Friday, April 15, 2011

Question of the Month--Sound or Silence?

Our question this month is "Do you prefer to create in silence or with music, TV or other sound?"


When I create I like to listen to passionate music. I prefer Jazz, Classical or New Age as there are no lyrics. If I listen to lyrics I tend to sing and then I am splitting my brain between the two creative mediums.

Often I am torn between wanting to create and wanting to read. So I also like to listen to books on tape when I create. I feel less quilty doing two things at once!


Sometimes I like silence, other times music. For general work when I'm moving around the studio a lot, I usually put on Sirius Radio, either the Coffee House (Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews kind of stuff) or the Reggae station. Pleasant and mellow and doesn't interfere with my thinking. I have an odd habit for painting though. I listen to the same music over and over without change. This year it's the Stones "Rewind" album. Last year it was Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." It's almost like I can't start painting without that particular music. When I was in art school years ago, the Stones "Some Girls" album was released and we listened to that over and over in class. I have a feeling that set up some sort of pattern that still works for me.


Depending upon my mood, I either work in silence or listen to rap. I know, the two are very far apart! If I'm in the mood for music, I put my iPhone onto my speaker base, log in to Pandora Radio, and pull up the Flo Rida station -- instant Rap. Besides Flo, it plays music from The Black Eyes Peas, Eminen, and 50 Cent. The beat of the music gets me moving and oftentimes dancing and always puts me in a creative, flowing frame of mind. Of course, I do create some pretty crazy stuff as a result . . . .


If I have to concentrate, I prefer to work in silence. The silence helps me focus and clear my mind of all the sounds that bombard it during a usual day. If I'm doing something repetitive or am sewing, I like to listen to my iPod. It holds an eclectic mix of music from classical to '60's pop (Beatles) to Spanish and French songs to folk music to Jason Mraz. It's great to get lost in the moment creating, listening and humming to favorite tunes.


While I work I don't mind silence or I'll listen to books on tape. Creating art, listening to a great book, and a little chocolate on the side is my kind of heaven on earth.


If I am working in my studio all day long, I will start out listening to music and then at night switch to watching a small TV for a change-up. Though, oftentimes, I crave silence after a long day of music so I will work silently and relish it.

The kind of music I listen to always depends on my mood. If I need to get energized and want to sing along, I might listen to compilations like the Best of Chicago, or the Best of Hall and Oates. Yup, I am totally a 70s girl. Sometimes I will get in a groove with one artist and listen to his/her entire body of work. One favorite memory is having spent days with Joni Mitchell getting ready for our first Portland Art Collective "Open Doors" Art Sale. I had put my 13 CDs in chronological order and went for it. I find that the continuity of the same voice helps me stay in the zone. I have done this with all of my favorites: Joan Armatrading, Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Elton John, James Taylor, Celine Dion, Shawn Colvin, to name a few.

There are other times when I need some soothing music so I listen to yoga/meditation CDs. And most recently I "discovered" listening to books on tape which I absolutely love when I am working on collages. Needing to follow the story gets me down to my studio every free moment!


Silence or sound...well, it depends on what sort of creating I am doing.

When I paint murals or large canvases I prefer to listen to Il Divo .

If it's found object jewelry that I'm working on - I'll be in my garage studio (preferably on a warm sunny day) with only silences and possibly a few meows during a visit from the neighbor's cat.

To get the creative juices flowing, a jolt from Slumdog Millionaire (Jai Ho) will do it every time


I have to have music going. I love jazz, rock, classical and easy listening. It depends what I am doing for what type of music. If I want to get something done I listen to fast rock and roll and dance music. I might even dance around a bit to get the blood going. If I have some time Sunday morning before anyone gets up I put on Classical music to stay calm and enjoy the quiet with a cup of tea while I sew. I like to listen to the sewing machine so I rarely use my head set when doing that, but if I am working on the computer or journaling I really like the isolation headsets give me. Favorite music lately: Katy Perry and Prince for upbeat music, Brandon Chandler for bluesy music, Glee songs-some of the arrangements are very fun. The best thing I have(besides my sewing machine) in the studio is my IPod and music on my MAC. Buying music now is a treat. I set up my computer with speakers and that is my stereo...I rarely listen to the radio anymore.


That is a real sensitive area for me. I have music for every mood, from Winterbone new wave, to

elevator classics. I basically like it quiet, no music. It is also difficult for me to be creative when

music is introduced to the art area that I do not like, or is really loud, re heavy metal. After all, it's all about

me! (smile) OK, so I live with it, but it eats away at my creative mind at times.

1 comment:

stephanie brockway said...

Loved hearing your answers. I to go between silence or music. I love alternative music from the 70 80 and 90's. Dayna,Rap?, who knew. Lorraine's idea about listening to one artist from their begining. Robin, funny about craving the same record, must be relaxing to anticipate the tune and good choices , some girls and pink floyd.