I don't mean as a gamer. I mean he's from the Old School. He cannot listen to music while he is working and cannot multitask in any way. He absolutely cannot abide the fact that I can and will listen to music while I work. There is an immediate frown on his face when he walks into my office and music is playing, regardless of what kind of music.
On the other hand, I often find it impossible to work without music of some kind. My parents were much like my boss is now--they could not tolerate music playing while I was studying.
A Facebook post last week from an author-acquaintance of mine got me thinking; he asked what his friends liked to listen to while writing. He had his own list, a list that had some fairly predictable items on it for a SF&F author, including Lord of the Rings, Aliens and Braveheart; it also had some interesting items as well, such as There Shall Be Blood and [shudder] High School Musical.
And that's when I was able to put into words something I have known for years and years: Music is food for my Muse.
So I started looking at what I like to listen to while I work and write. As I started to catalogue it, I realized that much more of it was made up of soundtracks than I realized. This surprised me, simply because in my younger days I was quite selective about the soundtracks I purchased. It really had to speak to me and not just be "music from the movie." Until a few years ago, I believe I had less than ten soundtracks in my collection.
Most of the albums are on this list, primarily, I think, because (a) they have no words to distract or confound your own writing and thoughts and (b) they are at any given time dramatic, romantic, moody, joyful, triumphant, melancholy, epic, dynamic, and evocative. This is especially true of the soundtracks, of course.
Anyway, here is a list of what I like to listen to, or at least, what I've been listening to in the last 12 months. I'd like to see what you all feed your muse, or even IF you feed your muse. [Note: These are listed in alphabetical order, for ease of reference, rather than preference or any other method.]
- Dances with Wolves, by John Barry
- Doctor Who--Series 3, by Murray Gold
- The Wolfman, by Danny Elfman
- Braveheart, by James Horner
- The Dark Crystal, by Trevor Jones
- The Lord of The Rings, by Howard Shore
- Bladerunner, by Vangelis
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, by Various Artists
- X-Files: I Want to Believe, by Various Artists
- Apurimac, by Cusco
- One More Trip to Birdland, by Maynard Ferguson & Big Bop Nouveau
- The View From Here, by Matt Flinner
- Benny Goodman
- Peer Gynt, by Edvard Grieg
- Deep Breakfast, by Ray Lynch
- Canyon Trilogy, Vol. 5, by Carlos Nakai
- Phillips, Grier & Flinner, by Phillips, Grier & Flinner
- Practically anything by Midnight Syndicate
- Glenn Miller
- Practically anything by Nox Arcana
- Lord of the Rings: At Dawn in Rivendell, by the Tolkien Ensemble
- Caverna Magica, by Andreas Vollenweider
- Beneath the Raven Moon, by Mary Youngblood