music to write to...

i am in an advanced state of procrastination, so i figured i'd be a little less lurky and more talky. i've made quite a habit of getting myself into situations where i am required to write long, esoteric essays. as a result, i have a list of music that helps me write (or, instead, makes me happily forget, if but for a moment, that i am sitting in front of piles of books, photocopied essays, diet coke cans, pens of different colours, and my infernal computer).

i'd be interested in any further suggestions so as to add to the list. someone really should do a "music to write to" blogariddims. i'd find that useful. anyhow, here we go--i am resisting pairing the albums with the subjects i was writing about at the time--i've classed them according to the years of my major writing periods instead. man, i'm a nerd:

2000-2001
1. e luxo so : labradford
2. royal astronomy : mu-ziq (especially "the fear")
3. selected ambient works : aphex

2003-2004
4. kind of blue : miles davis
5. fabric live 12 : bugz in the attic
6. benji b's year end deviation from 2003 (at www.discontinued.cx)

today
7. aman iman : tinariwen
8. untrue : burial
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Actually I can't really write and listen to music so my contribution to this thread will have to be a bit minor.

Do you find it easier to listen to stuff without lyrics / stuff which isn't mad crazy?
 

mos dan

fact music
wow, great question/thread. my answer is not very interesting: it's just

EVERYTHING. LOUD. ALL THE TIME.

occasionally i have to draw for instrumental music - normally hatcha's practice hours or my shostakovich/bach cds (big up the severely limited classical collection cru), when i really need to focus.

or if it's a two hour deadline ting i do sometimes work in silence. then all i can hear is the sound of my own panic, it's not nice.

this relates to why i hate transcribing interviews so much. sitting there for hours fast forwarding/rewinding through your subject's inane ramblings and the sound of your own, horrible, alien voice is awful enough in its own right, but not being able to listen to music while doing it is just doubly brutal.
 
S

simon silverdollar

Guest
if i could change one thing about myself, it would be to have the ability to work and listen to music. it'd make everything so much easier. oddly, though, i can work very fast when surrounded by industrial noises like tube train rumble and whoosh. perhaps i just need to listen to merzbow or something, and then i'll be able to work to that...
 

nomos

Administrator
wow, great question/thread.
I know exactly where you're coming from erin. I think I use music the way other people use coffee because it gets me moving and focussed without causing jitters. I wrote most of my MA thesis listening to early-90s hardcore and darkside mixes, especially Bassnation's 'hardcore rewind' series. The absolutely manic stuff seems to occupy that part of my brain that would otherwise cause distractions, letting the thinky part get down to business. I put it on repeat and go for hours. I was pretty warped after a winter of it though.

Generally I can't have lyrics when I'm writing. And slow stuff doesn't tend to work although the oozing drone of Stereolab's Peng! used to work for me.
 
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swears

preppy-kei
I used to listen to a CD-R of this while writing crap, repetitive essays on the Great Vowel Shift or Louis XIV in sixth form.
(Hmmm...how can I pad this rambling drivel out to 2500 words?)

I thought I was soooo cool.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
I prefer no music for writing... was known to break out Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 during undergrad though...
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
Main

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_(band)

and instrumental dub to write to, some Lamonte Young, some Terry Riley. Main are fucking brilliant as late night writing music. The music gets more high-falutin the more high-falutin the writing! During editing my last film it was the Newham Generals rinse shows, anything with alot of space in it I find really useful.

Lately it's been all of the early Wu-Tang, but instrumental versions, some Lord Finesse, J-Dilla, Premier, again all instrumentals, again trying to find space in my head via the music.
 
well...i'm done with the writing. for now, that is.

jaylib used to work for me too, come to think of it.

dan, i know exactly how you feel about transcribing. it has to be the absolute worst. the only thing that beats it in terms of plain horribleness is when you have to translate and listen to your own horrible inanity in a language other than your mother tongue. it's worse than the absolute worst.

well, running out the door to lamely celebrate my small victory--perhaps i'll think of more to say later.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
dan, i know exactly how you feel about transcribing. it has to be the absolute worst.
A nightmare! That’s why I practise Dave Remnick’s approach of only scribbling down select key words as mementoes.

Sadly, music seems to intrude on the very parts of my brain most dearly needed when writing. It’s like the ultimate creativity jammer. I do, however, listen to snippets of it in between writing.
 

Alfons

Way of the future
Anything with vocals distracts me too much, I listen to a lot of techno/minimal when Im writing, ambient too and jazz sometimes. Every so often I put a trip from soundtransit on while Im working (soundtransit.nl)
 

Pangaea

Active member
haha, this thread is very relevant to me at the moment - essay crisis, with a sickening amount of words to research and write in the next few weeks. i'm not too good at writing with music on, but i'm resorting to it to avoid 'hearing the sound of my own panic' as someone said :eek:

today:
fennesz & sakamoto - cendre (about three times)
burial - untrue (a bit distracting, ended up listening to it)
colleen - les ondes silencieuses
lopus - glow

someone please start a thread about tips for writing good essays quickly...:eek:
 

mos dan

fact music
haha, this thread is very relevant to me at the moment - essay crisis, with a sickening amount of words to research and write in the next few weeks. i'm not too good at writing with music on, but i'm resorting to it to avoid 'hearing the sound of my own panic' as someone said :eek:

today:
fennesz & sakamoto - cendre (about three times)
burial - untrue (a bit distracting, ended up listening to it)
colleen - les ondes silencieuses
lopus - glow

someone please start a thread about tips for writing good essays quickly...:eek:
ah, go on then.. http://dissensus.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=6996 :)
 

sing_minimal

Well-known member
tosha suiho - die vier jahreszeiten in kyoto

Don Cherry & Masahiko Togashi & Charlie Haden - Session in Paris, Vol. 1: Song of Soul

masahiko togashi - ring

The Masters of Meian-ryu, Kimpu-ryu, Tozan-ryu, and Kikusui-ryu - Japanese Masterpieces for the Shakuhachi


you know..zen music : )
 

slim jenkins

El Hombre Invisible
I've written my novel to:

Naked Lunch soundtrack
Tangerine Dream
Charlie Parker
Hoodoo Zephyr - John Adams
Man In Space With Sounds (Inst) - Attilio Mineo
Harmonic 33
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Music Of The Future - Desmond Leslie
Bach's suites for solo cello
FSOL
Spillaine & The Bribe - John Zorn
Varese
Cecil Taylor
 

Melmoth

Bruxist
Field recordings worked for me when I was finishing my D.Phil: Chris Watson7s two albums, some of the sublime frequencies stuff (Bush Taxi Mali, Broken Hearted Dragoflies).

Also the Ocora Voice of the Tantra from Gyuto.
 

tom pr

Well-known member
if i could change one thing about myself, it would be to have the ability to work and listen to music.
I think this too a lot of the time. It has to be silence or I just can't do it.

Oddly enough I'm completely different when it comes to reading. If I have stuff to read, my favourite thing to do is go to a pub, get a Guiness and stick Selected Ambient Works (the first one, homie) on some headphones. Maybe get some nachos when I'm half way through. I'd love to say I go to the sea-front and read, but it's so, so cold there...

As for transcribing, it seems that the only thing you can't send from my new phone to my computer are recorded conversations, and there's no fwd/rwd option when you're playing them on the phone. So when I mishear something, I have to play the whole thing again from the beginning...
 
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