1. D.C. Perry
    Offline

    D.C. Perry Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Blackfoot, ID, U.S.A.

    How Do You Music?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by D.C. Perry, Jun 25, 2014.

    Not too entirely sure if this is the correct thread, but here goes:

    For the sake of curiosity, what types of music do you listen whilst forging worlds with your keyboard? Trance, Ambient, Downtempo, New Age?

    I, if you care, have compiled a playlist with just about everything ever.
     
  2. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado
    Hank III
    The creepshow
    Marty Robbins
    and front line Assembly
    i can set any mood using those bands as my inspiration
     
  3. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    I tend to go through a list of albums that are recommended to me and/or widely critically praised, fail to be impressed by any one of them, get one of the songs stuck in my head three weeks later, listen again to the album where it came from, decide that I really like it, listen to some of the musician's other albums, and become obsessed with the musician. Then I outgrow that obsession and re-learn the same lesson that I have kept re-learning over and over again: that it is not about the people who make the music, but the music itself. The truly excellent music maintains a special place in my heart long after I care enough to remember who made it. Kind of like how books are just words that exist independently of (and even overshadow the significance of) the people who arranged them.

    It happened with Eminem, then Muse, then Bob Dylan, then Radiohead, then Bruce Springsteen, and currently The Rolling Stones. A few albums from each of them have remained among my favorites over the years, but when I listen to, for example, Highway 61 Revisited, I do not think "oh yeah, this is Bob Dylan"; I think, "wow, I forgot how powerful the piano melody is in Ballad of a Thin Man." Kind of like how one of the measures of a good book is that I can completely forget who the author is, and I can just focus on what each sentence personally means to me rather than wondering what the author was trying to communicate.

    This never happened with the Beatles, though, which surprised me, given how easily people seem to get obsessed with them. Rubber Soul is probably in my top ten albums, and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road are fascinating to listen to (not to mention some of their singles like Hey Jude and Yesterday), but I always just thought of the Beatles as "the people who made these great albums and singles" rather than thinking of Rubber Soul as "the best work by the Beatles, my musical idols". Kind of like how if someone asks me if I like a particular author, I would say "based on his books that I have read, not really", instead of, if someone asks me if I like a particular book, me saying "no, I do not care for that author."

    But speaking of The Rolling Stones, I have been listening to Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street very often over the past year. The idea for my current work in progress came to me when I was listening to Sticky Fingers, and since then, I have often listened to it while brainstorming. It seems to up my creativity and enthusiasm for idea development quite a bit. Plus, it is insanely fun to listen to, especially Brown Sugar. That song contains a certain chord progression that has helped me think through the emotional significance of one of the major plot points.

    So I guess I mainly listen to classic rock when writing or thinking about what I want to write. Even though classic rock albums generally give me the weakest first impression of any genre I listen to. They seem to have the most room to grow into, so to speak.

    It is impossible for me to pinpoint a particular genre of music or a particular band that helps me write. My brain is very... picky and temperamental about the melodies and harmonies that it latches onto, and they can appear in anything from Gregorian chants to death metal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
    123456789 likes this.
  4. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I usually prefer silence, but if I had to listen to music while writing, I'd pick something fairly abstract. Maybe modal jazz, like Miles Davis' Kind of Blue; maybe Bitches Brew; maybe some of McCoy Tyner's work. Maybe Pat Metheny or Keith Jarrett. I don't necessarily choose this kind of music to listen to when I want to listen to music, but it might be nice to write to.

    I could also write to classical music, I think, if it sounds intimate enough. Classical guitar would be good, or Beethoven's piano sonatas (I have a love for them).

    I once had a CD of Christmas music played on ancient instruments like old wood flutes and psalteries. It was gorgeous, ethereal, and unobtrusive - it would probably good to write to. I gave it to my sister once and she lost it, and I don't remember who made it or what the title was, so I can't find it again! Argh.

    I can't write to the music I most like to listen to. I'm a huge fan of classic rock, folk-rock, roots rock, and folk (American or Celtic, or almost anything else). Most of this is too rhythmic, too melodic, too obtrusive to write to. I have, however, heard some amazing folk guitar from John Fahey and others that would be wonderful to write to.
     
  5. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    I totally forgot to mention The Doors by The Doors. That is the truest psychedelic album that I have ever heard, in the sense that sounds like it could be the soundtrack to my dreams. (My dreams tend to be pretty trippy.)

    Sometimes I just lie down, close my eyes, relax, and listen to The End, and let the good ideas flow.

    Also, this is my unofficial theme song for my work in progress:



    It is eerily fitting to the story in so many ways: the lyrics (which actually take on a dark and ironic twist of meaning in the context of the story), the simple and delicate instrumentation, and the vocals that are simultaneously wistful, tired, and soulful.
     
    Poziga likes this.
  6. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,821
    Likes Received:
    7,347
    Location:
    Scotland
    I usually don't listen to music when I write.

    However, sometimes it helps if music that is pertinent to what I'm writing (my main character is musically inclined) goes on for a while before I start writing.

    If I need to drown out noise while actually writing (the foremost being the ubiqitous ice-cream vans that circle the house like a pack of tweedling hyenas) it's always classical music. For some reason it's usually Borodin chamber music, or some fabulous classical/Spanish guitar music by Michael Chapdelaine.

    I listen to all sorts of music for pleasure, but writing requires something different. Background, but mood-setting. Absolutely NO songs, just instrumentals. And the instrumentals need to be even-toned. Chamber music or classical guitar music is ideal.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,728
    Likes Received:
    4,826
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Yes. Vocals - lyrics - get in the way horribly. Even-toned instrumentals with unobtrusive instruments are the best.
     
    jannert likes this.
  8. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Slovenia
    @daemon I loove Bioshock Infinite. The story is fascinating! :)

    Sometimes I write in silence and sometimes I write with music as a background. But if i listen to music I have it on very low volume.

    I like this the most while writing; electro swing (Parov Stelar) or Gramatik (I don't know what genre he plays :p).

     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  9. HelloThere
    Offline

    HelloThere Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    240
    I don't normally listen to music while I write, but I recently was inspired by this really gritty , dark and nihilistic song by "Electric Wizard." I wanted to capture the atmosphere of it, I don't think I have but it got me set out on a story at least.
     
  10. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    1,297
    Same here ;) Sometimes I can get away with lyrics from a language I don't understand, so that I here the "lyrics" more as sounds than as words, but I try to keep to the instrumentals as much as possible.
     
  11. Chesster
    Offline

    Chesster Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Midlands UK
    I would struggle to focus with music playing, being a huge fan and a musician.
    My study is stacked with books, a desk, a computer, recording equipment, mic and mic stand, 5 guitars, harmonica's, violin, bass guitar and drum kit. So music would only make me swivel in my chair, grab a guitar and jam away with whatever was on. I would get nothing done, so I am a writer who benefits from silence.

    But just to add to the pot, my music interests are the beat groups of the 60's, folk, blues, the big guitar stuff of Hendrix, Page, Clapton. Old reggae and ska (trojan stuff), and maybe from the last 20 years, some grunge, britpop and indie. Basically music that has a feeling, and music that has been played physically. Electronic acts just don't do it for me.
     
  12. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,913
    Likes Received:
    10,104
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    If music is going to be (it's usually not) it must be chillaxed, at a low volume, no lyrics at all, or lyrics in a foreign language that I don't speak. I have a playlist filled with purely instrumental numbers by Thievery Corporation, Zero 7... that kind of thing.
     
  13. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389
    Post-grunge alt. rock. And normal alt. rock too, I guess. I like to write with music, usually pretty loud, too. I find that it silences my worry-wart, letting me actually get some words down.

    I bought some Snow Patrol and Kodaline recently. They're mainstream, but I love them. Of course, my complete collection of Our Lady Peace is always on the go. I love how ominous the songs are; they get me in the mood.
     
  14. HealSomeBabies
    Offline

    HealSomeBabies Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Nor Cali
    Music I listen to while writing is music I like in general.

    Some ambient black metal , to bring darkness and intrigue:
    Arcana
    Saor
    Wolves in the Throne Room
    Altar of plagues
    Primordial

    When I want something more aggressive:
    Mastodon
    Cormorant
    Belakor
    Kvelertak
    Opeth

    Harsh music tends to have more "texture" I feel. I like to make it semi-loud to immerse myself and really crystallize the mood to tell the scenes in a way I want.
     
  15. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    I guess that describes my listening habits in a nutshell, too. Music that I like in general tends to equate to music that stimulates the mental processes that help me write.
     
  16. archerfenris
    Offline

    archerfenris Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I was listening to "Gasoline" by Seether when I came up with the idea about a woman whose vanity destroys her. Thus my short story "The Hairbrush" was born.

    Mostly though, while I write I listen to classical or Irish folk or something. No lyrics.
     
  17. HealSomeBabies
    Offline

    HealSomeBabies Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Nor Cali
    The best.
     
  18. BookLover
    Offline

    BookLover Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    186
    I like calming music when I write. No lyrics. Usually classical although sometimes I just listen to "nature sounds" with some instruments in the background.

    I'm kind of intrigued by those of you that listen to loud music with lyrics. I want to try that now just to see what kind of an effect it has on my writing.
     
  19. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    It takes quite a bit of getting used to, and it still distracts me more often than it helps me write. Music is most effective when I am free-writing or outlining, which I seem to do more often than I write narrative anyway.

    However, there is one album -- Nevermind -- that always helps me program. Not the best for debugging or complex problem solving, but it is impressive how much code I can churn out between Smells Like Teen Spirit and Endless, Nameless.
     
  20. Retro Rebel
    Offline

    Retro Rebel New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Mostly Uplifting Trance & Space Music
     
    NanashiNoProfile likes this.
  21. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    I tend to prefer typing without music, but Stormbringer by Deep Purple is the inspiration behind my current work in progress.
     
  22. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado
    I'm amazed at the amount of people that don't listen to music while they write or just instrumentals. I have to have lyrics, silence would drive me crazy
     
    ISlaybeasties and cynthia_1968 like this.
  23. cynthia_1968
    Offline

    cynthia_1968 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    I like to listen to Heather Nova, Jimi Hendrix, Blue Oyster Cult and Nirvana... real loud - also when I program; which is also some sort of writing if you ask me. Only different, I know.

    I cannot stand silence, it drives me nuts...

    But my old man don't like rock music so I compromise with soul and funk or I use a headphone.

    Yes, I know... I'm a bit weird. But in a cute way :rofl: (I hope).:pop:
     
  24. NanashiNoProfile
    Offline

    NanashiNoProfile Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Scotland
    I listen to a variety of things as I write. Somehow, I have managed to find a song that has inspired me for most of the 50-odd chapters I have planned out for my current story.

    Usually instrumental/electronic stuff is good. I've found that Jon Hopkin's soundtrack for Monsters is a fantastic aid to writing, but it isn't very long. Other good mentions go to Faunts, M83, Observer Drift, HEALTH, blindoldfreak, Brian Eno, Sigur Ros, Boards of Canada, and many film soundtracks (Dredd, Solaris, Sunshine etc).

    I couldn't imagine writing without music, but do tend to avoid lyrics where possible as I have a habit of turning my writing into accidental dictation...
     
  25. Wowzie
    Offline

    Wowzie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Sometimes I sit with a guitar and strum it until I find the right mood for writing.
     

Share This Page