Monday, November 2, 2009

Tramps Like Us

borntorunI've been looking forward to tonight for a couple months now. Gonna see Springsteen! And he’s playing his entire Born to Run album. Yahoo!

This got me thinking about music. In college, I began amassing my collection of records (yes, vinyl records). Back then (and to this day, sadly), I was into "classic" rock--you know, all the great music of the mid-to-late sixties and early seventies. I think I shocked my dorm mates, being one of the only drug music aficionados who didn't actually do drugs. I'd study in my dorm room with the Doors or Jethro Tull or Yes playing in the background (and plenty of the Boss, too!). Sometimes quite loudly.

For some reason, it didn't negatively affect my schoolwork (I got a 4.0 my freshman year, in engineering).

Now, however, when I write, I need quiet. No music. Not even some classical symphony at barely audible levels. I think it's because the rhythm of my sentences is so important to me, and I don't want any other rhythms running through my head messing with things.

Or maybe I'm just getting old.

How about you? Do you listen to music while you write?

(Hey, did I mention I'm going to see Springsteen tonight? Baby, I was born to run!)



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Enjoy your concert!

Wow...I didn't think anyone but my husband was a Jethro Tull fan. :)

If I'm doing creative writing, I put on lyric-free music on Sirius (new age and classical.) If I'm doing a mundane writing task (transcribing something from a notebook into Word, doing rote corrections, etc.) then I'll put "Totally 70s" on Sirius.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I live in sensory deprivation. Normally, I’m alone during the day…you could understand that, who’d want to be around me? Fortunately, I like quiet, no TV, CDs or any of that. I’ve become accustomed to it. On Sunday we’ll watch NFL RedZone, and it’s so manic that it drives me nuts after awhile, though in concept it’s a cool idea. So, no. Nothing but the ringing in my ears when I write…or most other times so far as that goes.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

JournoMich said...

One would imagine I would demand total silence when I can get it, what with two children younger than five running around all day. But I actually enjoy opera. It seems to calm me and stir my creativity at the same time. Nothing in particular. I am not an opera enthusiast, nor am I knowledgeable about what is great or what is going on in the music. I just enjoy the sound and the symphony behind the voices. Carmina Burana is perfect for writing mystery!


Unknown said...

I'm with you, Alan! Give me that good, old-time rock and roll any day!

I can't have anything on while writing or reading. Even writing my blog posts - nada, nothing, no noise. I wonder also if age has something to do with it. Mmmm...

Anyway, have a great time at the concert! I was going to say -- oh heck - I still use the word so I'll go ahead and age myself and say it anyway - have a GROOVY time at the concert!!

Elspeth Futcher said...

I swing between classical music and no music at all. If the radio (bless the internet, because I listen to a classical station from London) is on, it's at a fairly low volume. Problems arise when a piece I love comes on and I turn up the volume and just listen or hum along.

However, I am known to mutter and the muttering gets more intense as my writing picks up speed. At this point the music is turned off because I need to concentrate on what's happening on my screen, not what's entertaining my ears.

Enjoy your concert. I'm jealous.

Anonymous said...

Alan - I am so jealous that you're going to see Bruce Springsteen!!! He's definitely in my personal panthaeon! I think it's in part because I'm a displaced and homesick East-Coast-er

You'd think, since I'm a musician, that I would like music while I write - that it would be an inspiration. But the truth is, music also distracts me too much. So when I write, I like silence. Not complete silence, because that's too eerie, but I like just small background noises like birds, the breeze, that kind of thing.

Enjoy the show!

Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - If they have a "Totally 70s minus Disco" station, then I'm there! (I think I like your husband.)

Galen - Yes, I would have figured you for isolation. Ringing in the ears is one thing; it's the voices you need to be careful of.

Michele - Opera, huh? You have a much more sophisticated ear than I. The only opera I like is "Tommy."

Crystal - I think I will have a groovy time. A totally rad groovy time.

Elspeth - Another writer with a sophisticated ear. And a muttering hummer to boot!

Margot - Yeah for the Boss! I can deal with quiet background noises. Like two boys strangling each other, as long as there's no loud yelling when they do!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Silence. Must have silence.

But speaking of the Boss, my oldest son has been a fan for a long time and has been to several Springsteen concerts. My only concert ever (assuming you don't count the Smothers Brothers) was Peter Frampton way back in the 70s. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Oh, that's not entirely true. I did see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Cheyenne Frontier Days a couple of years ago.

Karen Walker said...

Nope,no music while I'm writing. Too distracting,no matter what it is.

Alan Orloff said...

Patricia - Frampton rocks! (Yes, I'm still musically stuck in the 70s)

Karen - Nothing wrong with a little silence. (I tell my kids that every day, but they're making too much noise to hear me.)

I think, factoring in some comments from my Facebook page, that those preferring "silence" have taken a slight lead in the polling.

Annette said...

Definitely silence. EXCEPT if I'm writing a scene where there's music in it. Then I listen to whatever music is playing in the story. But that rarely happens.

If I listen to anything at all, it's my police scanner.

Alan Orloff said...

Annette - I like the fact you play music when there's music in your scene. Oooh, a police scanner. That must be fun to listen to - very "mood setting."

Annette said...

The police scanner is great, Alan. My protagonist is a paramedic and the secondary main character is a cop, so it's been wonderful for picking up "lingo" not to mention the story ideas that come across it.