Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Writing Music

Over the years, I've had periods when I've paid attention to the music I often have on VERY quietly while writing, and periods when I have not. There was a nice time long ago, when I had Fiona Apple and Bowie's Hours on random mix, that worked curiously well.

Of late, it's been seventies easy/funky rock - Gerry Rafferty, Atlanta Rhythm Section, that sort of thing. This is among the many kinds of music I grew up on, but not exactly because it was anyone's "thing" particularly. It's good stuff, often really good stuff (not quite the white bread same thing, but another groove I really love - Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine, or just about any track of his).

Something about the buzzing funk but the soft rock goes-down-easy-ness of this music really works for me creatively. It reverts me out of the present time, almost firmly taking me out of my own head and sitting me down with a rhythm that can be dramatic, but also comes to the calling. It's easy and crunchy at once - the echoing rasp of "Driver's Seat" opening up a space for my creativity to work - or the infectious but gentle "Couldn't Get it Right" bouncing my brain along.

For the writers amongst my readers - or just for those who like to work with music propelling their time along, especially the work days - what is the soundtrack of your productivity?


Colin Smith said...

The soundtrack of my creativity? White noise. I can't work to either silence or music. Music especially. I'm a musician who plays a lot by ear, so if there's music playing while I try to do anything that involves deep thinking or creativity, it stymies me. Too distracting. Even if it's not music I particularly enjoy. White noise creates a barrier between my imagination and the outside world, and lets it roam free without the pull of an interesting chord progression, or a familiar tune, or someone else's words.

But that's just me, it seems. So many writers have soundtracks and playlists for their writing. Frankly, I'm a little envious of them, because I love music and I wish I could listen while I write. But sadly, no. I have to restrict my music listening to times when I'm either doing nothing else but listening to music, or doing activities that don't require a lot of creative thinking, like gift wrapping or exercising. :)

DLM said...

The too-distracting aspect makes a lot of sense; I have a background (years elapsed, but deep in its day) that actually makes live theater hard on my nerves. Indeed, sometimes even movies and TV are hard for me because specifics of performance or production design attract my attention and take me out of the story. (See my post on Glottal Starts for an example: http://dianelmajor.blogspot.com/2016/05/glottal-start.html)

Look at the envy you suffer this way: how many of us are envious of the skills and abilities of musicians?? You are able to do things so many people cannot!