Each person has his or her own preference. Some like to spin in silence; others knit with noise. Here is a list of some of my favorite sounds to accompany creative moments:
- all the albums of Ingrid Michaelson- She is a truly intelligent singer-songwriter. Her lyrics grow with you, so that every time you listen, they mean something different than they did the last time. Some of my favorite songs of hers are "Are We There Yet," "Men of Snow," "December Baby," "Highway," "Far Away," "A Bird's Song," plus all her others... :) And one of my really most absolute favorites is "The Hat," which is especially appropriate for knitters, as it begins: "I knitted you a hat all blue and gold / to keep your ears warm from the Binghamton cold. / It was my first one and it was too small. / It didn't fit you at all / But you wore it just the same."
- Barbara Bonney's "Songs By Robert & Clara Schumann"- Sparkling, peaceful, sweet, strong, lovely. Barbara Bonney has one of the most beautiful voices in the world, and it shows forth magnificently in each of these Lieder.
- silly top ten songs on the radio- Yes, I know this follows right after my good voice major music listing. I know, I know, and I am unashamed to say that I often find this stuff - unabashed hip hop and pop - to be the best creative work soundtrack. The lyrics are generally best not listened to, allowing my mind to focus on my work, but these artists are truly excellent at creating a mood, expressing a moment powerfully, and turning one's solitary hours in the studio into bouncy party time!
- reggae- My brother is highly knowledgeable about all things reggae, and has an extensive collection of reggae music. He sometimes makes me mixes of music he thinks I might like, and believe me: I LIKE. Reggae has such a cool sound, and it has a great beat to carry you along as you work. One lovely, mellow, underappreciated Bob Marley song that I love to listen to is called "Butterfly." I also love girl reggae. There's a great album called "Studio One - Women," which is all women artists singing from the woman's point of view. Definitely listen to the songs "Tell Me Where," "Deh Pon Dem," and "King Street."
- the albums of Annett Louisan- She is a German artist, and has a charming, unique voice. I took years and years of German, so I enjoy trying to understand what she's saying, but I enjoy the sound of her music as well. It is soft, relaxing, and heartfelt. She reminds me of a German version of Norah Jones. Certainly worth checking out.
- Herman's Hermits- Oh my goodness. Such a cute British group from the sixties, with cute songs and cute messages. For everyone's inner teenage girl. Classics include "I'm Into Something Good," "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter," "Leaning on the Lamppost," and "Silhouettes."
- all Christmas music, of course! At any time of the year, beautiful carols and festive songs make any creative endeavor feel a little more joyful.
- audiobooks- I remember listening to "Great Expectations" on tape in freshman year of high school as I knit a pair of pink and orange striped knee socks on size two needles. My mom listens to a great many books on tape as she paints. Listening to a wonderful story can be a great thing when you're working on a long and fairly monotonous project, like a big quilt or afghan. It can also spark new ideas for creations!
- NPR- Thought-provoking, insightful programs, many of which are very pertinent to creative types, and nearly all of which invite one to engage in constructive thinking. NPR programs offer the listener a chance to explore questions and consider solutions. Thus your "soundtrack" might inspire you to find ideas that can change the world. And meanwhile you're an hour further along with your cross-stitch sampler.
- Jennifer Ackermann-Haywood's CraftSanity podcast- So many wonderful interviews with so many wonderful creatives! She has, as of today, 116 interviews, each with someone very interesting and probably very well-known in the creative world. Her interviews are usually an hour or two long, allowing the interviewed artist to share some really interesting ideas and stories, and allowing the listener to make serious progress with whatever crafty project she or he has going.
- the sound of shared time with friends and family- The best soundtrack of all. I love to sit and spin in the kitchen as my mom makes dinner, or knit as I go for walks around the yard with my beagle. I love to bring my knitting along to family gatherings and friend times. There is something infinitely warm about sharing creative moments with others. You might try it today.
What composes the soundtrack of your creative moments? I'd love to hear all about it.