Music, or How to Stay Sane in the Studio

It’s easy to go batty when you spend day after day holed up in the studio. I’m not complaining, it’s a great problem to have, but I definitely need to make time in my day to do something other than work. When I’m stuck, or when I want to break up the monotony, or when I want to procrastinate, I pick up my guitar for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful reset button.

Here’s what’s been on heavy rotation in my studio at the MacDowell Colony:

My guitar makes itself at home in the MacDowell Colony’s New Hampshire studio.

Bowie, Ziggy Stardust and Rebel Rebel (bossa, Seu Jorge version)

Galaxie 500, Oblivious and Tugboat

Jens Lekman, Tram No. 7 to Heaven

Neil Young, Cinnamon Girl and Cortez the Killer

Beatles, Every Little Thing

Villa Lobos, Prelude Nos. 2, 3, & 4

Satie, Gymnopedies No. 1

Tarrega, Lagrima and Adelita

Logy, Partita A-moll

(You can hear me playing some of the classical pieces on the Music page.)

I’ve also fallen in with a few musicians, Alex the nonfiction writing uke player, Cindy the painter banjo player, and Christian the poet guitarist. We play mostly old school country. I kind of follow.

(Cover photo by Peter LaMastro.)

4 Replies to “Music, or How to Stay Sane in the Studio”

    1. I’m always envious of visual artists for this. Though film is surely visual, it’s also aural, so that means I can’t listen to music while I’m editing (some folks can, actually). This is a big thing. And certainly, when I’m writing I can’t.

      Do you have anything on the horizon?

  1. While I love the researching and writing process (esp. the writing), if it is non-fiction I am — essentially — writing FOR someone else. When I write fiction, it’s the one place/one time in my entire life that I feel that I am in control. Whether anybody ever buys anything I write or not, it’s a wonderful feeling. And the hours zoom by. It’s like being in a trance (except for the occasion back pain from being hunched over the keyboard too long)!

  2. Ahhh, that trance state: one of the big reasons we do what we do.

    I never thought of non-fiction as writing FOR someone else. Enlightening. Thanks.

    Trust all is well,

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