Dirty Projectors are an art-rock band from Brooklyn. In 2017 they decided to record Rise Above, a album that covered all the songs from Damaged, the 1981 debut album by hardcore punk-icons Black Flag.
Except here's the thing: although they were familiar with Black Flag's album, they decided to record their version without re-listening the source material. Instead, their album would be based only on their memories of the original. They'd filter Damaged through a sieve of time, recollection and perspective, and then they'd use the instruments they had at hand to recreate what they could of it. What came out was a ghost of Black Flag's original: stripped back, fuzzily-remembered elements reborn in a more acoustic context. It's a neat idea explored in this Indyweek article.
It got me thinking about writing equivalents. What if one tried rewriting a poem from memory? A short story from memory? Could the experiment create something of legitimate value? Hmmm. Not likely, but it's a prospect that led me to another thought experiment: what if one tried writing a story using the hazily-understood narrative framework of another tale? It would have to be a story-shape that was incompletely perceived, filtered through one's own perspective. It'd be - ahem - Damaged.
Then I figured out how it could be made to work. You could choose the soundtrack to a film or TV show that you hadn't seen and, using the aural cues and track titles only, build and write a story that matched the shape as well as the colour, texture and tone of the music you were listening to. You might hear threat, suspicion, conflict, retribution or triumph. You could build something new.
I've chosen a composer and a soundtrack and I'm listening now as I write.
I know nothing about the show (movie? TV drama?) and I won't be sticking it into a search engine and corrupting my perception, so no hyperlinks folks. It's called Nox. It might be notoriously bad, renowned in some way beyond my ken... I just don't know. It's French, so the track titles don't help much (with a few brave exceptions - 'Morgue' for example, 'La sextape de Julie' or 'Face a face: Catherine vs Nox.') I have mood and tone (this is the music for a psychological thriller, surely) I have character names and I have disturbing-looking scenes accompanied by dissonant piano and strings.
What I don't yet have is Julie's sex-tape scene sorted out...