Posted tagged ‘music’

Tools of the trade: Ambience

October 31, 2009

When I write, i prefer my sense of hearing to be emersed in sound.  For me, specific sounds are needed – not just ambience (like the random discussions going on around me on the Pittsburgh T).  For me, its music.  Perhaps it has to do with music being another of my hobbies and another of my loves.

The type of music I listen to while writing is classified as “Berlin School Electronic” – that may be a tough taxonomy to grasp.  Basically (at least what I stock my digital album rack with) it is instrumental in nature, largely composed of spacey, synthesized timbres.  For me, lack of lyrics is a requirement as voices pull my attention, where this type of music sits comfortably in the background and appeals to the creative parts of my mind.

Similarly, much Berlin School includes a technique called analog sequencing, using computerized repetitive and slowly evolving patterns of notes to paint a driving landscape upon which the melody of the songs exist.   Perhaps it is its “soundtrack” nature of the music (the band Tangerine Dream, a capstone to the genre, has done soundtrack work on several major motion pictures).

This technique creates a very interesting audio palate that is both ambient as well as provides a sense of urgency to me.  This helps me focus and push myself during my short writing times.

I once had a friend at college who told me that studying to Yes was his ticket.  I never quite got that one, but to each their own I suppose.