The Muse and music
How many of you demand absolute peace and quiet to write? Not me. I need sounds to distract the chattering in my head and let my brain concentrate on dredging words out of the mental sludge. Apparently so did Ernest Hemingway (good company, no?) as he couldn't work surrounded by quiet. He needed white noise to filter his thoughts and release the literary ones on the page. In his Key West home, Hemingway set up his writing desk where he could hear his servants and outside traffic go about the chores of the day.
Everybody has different tastes. A writing friend cranks up the heavy metal. Others like familiar golden-oldies. Me? After a foray into electronic and ambient (a.k.a. wallpaper music), I've gravitated to jazz. All the stations at the top of my list come from public radio, such as Jazz24-KPLU
from Oylmpia, WA. Besides a deep playlist, I appreciate the self-deprecating jabs at their genre. (You want me to play a tune? I thought this was jazz. And...wherever jazz is, I is.)
Closer to home, in fact, two blocks away is the local station, KUVO
, with some of the coolest voices to DJ their turntables--Erik Troe, Rodney Franks, Doug Crane, plus the syndicated programs Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland
, and late night, Jazz with Bob Parlocha
Then up Interstate 25, there is KUNC, in Greeley
-which hooks me with their laid-back vibe, what I remember FM radio was back in the day. A show I discovered through them is Jazz After Hours, hosted by Jim Wilke
. The cat oozes mellowness and cool. I enjoy when he announces shows at various venues about the country. The Blue Note. Bohemian Caverns. Snug Harbor. Dazzle. Yoshi's.
Makes me feel so cosmopolitan just listening.
I also have Pandora
bookmarked. I'm sure you all have built your own stations using their music genome.
Interestingly, at home, the spoken word like talk radio or the news distracts me. But at a coffee shop or diner, I find the random chatter and assorted noises--the gush of the espresso machine, the rattle of china--rather soothing. For that reason I don't write in a library. All that damn silence is so damn loud! If I can fade in and out, like when painting or doing paperwork, I do listen to spoken word. My favorites include iWine radio, hosted by the Wine Fairy, Lynn Kreilow Chamberlain
, who interviews vintners, oenophiles, restaurateurs, epicures, and in general, wealthy lushes, for the lowdown on the fermented grape industry. Rich professional drunks--what I aspire to.
If I need a laugh, then there is the NPR program, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
, infamous for their snark and wonky satire of the week's news.
Speaking of things to listen to, try those cool Canadian cats behind the Paul The Book Guy
website. Listen to your favorite authors or find new ones on Paul Alves' iTunes podcasts.
And then, the call for help goes out and who comes charging to the rescue? Who else but the League of Reluctant Adults? Fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss
asked for donations in support of World Builders
and we answered the call. His favorite charity with them is Heifer International
, which promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry. They give away sheep and goats. Ba...a...a!
Labels: drunks, Ernest Hemingway, Patrick Rothfuss, wine