Some people can’t have music on while they work. I think I’m the opposite; I have to have music on all the time while I work. I’m quite happy to be at home and not have music on, which I guess is weird in a way, but if I’m creating something I think I need the extra jolt to get me going – especially when doing graphic design stuff or writing.
It does influence the output though. I found Ani Difranco’s revelling/reckoning double album to be the most effective soundtrack for a while, but the resultant writing was quite melancholy and reflective – a lot like that album. While I was at Varuna I compiled a songlist that seems to help me get into a certain mood for this current book; again a little mellow and perhaps a little wistful. It includes Ani, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall, Bernard Fanning, Sufjan Stevens, Coldplay, Tori Amos, Ben Folds Five and others…on one level predictable (if you know me) but possibly an eclectic combination. I’m not sure. I just like what I like.
I think I may have found another new writing album – thanks to Parkinson, of all things, which was the least obnoxious TV option while I ate my lunch today. The musical act was Corinne Bailey Rae (right), and I was just struck by how incredibly beautiful she is and how simply she presented her song, Like a Star, which I’d never heard before. So I downloaded it from iTunes, and then by this evening I had to download the whole album because I couldn’t stop listening to that song. She has a really smooth yet slightly burnt caramel kind of a voice, and the songs are really kind of laidback and cruisy. And then – lo and behold – I started writing.
If music is what helps, then bring it on. I need all the help I can get!