A recent re-discovery – Radio Aporee. (link). Which is a constant stream of field recordings from all over the world. Which I will sometimes leave on when I just need to think and don’t want to be pulled in any particular direction by music.
Which is important. Much of the time, I need the overstimulation of information and art. But, every now and then, the brain is so plastic that it’s biddable, pulled in the direction of the sound and vision. And yet silence can, somehow, be its own distraction when thinking. So I have weather-sound generators like the Thunderspace and Windy apps, and Radio Apogee. And, for some reason, that’s sometimes exactly what I need to be able to hear my own mind and detect the tracks it wants to wander down.
A lot of this job is about learning how the inside of your own head works. You spend a lot of time alone, in small rooms, eyes closed or staring at the ceiling, poking around at the machinery and peering into all the nooks and crannies. Finding out how all the machines turn, and realising how little you really know about those machines. Picking through the litter of the culture that blows in through your ears and eyes and arranging it by date and colour and sound.
And sometimes you end up doing anything else possible to drown out the sound of the machines in your head, because you know too well how they grind. I mean, if you were wondering why I drink and read miserable books and listen to music that sounds like dissidents being buried in the snow.