I’ve been re-reading the Shannara books lately and I just finished the Wish Song of Shannara, which has always been one of my favorites of Terry Brooks’s books. Something which always fascinated me about the book was the description of the wish song, which allowed a character to sing illusions and/or possibilities into reality. Reading that book was what inspired me to explore the combination of magic and music, especially via singing.
One of my first experiments with music and magic involved the creation of an entity that could was activated by signing or vibrating its name. I found it to be very useful, because I simply had to vocally sign the name in order to activate it. That was inspired by the Wishsong, and also by William Gray’s writing on vocalization. But if I hadn’t read wishsong, I wouldn’t have thought to explore that direction. While I knew, after reading the book, that I couldn’t do what the characters could do, I still felt inspired by the idea of incorporating my voice into magical work.
Even now I continue to experiment with my voice and magical work. I’ve been practicing throat singing, and also even trying different tongue positions in combination with vocalization to see how it changes the tone and vibration of the sounds. This is especially useful when doing invocations because it allows you to sonically and vibrationally connect with the entity you want to work with.
This is why I love pop culture. It can inspire exploration and experimentation. Most books on magic don’t talk about music and magic all that much and so for me my inspiration came from reading a fantasy book that provided an idea I could explore in my magical work.