I prefer to have music on when I work. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing either. Mixing concrete, designing websites or building cars, work is always better with great tunes. It’s a way to shut out the world around you. Its stimulating and inspiring for me. I know others want silence or the noise of the outside world. I want a cocoon of aural epiphany.
Immersed in song, I can focus in on a singular thing better. As counterintuitive as it seems, the noise of music narrows my focus and prevents things from distracting me, keeping me on point and on task. I get more done when I lose the world to music.
As much as I love wordsmithing, the lyrical content is seldom important to me. It is either so great or completely terrible before I even pay attention to it. I feel like most lyrics are bad poetry made palatable by a great hook, riff or beat. I would say maybe three lyricists have ever struck me as real poets. Leonard Cohen, Warren Zevon, and Ronnie James Dio. There are a few who strike gold on regular occasion, Scott Ian, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, but it’s not like I’d read a book of poems by them. Mostly lyrics are cliche and trite, things we all feel and have expressed a million times but with the right key or tempo feels right with the song. So I seldom allow the words to pull me from my craft.
When I’ve got good music that fits my mood, it’s like a fugue state where time ceases to matter and I can just be. The worlds that reside in my head can fall onto the page and I can rest when I free them. It’s a satisfying hollow. Music, coffee and a safe fearless space help to create. It leaves me wanting that I had a real talent for music. I don’t but I can use its gifts to aid me where my talents do lie.
I’m curious, creative types, where do you find solace and inspiration to follow your process? What helps you create? Am I alone in this?