Garblog's Pages

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to create the ideal playlist for writing and editing | Rob Reinalda, Ragan's PR Daily

I'm constantly listening to music, at least when I'm in control of my sound environment. I play it on the main stereo system in my house, on the computer-connected stereo system in my study, on my iPod when I traveling long distances, on my Nano when I'm working out and commuting, in my car CD player or FM radio, on my clock radio when I'm in bed, on the TV when I'm watching music videos and concerts, at live concerts in the Seattle area, and at my sons' rock shows when they're performing locally.

So the headline for Reinalda's blog caught my attention. I already create a lot of playlists, by genre, artist, year, decade, event, weather, holiday, mood and so on. So I was curious what he would suggest.

My musical interests are broad -- ranging from classical and some contemporary instrumental to folk and world music, from some jazz and pop to alternative country and bluegrass, from classic and punk rock to alternative rock  and progressive metal. But I mostly listen to contemporary folk, alternative country, alternative rock, and progressive metal -- still quite a range.

I'm also curious about Reinalda's ideas because I'm seeking writing and editing work in the nonprofit field -- preferably in a regular workplace away from home but also in my home office as a freelancer writer. I want the music I'm hearing while working at home or on earphones somewhere else to enhance my work, not distract me from it.

Some of Reinalda's advice:
Heavy metal is out; rap, ditto. They simply are too intrusive, even if you like that sort of thing. Rock and pop songs generally also have lyrics, and lyrics distract. Particular songs, especially, could be detrimental to your work.
OK, none of Dream Theater's wonderfully stirring progressive metal.  And I don't listen to rap anyway.

But no music with lyrics? That's mostly what I listen to -- though I do not often listen intently to the lyrics; my ears and brain usually hear the singer as just another instrument in the mix.

But, ahem, Reinalda continues:
So, you wisely decide to stick with instrumentals.
Fortunately, he writes that new age and classical harpsichord music (I have some) can get repetitious and other worldly (my interpretation of his comments) after 15 minutes or so. And he advises not to even consider world music, suggesting that music you don't listen to very often isn't the best music to hear when you're trying to work.

He continues winnowing:
Pure editing, especially copy editing and proofing, calls for light classical; Beethoven and Wagner would unduly influence the editing process. You’d end up slashing entire paragraphs and rewriting key phrases in all caps. ...
Darn, I have that. But I guess hearing them would be like hearing my stirring Dream Theater.
So, how about some of Chopin’s gentler offerings? ... Mozart’s piano concerti fill the bill nicely, as well. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti provide an audio cocoon that’s ideal for editing.
OK, I have all that in my collection.
When you’re writing is probably the time you want smooth jazz: Vince Guaraldi, Laura Caviani, Oscar Peterson, and David Benoit are all excellent choices if you’re in a piano mindset — if you’re putting together a straight report, for example.
Can't say I have much smooth jazz (at least by those folks), though I have some other jazz pianists I could consider.
For more creative compositions, you’d probably want the sax’ appeal: Illinois Jacquet, Dave Koz. John Coltrane might be just too … too ... well, too Coltrane for work purposes.
Dang, I have Coltrane. I might try him anyway, despite Reinalda's concern.
Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond deliver both keyboard and brass, so if you’re betwixt and between, there’s your solution. “Audrey” and “La Paloma Azul” are particular favorites.
OK, I have Brubeck ...
Finally, organizing — such as filing, compiling To Do lists, rearranging stuff on your desktops (physical and computer) — might be the occasion for swing and Big Band. Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller all serve well ....
Let's see, I think have some swing and big band, but not by those guys. Don't listen to it much; maybe now's the chance. 

And then he lists some music by Perez Prado, Acker Bilk and Django Reinhardt. Can't say I have anything by them. But should I get any? I gotta think about that.

I wonder how pianist Keith Jarrett fits into Reinalda's suggestions? And Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. No Blue Rodeo, Dylan, Beatles, Dream Theater, R.E.M., Emmylou, Stones, Green Day, Tish Hinojosa, Lucinda, Steve Earle, Jayhawks, Neko, Old 97's, Wilco, Drive-by Truckers, Rosanne Cash, U2, Baez, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Brandi Carlile, Lovett, Pearl Jam, Springsteen ...

Guess I shouldn't have too much fun while working. But what about inspiration with intricately fingered acoustic guitars and melodic vocal harmonies or a pounding beat, deep bass and power chords?! What about influencing my creativity with that power?

Oh well ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...