Music has a way of getting inside you. It doesn't always demand direct, focussed attention, but while you may think it's just in the background, watch out. For instance, you can drive and listen to music, right? You can work your legs and arms to work the velocitator and deceleratrix. But has the music ever suddenly stopped unexpectedly? What happens?
I know for me, I realize that my driving has been subconsciously influenced by the music. The part of your brain that's processing the music has its impact on you and your actions. How else would music have the power it has? I just read about a study that showed people jamming to music they enjoy basically had a higher threshold for pain. Why is music played at sporting events?
So, I paint listening to music. What I listen to depends mostly on my mood and the time of day. It's all energetic and rhythmic, but early in the morning, I usually listen to lighter music like Fiona Apple, Beck, Bob Marley or Dave Matthews. Most of the time, however, it's what you'd probably call hard music. Eminem, Beastie Boys, Parliament, Infectious Grooves, Blind Melon, Black Sabbath, Disturbed, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian. Even Korn.
Surprised? Or not?
The main reason I listen to high energy music is because my painting technique is stippling, dabbing the paint onto the record repeatedly. The music, the beat flows through my wrist onto the record. I found over the holiday when I painted a couple pieces without music playing because of family, I painted much slower, more hesitantly.
Interestingly, even though most of that music could be called "angry music", I get more passionate than pissed off listening to it while painting. I think the reason is that I really like the music, so it doesn't anger me. Put on a jangly jam band and I'll probably break the record! ;) Don't wanna do that!
So what kind of music, what bands do you listen to while doing what you do all day? Have you thought about it's influence on you?