November 3, 2011

The House is Alive (With The Sound of Music)

Listening and dancing to (and making) music is awesome!
Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is... "Can you listen to music and write?"

Oh, NaBloPoMo... you ask nothing but silly questions.

I pretty much can't not listen to music.  Music is always playing.  It's one of the things that M and I have held in common since the day we met.  We are obsessed with music.

That isn't to say that I can listen to just anything while I write.  I have to listen to the write things for the writing that I need to do.

For example, when writing for school, or work... when writing evaluations of economic calculations, or details about the policies regarding food insecurity in the Greater Chicago Region, I listen to classical music.

I know, I know, "classical" is a gigantic umbrella.  It covers all sorts of music that has absolutely nothing in common, save a general public opinion of superiority or pretension.

My music of choice when doing that variety of writing is classical for one to three instruments.  I love listening to soloists like Andres Segovia and Glenn Gould, performing Chopin or Albeniz or Dvorak.  It keeps me focused, and energized, and the virtuosity inspires a command of my own voice.
I play blues piano and sing opera.  Too bad I get stage fright.

When it comes to every other variety of writing, I tend to go for something that suits my mood.  And for that purpose, I have a few pre-selected playlists.  "Lea's Happy Music," "Kitchen Music," "Work Work Work," and "Rainy Days."  To give you an idea of what those are like, here are the first ten songs from each of those lists- always simply set to random, and lasting anywhere from 6 hours to 6.3 days.

Lea's Happy Music
1. Every Dog Has Its Day - Flogging Molly
2. Live It For Today - DJ Rap
3. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles - Vera Lynn
4. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
5. Hang On Little Tomato - Pink Martini
6. The Problem With Saints - 8in8
7. Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
8. Ice Cream Man - Jonathan Richman
9. Those Were The Days - Mary Hopkinds
10. As Time Goes By - Vera Lynn & The Roland Shaw Orchestra

Kitchen Music
1. Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
2. The Dolphins Cry - Live
3. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
4. The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists
5. Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
6. Superhero - Ani Difranco
7. Dust Bowl Dance - Mumford & Sons
8. Not A Crime - Gogol Bordello
9. Dilaudid - The Mountain Goats
10. This Train - Phil Forsyth and the Lone Gun Society

SI rocks the flutaphone
Work Work Work
1. Seven Caged Tigers - Stone Temple Pilots
2. Four Chords That made A Million - Porcupine Tree
3. Blue Orchid - The White Stripes
4. All Falls Down - Kanye West
5. Anyone Can Play Guitar - Radiohead
6. Burning Man - Third Eye Blind
7. House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals
8. Why Can't I Be You? - The Cure
9. Blur the Technicolor - White Zombie
10. So Whatcha Want - Beastie Boys

Rainy Days
1. Wild Is The Wind - Cat Power
2. Woods Part of When - Noe Venable
3. Jockey Full Of Bourbon - Tom Waits
4. Atoms For Peace - Thom Yorke
5. Raining in Baltimore - Counting Crows
6. Cowboys - Portishead
7. November Rain - Guns N' Roses
8. Come Rain Or Come Shine - Billie Holiday
9. Cloud My Tongue - Tori Amos
10. Indigo Boy - Esthero

Right now?  Cloud Forest, by Trace Bundy.

This house always has music playing.  (Unless I'm listening to Harry Potter on tape- Jim Dale is amazing.)  And that's how I have always been- surrounded by music.

DD- my future rock star
Next year the girls are going to start their first music lessons.  This will basically entail me buying a piano (or GOOD electric equivalent) and teaching them the basics of scales and arpeggios.  And when they're five they'll get to choose an instrument.  And they will learn it.

Instead of my house always echoing 99 Problems or Shesmovedon, it will echo the tuneless, joyless refrains of forced musical practice.  For a time.  And then, it will start sounding like music again.

The music of my brilliant children, on their flutes or violins or what-have-you, playing "The Man On The Flying Trapeze" ad nauseum for weeks.  And I will be so proud.  And I guarantee you, I'll write to that.

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