Tue 18 Apr
For moments of concentration, when I want to be particularly productive in hammering out a paragraph of overly articulated prose, I set iTunes to play “Quique,” an album of ambient, droning sound-spaces by the English quartet Seefeel. It betrays the fact that I came into adulthood in the mid-1990s to say that, because if there ever was a height of that obscure band’s popularity, it was the last decade, when dissonant and amorphous sound structures became all the rage. Good times.
I cherish this album a lot, mostly because it almost never fails to help me turn out the distractions around me. Looking at my playlist in iTunes, the tracks from “Quique” are far and away the most frequently played from my library, and as I do increasingly more writing, they are becoming entrenched in their positions at the top of my charts. Over the years, I’ve become more and more reliant on it, almost to the point when I can’t write without playing it. I can actually design to just about anything playing on the radio or television, but when I need to form sentences and string them into coherent paragraphs, I’m almost duty-bound to put this album on and turn up the volume.
There’s an entire study field about strategies for writing that I’m barely familiar with, I know. People have all kinds of sophisticated tricks to help them make that singular mental shift into a writing mindset, and I’m sure putting on a particular album, like I do, is just one of the more primitive methods of managing one’s writing environment. Still, I that bet the army of bloggers out there who have become writers almost by accident have developed their own, ad hoc strategies for doing the same thing. If you’re one of those new breed of blog writers, I’d be very keen to hear about the methods you use. Maybe it’s also as simple as putting on a particular album, in which case I’m sure everyone would be interested to know which one it is, or maybe it’s something else that I could be doing instead of listening to these same nine tracks (as much as I care for them) over and over and over again?