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  • Writer's pictureTony Jackson

Solitude is a Fortress.

Updated: Jan 29

Solitude is a fortress, within which resides a complex and fragile domain of feelings and thoughts. What on earth do I mean? Allow me to explain. I listen to music as I go through the day. On walks, as I cook or clean or even as I go to sleep. I often listen to music as I study or work on a particular project as inspiration or when I wish to channel a certain feeling or mood. Utilising music in this way allows my imagination to thrive. In a way it is an extension of an idea or theme. It enables me to get a closer sense of a character, environment or situation. Often but not always, the music comes from a movie soundtrack but it can also come from classical, pop or video game music. Anything that ticks the box at that moment, fuels inspiration or empathy. In my mind I like to re-enact scenes from a movie or put myself in the shoes of a character, environment or situation and get carried away with ideas. Music can help transport me through time or into a different world. It can fill me with optimism or leave me despondent in a dystopian nightmare.

Video Credit to the London Symphony Orchestra Youtube Channel.

"The Fortress of Solitude" composed by John Williams, features in the 1978 film Superman. I revisited this beautiful piece of music at times when I have felt despondent or melancholy. The fortress of solitude is a place where Superman seeks comfort, advice and knowledge. It's in a remote place away from life and the closest link to his home planet that's all but lost. Its uninhabitable but comforting. Its haunting, terrifying but at the same time ethereal, all knowing and magical.

The title "the Fortress of Solitude" is a play on words with double meaning and symbolism. In the movie or comics it is an actual place. However, in reality, solitude can't possibly exist as a physical location and only exists within the confines of our own minds. Its abstract, subconscious and individual.

This privilege is not only reserved for superheroes. In fact it is a faculty attributed to all men and woman, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. Depending on your relationship with your inevitable solitude, it may be dark, scary and unknown or it could be a place of wonder, warmth and safety. One thing is for certain, no matter what you may think it is or isn't. Across unknown worlds and elaborate concepts. However believable or completely ludicrous. The entire domain contains every thought, feeling or possibility. An abstract domain of endless possibilities and complete dead ends.

Music has the ability to help you therapeutically and inspire and encourage your creativity and enjoyment. Superman, Starring Christopher Reeve, hit screens in 1978. As well as being a brilliant movie, Superman won many awards for its soundtrack by John Williams. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy classical movie music. John Williams has many award winning soundtracks to his name including, Indiana Jones an the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back and Schindlers List.

The list of inspirational music is endless. Sometimes its only one or two songs on an album or soundtrack that really hit the spot. I also enjoy music from the Final Fantasy Games by Nobuo Uematsu. Movie Soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, James Horner and many more. I have a liking for electronic/synthwave music. And of course music from different genres and points in time are a great source of reference but eek! Too many to mention. I hope you find inspiration like I have in this music and can master your solitude.

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