Sometimes all you need is the calming influence of a ridiculously slow, chilled out ambient track and if you're lucky, everything quietens down and you're able to hack through the to do list - or even - start that first paragraph.
The whole idea of music as utility - as a tool to help you achieve something, isn't exactly new - they were piping music into factories back in the 1940's to improve worker performance. What is new - and to me exciting - is the idea that there's no one kind of music for a certain type of activity.
All the research I've read indicates that humans are so unique and dynamic that it is the act of being able to choose their own music that drives performance. The idea that there are certain genres and tempos and "vibes" that will work for all the people all the time just isn't true.
It's taken the development of the smart phone, broadband, the economics of streaming - all those things that have arrived literally in the last 10 years to now give true choice to the individual. This is freaking awesome!
So, if you're a writer and you're looking for something to help you create, or edit or whatever it is you're doing with words and you don't want a song with lyrics to get in the way - sure you can dip into lists like this to point you in the right direction, but remember - the behavior that will drive your performance is you choosing to use music as a tool - once you've got your head round that - you can pretty much choose any type of instrumental music you like.
This morning I was stressed out with too much to do and was thinking I might not even write today - and yet - I knew this track was going to create an atmosphere where - yeah - it's OK - I don't need to rush - everything's fine - and look - as if by magic - the track write up arrived.
If you're a little stressed too, should probably take this out for a spin...
You can learn more about Aphex Twin here:
About the Curator: Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
Although I've always played, I haven't always been a musician. Most of my twenties were spent working with people, buying and selling and learning how the world works. It was in my thirties that I came to America and focused on music and began to develop music2work2.