Another Steve Silberman track but Man am I digging this to write to.  It's almost 20 minutes long which - to my ears anyway - is a perfect length for essay writing music...

There's this idea of Flow

I'm pretty sure you're familiar with it.

It's the word that describes what just happened when you suddenly look up and realize that you've been writing for the last 5, 10, 20 minutes even, and you have no idea where the time went.

Yeah - Flow.

Flow is good.

Writers like Flow

Musicians like Flow

Miles Fucking Davis Flowed.

Sometimes It's About Length

Here's how it works for me:

  • I put some music on - typically instrumental, typically music2work2 but now typically this playlist.
  • I'm aware of the music in the background but I don't focus in on it
  • I start focusing on the task at hand
  • Within a minute or two I am no longer aware that music is playing
  • Sometimes I'll notice the music if the track changes
  • Sometimes I'll notice the music if it gets a bit intense or too repetitive
  • I believe that the music does two things:
    • Creates an auditory barrier that blocks things like leaf blowers, office noise, etc.
    • Warms up my neurons so that they are more conducive to firing and making connections
  • I researched this for my bachelors of science

If you had to ask me for my ultimate music to write to - it would be something that went on for a long time, that wasn't too repetitive or too intense and that I actually liked when I wasn't writing.

That last bit is important - it's a fine balance - you've gotta like what you write to but you can't like it too much otherwise it's going to grab your attention and steal you away from your intent.

Jazz FTW For Me

My wife would tear her ears off if this was playing in the background.  

She can't stand Jazz - it's not that she doesn't get it - she finds it cacophonous.  She'll be the first to agree that some education and listening and time spent understanding the medium would open it up - but she just doesn't have that kind of time.  Many people are like this and if you're one - skip to the next track.

But for me - the idea of musicians getting into a space where they're all feeding each other - using some loosely laid down rules of order which they gleefully attempt to subvert - that to me is flow.  When it is done by brilliant musicians it can be transcendent.  I believe that just being around it can have a positive effect on what I'm doing.

So yeah - Miles Davis - Flow.

You can learn more about it from the source Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and check out his Ted talk

If this track works for you as well as it works for me - I'm stoked!

You can learn more about Miles David here:

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