Do you listen to music when writing?

MusicTypewriterI was doing a bit of writing, and got to thinking what other people do when they write, do you listen to music while you are writing?

If you happen to follow me in Facebook and see a Spotify posting that I am listening to music without song, often classical piano or jazz music- I am probably writing…

The stories of songs bring too many images in my head, I’m dyslexic and see my thoughts as pictures…  To listen to music with words being sung, telling a story I end up seeing too many of those images too, cluttering my own ideas I am attempting to share…

Closing my eyes, I allow the sound and rhythm of the music to tune out the non silence- motor vehicles that drive by the house, the snoring of my two dogs, the sound of the printer, hum of the fan in the computer and the sound of my breath even my heart…  For me this is full focus, the idea as images start growing, the many images of a single idea start to form, like watching the many pieces of an item spinning and flipping into place on a computer generated animation, 3D objects each finding their place in a kind of motion picture that to write, I need to find the words to paint to describe it…

There is no technical writing, I am just not that kind of writing, as I can only find ways to describe the images, story telling to me is the only way…  There are no words spoken that only I hear, unless it is thinking to someone’s writing I read and I know their voice, then I hear their voice as I read…  But this is my own writings, and the only voice I hear is the single word, as I locate the letters on the keyboard for that word, then the next word with my fingers trying to keep up…  Slowly the words like strokes of a paint brush describes the part of the image or moving image I see in my head…  As if to speak as I think, without thinking too much to what I am saying, just describing it as best I can with words like paint…

To watch me type, one would see me intently staring at the keys, my fingers trying to locate the correct keys in what has turned into my way to writing that works for me and I have been practicing for so many years since finding out I was dyslexic and that I also needed to figure out how to write better…

If I am creating visually, I already have the image in my head, and I allow my experience to figure out the how to convey that image…  This I find easy, and enjoy listening to many kinds of music while drawing, painting doing photography or graphic design…  But to write, I need to focus and that means music without song…

Do you listen to music as you write?  If so, what kind?

Voice of an Angel

Last night, my sister Wendy asked me what music and/or musicians Mom enjoyed listening to, her wanting to post some of the music within her Facebook page to share with her friends and people she knows… Wendy had been playing some that she knew of off the computer, as I talked with Rick our stepfather… The sounds of classical, opera, jazz and songs from famous musicals filled the room as the evening wore on… So I told her a few that came to mind, though I am often hard pressed to remember the names of songs or who sung them, often just enjoying the music or the story behind the words sung… There are just too many groups and musicians to recall, picturing the album artwork in my head relating to the musical sound, but not recalling the singer/s or group’s name…


Our Hunting Fathers (“Messalina”) sung by Phyllis Bryn-Julson

One of my Mom’s dearest friends from college and also my Godmother Phyllis Bryn-Julson (singing in the video above), whom is a very respected opera singer… Mom would play her albums, singing with her in harmony words I didn’t seem to understand then…

When I was very young one of my first and fondest memories of my Mom playing music, the old stereo just shaking the pictures upon the walls and make the windows shake… I recall is of Wendy as a baby, when she was crying once… My Mom singing to the Sound of Music to Wendy, when she was just in diapers before she could talk, the tears stopping and a look of wonder in her face… We lived in Rochester then, a large house that the acoustics would echo up the stairway to the next floor…

Some of the albums would be classical music that would include, organ or piano, then others with song, Hymns, opera, songs from classical musicals… Two of the albums included my Mom singing on them, my grandfather accompanying her with playing the piano in the background…. She had even originally gone to Syracuse University to be a voice major in music, but had later changed to get a teacher’s degree…

The memory is a song she would sing with is from an Opera, Lakmé… This opera includes a famous and popular part of the concert- the Flower Duet, a duet sung by two women… I recall my Mom matching note for note in perfect harmony her voice to theirs… I was still very young but the image and memory has ever been one I always cherished… For me her voice became what I would believe would be what the musical voices of angels should sound like…

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