Unless you have access to a fully sound-proofed room this small island constantly offers a soundscape of some description. Location dictates the source and the intensity, both of which vary greatly, but the ’noise’ remains.
I agree with Jo Kotas when she says we respond, at a deeply emotional level, to the soundscape around us. It affects us in significant ways. Our mood can change – our responses to further stimuli, our energy levels, our thought patterns, alter and adapt. Even the way we respond to our responses.
Embrace the symphony as an intrinsic part of where we are and it lifts and carries. Fight and we are knocked down.
Just as our location provides a soundscape, the music we listen to provides the soundtrack. Another powerful stimulus to respond to. Our response to a film or TV programme can be controlled entirely by the music playing at any given point.
The same can be said of the music we listen to while we’re being creative. If the two are out of sync it can be like watching teen TV while Bruce Forsyth croons a tune, or like two elderly ladies making tea to Tinie Tempah (’I’ve never been to Southampton, but I’ve been to Scunthorpe…’). It just doesn’t work.
An appropriate soundtrack can set the correct mood and mindset, just as research and mood boards set the scene. Suddenly the elderly ladies are enjoying a bit of Brucey and Mr Tempah is getting the kids going. If I’m working on something urban or ’dark’ I’ll stick on Burial; if it’s an expensive resort in Italy, some Vivaldi; if it’s Marrakech, then something Moroccan.
Of course, some projects don’t lend themselves to this approach. In which case I’m a sucker for Underworld, Leftfield or Faithless. Or maybe some Fat Boy Slim in the lulls.
But, if I can find a soundtrack I will. Spotify and Last.fm – I love you.
Andi Rusyn, Space & Room, by e-mail