maura @ 3:35 pm
I don’t need to listen to music every time I’m writing, but if I’m writing anything long form I definitely need music. Lately the only writing music I can listen to is Orbital. The mostly instrumental, techno dance music thing keeps me moving when I slow down, and seems to give my brain just enough to chew on to keep distraction at bay (most of the time).
I first started listening to Orbital when I was writing my dissertation. They quickly took their place within the regular rotation alongside the Beastie Boys and other 90s dance staples like Muziq and the Chemical Brothers. While the Beasties were a huge help with motivation, I was surprised to find that the instrumental techno music also had a pretty enormous impact on my productivity. The samples are clever but not so overwhelming that my brain needs to think about where they came from, which happens with some music (Girl Talk, for example). The melodies are mostly upbeat, which is important when you’re facing a mountain of writing. I often found myself listening to the same Orbital record on repeat for hours as I trucked through loads of descriptive text about the numbers and kinds of animal bones we found on site and what they could mean.
Since then, Orbital’s In Sides and The Middle of Nowhere have been my go-to records for getting writing done. But when I started on the book I’m writing with my research partner at the beginning of the summer, it was clear that I’d need more, more, more! I bought a couple additional mp3 albums with an iTunes card my sister gave me for my birthday (thanks Kie!), though sadly they were the only 2 records available on iTunes that we don’t have yet. The problem with the ability to buy records instantly online is that you get used to it, and it’s easy to get all annoyed an ungrateful when the exact record you want isn’t available.
Still, 2 new albums and 2 that we already had but I forgot about should take me pretty far in writing this book. And if not, there are still 3 more to go.