantasy games included.
I forget the exact order of events, but one day I was joking around. What if there was some artifact that supplied an endless amount of water… but the caveat was that it only produced one drop at a time? Or a crystal of endless money, but at one coin per person, it wouldn’t really help much. After some rethinking, these ideas shifted into something workable and became a foundation for Red Jade.
Jared also shared with me one of his passions: music. He let me hear a few tracks and my eyes widened with excitement. Then I closed those blue orbs and listened. I let some characters run around while the music played and I could sense variations in the scenes. I talked about the ideas that were forming and Jared responded by sharing more music.
In some cases, the trading went in the other direction too. It wasn’t long before I was churning out chapters, telling the story that was in my head and heart. Jared read them and he turned to his craft and composed more music. It was a very exciting time.
As writers edit their work over and over, so too does Jared strive to perfect his music. He has posted a handful of tracks on his SoundCloud page at https://soundcloud.com/tetrasound/sets/red-jade. For now, we’re calling them Red Jade tracks because they were written during the creation of the series or were inspiration for parts of it. He has other music posted to his main soundcloud page too (https://soundcloud.com/tetrasound).
When you meet the characters in the story, you’ll recognize why Battle Dance fits Kitalla. Manjin, which doesn’t have a Red Jade name yet, calls to me a scene where the team is getting to know each other better, trading stories of themselves and planning their next moves. The track that touches me the most, however, is From the Ashes. I have listened to it countless times, often on repeat, where I sit back with my eyes shut tightly and I let the music take my soul for an enchanted ride.
Jared Reed composes and licenses soundtrack music for use in television, documentaries, movies, and video games.
You can find Jared at http://www.musicianspage.com/musicians/jaredreed