I grew up with the mentality that in order to work silence is important. While growing up, the idea of listening to music when doing homework would have been deemed as unreasonable or ridiculous by my school teachers.
When I am practicing yoga, I prefer silence because the point of yoga is to pay attention to my mind, thoughts, and meditate. When I am deep in my meditation, I find music a distraction or an unnecessary nuisance. I can’t stand it when yoga teachers play music in classes. If that happens, I end up taking a spot in the back row, so that I can tune out of it or not show up to class the next time.
As for doing creative work like painting, anything goes because painting doesn’t require the concentration and close attention that writing requires.
When it comes to writing, I need a space that is free of distractions. Yet, I want something to fill the void. Stephen King is said to listen to Metallica when writing. I can completely imagine that. As for me, that wouldn’t work, it’d be too distracting.
I wonder if it has to do with the tone and style of writing. The style of my novel is sensual, passionate and mostly takes place in urban cosmopolis. It has a sophisticated, cultured voice. I describe it as “chick-lit,” but for educated, cultured, young women but it’s never stuffy or pretentious.
When I am writing, I want the type of music that invokes the idea of cosmopolitan, classy, urban settings. It’s the kind of music that is upbeat, sophisticated, and has some sensuality or sultry tones to it. It’s passionate, energetic, and upbeat. And most importantly, it cannot have spoken words or lyrics. Music with spoken lyrics tends to be very distracting when I write. I want to have the space to meditate on the words that I compose with my laptop. I want something like Pink Martini but without spoken lyrics. And for gat’s sake, no sleepy elevator music.
So I discovered Al Di Meola. He’s a guitarist and his music is what I’ve been looking for. It helped me through writing a difficult chapter.
I went to Pandora and created an Al Di Meola station to unearth other hidden goodies like Gipsy Kings, Strunz & Farrah, and Paco De Lucia.