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Music while you work

September 22, 2008

I’ve been suffering writer’s block for some weeks now; its incredible how much time you can spend editing WIkipedia when you should be writing. Music helps, and I finally broke the back of the current book chapter over the weekend by running Parsifal in background (the Hilton in San Jose has a great speaker system that you can plug your iPod into). I tweeted this and got some responses, then I asked the what next question? After you have spent hours in the company of one of the most profound pieces of music ever written, but you have still not finished, then what do you play next? I settled for Sibelius, modern but different. Again I tweeted and some suggestions came back. What really impressed me however is the way in which a micro-blogging tool like twitter can make it feel like other people are sharing your issues and trying to help. No longer isolated on the 17th floor of yet another international hotel, but connected to friends (some of whom I have only met on line.

Other suggestions for the record (and apologies if I have missed any)

  • Retweet @snowded: What do you play after Parsival? Attempting Sibelius. Answer: try Mahler. But only if listening, not while working.
  • @snowded Too German, perhaps something Russian? Rachmaninoff is thematic without all of the tragedy.
  • @snowded suggest Shostokovich 8th symphony; Sibelius choice: 5th symphony, especially the 4th mvmt — great fun
  • @snowded Listen to Gesualdo if you really want a break. Early renaissance. Unsurpassed.

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