Aural Autumn: Weese

Do you know what Urban Dictionary defines “weese” as?

The guiding spirit, the worldly conscience, the reason for your existence. Without the Weese, we could not thrive, but without us, there would be no Weese at all.

I hope that one day this definition will become widely accepted.

Hello and welcome to my final entry in this year’s Aural Autumn series. It’s a bittersweet night, since I’ve grown close to both my Sounds of Summer and Aural Autumn posts over the past six months. In both, I’ve shared the sounds of music that have guided me throughout my writing journey. These songs are not just slots in a writer’s playlist, however; they’ve also become some of the biggest stepping-stones in my walk of life.

Tonight, I bring you a piece from the band Hammock. This duo has long accompanied me through all the twists and turns that the last few years have brought. When my father passed away, I found comfort and commemoration in “Andalusia” and “A Secret Hiding in the Open.” When I was busy churning out the last paper of my master’s program, I had “Just Before Breathing” and “Then the Quiet Explosion” on repeat until I was sure both songs had been permanently etched into my ear drums. When I felt like I’d never get a full-time job, “Still Point” helped me to find peace and self-assurance.

But “Weese,” tonight’s song, has done something else entirely for me.

“Weese” can be found on the soundtrack for a little-known indie movie called Columbus, which was released in August of this year. Side note: Do yourself a favor and watch Columbus as soon as you can. John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson give knockout performances, and the framing of almost every scene is majestic. There are so many shots that display wonders of both architecture and landscapes. I can guarantee that you’ll feel like you’re in a dream while watching this flick.

Columbus Wide Angle Shot

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Columbus Kitchen Shot

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In writing and revising The Swarm and the Flyer (formerly titled Stalder Press to Handstand), I felt at a bit of a loss. I wanted to include a love scene between the two main characters, but several things were holding me back: modesty, concern over if my story could handle an additional theme, and doubt. Plus, it’s the apocalypse. Who would have time to have sex? These were all valid questions. However, when I plugged in my ear buds and tuned in to “Weese,” my uncertainty was wiped away. I found my own answers with ease, instead of trying to force them into this plot cookie cutter mold. My muse took over, and I wrote something that is both moving and deeply intimate.

Tranquility can be found in every second of this song. It’s helped me to tap into my own still point with a gentle curiosity, much like I do during yoga or meditation. My hope now is that, as I continue to write and edit, I will keep channeling this sense of sacred love and hope into the rest of my story — and the sequel, too. After all, there has to be enough closure and harmony to balance out the horrors of the Swarm, the Wrath, and Rayland Mark Calderón’s battle against Reg Alteo. It all begins here, on this final night of my 2017 Aural Autumn series.

Haley Lu Richardson Columbus

To those who have supported my Sounds of Summer and Aural Autumn series, thank you. I love sharing music with you all, and I look forward to finding even more beautiful melodies in the coming year. There’s no shortage of inspiring writing (and thinking) music out there, and I hope that you’ll join me again in just a few months. In the meantime, take care, and may you find peace and inspiration in all of these musical notes 🙂


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