When I work at home, I don’t usually listen to music. I live in a quiet area, out in the country, and there are few noisy distractions. But I often work in public, in coffee shops, and there is almost always noise: the whirring coffee grinder, loudspeaker music, multiple conversations. Sometimes the combination of sounds is so great that it all blends together into white noise, a perfect accompaniment to writing. (I even have an app that includes “coffeeshop sounds” that is a great way to block out the distractions.)
But sometimes it feels right to really isolate myself from the world, even while sitting in the middle of it. Like right now, writing this post. So I plug in my earphones and listen to music, usually something instrumental so the lyrics don’t creep into my thinking. I have a number of classical albums that are good for this, but one of my favorites is Red by the Dallas String Quartet.
DSQ is a vibrant group that does string versions of pop music ranging from Adele to Katy Perry to Sade to Journey and Michael Jackson. Good stuff.