Sunday, 24 May 2009

Mind Massage Music Please.

I cannot write in the absence of sound. It would be an impossibility, anyhow, given that I live over a main shopping street. However, that is not the point.

If I do attempt to compose in silence I cannot concentrate. My mind wanders away to chase one butterfly after another until it is over the hill and faraway. It needs a background noise to fight against, and it is only in this contest does it succeed in focusing on the matter in hand.

The sound I choose varies according to my purpose. If I am creating the story, in other words, in the process of developing a passage where there is a need for lateral thought, I like the sound of the human voice, so I will listen to a radio drama. I find the voices in the background promote associated thoughts and ideas for my own work.

If I know precisely what is happening on paper and it is only a question of setting it down, or if I am redrafting my work, as now, voices are too diverting - their words clash with mine - so I listen to music.

The music I find the best aid to concentration in these circumstances was discovered after much experimentation while writing my MA dissertation.

It cannot involve the human voice for aforementioned reasons. Neither, must it be too strident or explosive for similar reasons. Rock music is out.

Step forward Joseph Haydn with his violin and cello concertos. They are gentle, soothing and upbeat, subtle and intelligent. They massage the grey cells.

I would love to find more music with similar qualities. Unfortunately, I am something of a dunce when it comes to music. At the moment, I am listening to Handel's last opera, Admeto, on BBC Radio 3. It's not doing the job. Too much emotion.

Any music buffs out there have any suggestions?



Girl On The Run said...

What about the Sally Army Band?

Lane said...

Apart from Radio 3, I've no suggestions I'm afraid.

I can't have music on in any shape or form whilst writing. I just latch onto it. Isn't it interesting how different people's minds work:-)

Jon M said...

Lute music does it for me but no human voice stuff, total distraction!

Kingsdowner said...

Great thought-provoking blog - I'll be revisiting!

In earlier times, I needed quiet to work (possibly because I resented the intrusion of work on serious listening), but gradually I've adapted - I find that tricky problems are best tackled with complex music playing... contemporary jazz etc. The mind is not distracted by catchy choruses so stays with the matter in hand.

DOT said...

Thank you GOTR, I will sponsor the Sally Army to play outside of my window every time I am writing.

Lane, I find Radio FIP, the French station, the best - no voices, just an eclectic mix of music.

Jon and Kingsdowner, you are both so annoying - suggest some tracks, artists please - I am a serious dunce. Most of my friends are musicians and I have no idea what they are talking about most of the time so am too shy to ask :)

sexy said...
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