que musica por escriba!?
October 2, 2005 6:54 PM   Subscribe

NaNoWriMo is comming up. What sorts of writin' music can you think of?

I'm not personally participating in NaNoWriMo, but I am working on a novel right now. I've got the Propellerheads and Orbital on right now. I'd like some complicated, sophisticated techno with no lyrics to distract me. If you can think of some non-techno lyric free music feel free to suggest that as well.
posted by delmoi to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Sigur Ros. It's not techno, but I find it very conducive to writing. They have (awesome) vocals, some of them are Icelandic and others are made-up gibberish.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:05 PM on October 2, 2005

Tortoise. And Aphex Twin.
posted by scarabic at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2005

Autechre: Amber, Incunabula, and Chiastic Slide are perfect.

Aphex Twin: 26 Mixes for Cash is a great compilation. The Analord stuff is also blissful but not very convenient to come by (not sure if it's released on CD yet).

Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children, Geogaddi.
posted by xmutex at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2005

I usually listen to sitar music, especially Ravi Shankar
posted by mabelcolby at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2005

I like to write (and program) to chillout music, especially the fantastic two-disc set Essential Chillout. I've used it for so long (five years) that it's like a signal to my brain to work in a certain mode. I'm able to focus on writing while the rest of my brain is idly taken up by the music...
posted by jdroth at 7:23 PM on October 2, 2005

Where did the phrase "Essenital Chillout" come from? That's bizarre. I meant Chilled Euphoria. Bah! Essential Chillout?
posted by jdroth at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2005

Secret Chiefs 3, Book M.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:36 PM on October 2, 2005

Venetian Snares
posted by moift at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2005

leroy anderson's "the typewriter" song, on repeat.
posted by kelegraph at 7:46 PM on October 2, 2005

On my last writing stint:

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp

Amazing how the lack of distractions can create ideas.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:47 PM on October 2, 2005 [1 favorite]

I think writing music depends on the writer. When I'm writing I can only listen to two records - Liz Phair's "Whip-smart" and Matthew Sweet's "100% Fun." I'm not even sure why those records work. Everything else is just entirely too distracting for words.
posted by jodic at 7:50 PM on October 2, 2005

Kickstart70, that's an awesome source of whitenoise, something I've been looking for for a while. And it's so simple!

Now why didn't I think of that ...
posted by Godbert at 7:53 PM on October 2, 2005

Mozart, Bach, Elgar....
posted by Independent Scholarship at 8:11 PM on October 2, 2005

Mum - green grass of tunnel on repeat. It's very soothing.

Or Belle and Sebastian, only because their songs are super-familiar and remind me of all the other times I listened to them while working hard.
posted by mai at 9:09 PM on October 2, 2005

You might like some Proem, Avia, Bullitnuts, Plaid, Caia, oh, and Fluxion's Vibrant Forms II album!

They might all be a bit too downtempo for you though (and Plaid a bit too erratic). But check them out.

Um. Fischerspooner? They got some instrumental stuff. I myself would write to Gare du Nord but I realise that's not what you were asking.
posted by Skyanth at 10:35 PM on October 2, 2005

The Ghost World soundtrack once got me through many late nights with its ghostly early blues songs.
posted by johngoren at 11:26 PM on October 2, 2005

Jazz jazz jazz.

Pick a style that sparks brain interest but doesn't demand constant attention. For me, that's usually trios or small groups, like 1940s Nat King Cole, 50s Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Brown & Roach and the Davis/Coltrane quintet. Smart big-band swing like Basie's late-30s Decca stuff and the Blanton/Webster Ellington also works, as does jump swing like Louis Jordan. Occasionally free jazz hits the spot, especially Dolphy. Anything lively enough to keep me in my seat and writing, but smooth enough to not distract me from the work.
posted by mediareport at 11:52 PM on October 2, 2005

Can't help you with the techno side of things. But on the non-techno side, when I'm writing I'm fond of listening to:

Godspeed You Black Emperor
Steve Reich
Philip Glass

And this is vocal music, but because I don't have a clue what they're singing about the voice is just another instrument to me:

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Rokia Traore
posted by reynir at 5:54 AM on October 3, 2005

Give Peace a Chance.

i.e, none at all. Seriously, I can't understand the idea of "background" music. I like music, therefore it is a distraction. Even - perhaps especially - when it is music I don't like. Then it becomes an irritant. If it's music I like, I want to pay attention to it. There is no in-between stage. If I am trying to do any other task that requires - or benefits from - concentration, I want silence or as near to it as I can get.

I'm not trying to duck your question. I'm suggesting you try writing with no distractions at all. You may find you write better.
posted by Decani at 7:40 AM on October 3, 2005

Stewart Walker - Stabiles
Produkt - Stretch, Float
Elektronische Musik aus Buenos Aires
Speicher 1 and 2
Superlongevity 1 or 3
Micheal Mayer - Immer
Thomas Brinkmann - Row, Rosa, Studio 1 Variationen
Farben - Textstar
Jan Jelenik - Loop-finding-jazz-records
Basic Channel
Mike Ink - Studio 1
Kit Clayton - Nek Sanalet
Plastikman - Musik

Nu-dub is really good for this as well. Try:
Rhythm & Sound
Nonplace Urban Field - Golden Star
Pole 3
posted by hellbient at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2005

Sound Tribe Sector 9
Signal Path
The New Deal

You can get live shows from archive.org.
posted by mic stand at 9:04 AM on October 3, 2005

Explore the Kranky records catalog. Specifically: Keith Fullerton Whitman, pan american, fontanelle, stars of the lid, Loscil, and Jessica Bailiff.

This stuff is less techno and more atmospheric or glitchy. Good for when you don't want much of a beat, or a regular rythym.
posted by miniape at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2005

...also, Monolake's new Polygon Cities
posted by hellbient at 3:15 PM on October 3, 2005

This is the best recording I've heard of a piece of music that helps me to focus my attention like no other. Whether or not it's used as background music for another activity, I've found it to be invaluable as a regular "optimization" tool for my brain.
posted by cribcage at 11:44 PM on October 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

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