Friday, April 15, 2011

M - Music

I can't write without music.

At the same time, I can't write with new music in the background. Unless it's classical. I pay too much attention to lyrics.

What I need is a single tune from an artist that I already know well, if not by heart. I set it on repeat, and let it play in the background. I know is said and no longer pay attention to it over what I'm writing.

This means, of course, that I have a couple favourite. Often, the lyrics relate to writing (yes, despite not listening to them, I pick lyrics related to writing). At others, it's the sheer awesomeness of the music that gets me.

 I worked it down to three, only one of which is from Quebec (that's a little miracle. Most of my playlist comes from Quebec).

Bullets, by Tunng
 I don't know what about this tune gets me. It's a little on the crazy side, it's upbeat, there's a lot of weird sounds, the rhythm is good and the end blends seamlessly with the beginning. Great for a single-tune loop.

Le Vertige, Karkwa

I love Karkwa. Seriously, all-on groupie love. I never miss a concert and keep playing their discs. When I write, I use either Le Vertige (it has 1488 hits on my iTunes, gives you an idea), L'Acouphène, or La façade. I could only find the latter on the tube but there you go:

Philip Glass
No specific music here. I love Philip Glass. Anything I've heard from it. He made the music from Koyaanisqatsi, along with many concertos and operas. I love the rhythm in his work, the almost mathematical frequency of sounds. It's weird and awesome, and makes for a great ambiance.

So that's it! I could have put twenty and more tunes is, but I reserve my fangirly love for music from Quebec for another time. These are what I listen to during my writing.

What do you listen to? Or do you prefer silence?


  1. Depending upon what is going on in the story at the time is how I choose my writing music. Classical piano music is always inspiring.

  2. I need silence when I write, but I listen to music when I am plotting, planning, outlining, or just thinking about my story.

  3. I usually like it quiet when I write, but I love to rock out (if 55 yr old women really do that sorta thing) whenever I do housework.
    I like Nickleback, Train, Amos Lee, and Norah Jones- just to name a few.
    Enjoyed "Bullets"!

  4. I can't write to music, but I do write to get in the mood. I have two major WIPs right now. For one I listen to Florence + The Machine, and for the other it's The Black Keys.

  5. Uh-oh, not enough sleep again. That should say I listen to music to get in the mood to write. Nap time.

  6. Margo: I like Florence and the Machines too. Not "Listen to them all the time" like, but my sister does a lot, and I enjoy when they play in the background.

    Rae: Judging from my mom, 55 year old women can indeed rock. ^^ And yeah, I turn the volume up with housework too.

  7. Margo: I have one Florence and the Machines song on my iPod that I listen to a lot. I haven't found any other songs that I like as well but I want to like them. My husband is a HUGE Black Keys fan. Huge.

  8. Oh, Sommer, which song is it? I'm curious as to whether it's one of my favorites, too. Yay, Black Keys. Their albums are unusual for me in that I either love or can't stand their songs, nothing in between. I love "Things Ain't Like They Used to Be" and "Ten Cent Pistol".

  9. F+theMachines FTW! Sommer, is it Kiss with a Fist? A bit angry, but good. :)

    I need to have classical music when writing. Sometimes, I can get into Loreena McKinnett but her stuff was more for my older WIP and not the current one. I've been looking for something to go with my current WIP.

  10. *Snap* I can't write unless I classical music is playing in the background. It seems to assist in the easy flow of words.

  11. I love to write with music and share favourites at my blog. I have elaborate playlists on iTunes and my iPod.

  12. thanks for introducing me to some new music. I almost always have jazz on when in my studio. Have a creative weekend.

  13. Stratoz: Oh, Jazz must be great for writing, too!

    Cole: Elaborate playlists? Check! ;)

    Ann: It does, yeah. I find I have the same effect with any music I know well.