Music v. silence when writing

Try Music for Airports or Reflection

Dear Hipster:

My writer friends and I differ on what I think is the biggest question of them all, music v. silence when writing. Personally, I require total silence. I have some friends who will listen to loud music, and they claim it helps them create. What do you like playing (or not) when you write?

— Amy

When working, I shelve my preference for lyrical indie rock in favor of two, alternate musicfressal genres that strike the perfect balance of mood-setting without over distractification: (a) classical or baroque piano music; or (b) Brian Eno’s Music for Airports and its descendants, up to and including Reflection, this year’s ambient/generative music project that exists gives you endless iterations of wordless thought provocation when you run it on your iPhone.

I pretty much think that anything with words, narrative, or too intrusive a structure is anathema to the writing process. But, there are hipsters I know who can sit down and write a short story while listening to vintage Fugazi. It takes all kinds.

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