While I’ve been editing, selecting and working on the many rolls of processed films from my trips this year, I’ve been listening to a lot more ambient music.
This has partly been influenced by a friend that I’ve been sharing music with. And what has come out of this, is that I think the music I listen to, while I am editing and post-processing – going through the selection process, can have a massive influence on how things unfold and evolve during the birth of new images.
I wouldn’t for one second assume that the music I’ve been listening to will be for everyone. But if you like ambient music – things like Brian Eno, Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, or film music from composers such as Thomas Newman, then you might like this piece of music by Stars of the Lid. I think they produce ambient-classical music :-) It has a floaty, dreamy quality to it that allows my mind to focus on what I’m doing in my digital-dark-room, while also obliterate out the real world for a few hours.
I find that listening to some kinds of music during the editing process can be a terrible distraction. I can’t for some reason listen to music with any spoken words in it. It just seems to pull me away from my own thoughts, which isn’t good – as I do believe that post editing requires a high-degree of self reflection, and inner dialog.
Highly repetitive music, as well as the floaty/dreamy music mentioned above – does seem to work for me. I think it’s because it has a hypnotic element to it – which I believe consumes the part of my conscious mind that can’t be quiet. I think repetitive music helps keep this part of my mind occupied, allowing the part of me that has zoned out, to remain in the creative flow that I’m hopefully experiencing.
I have to be aware of my thoughts, which often are only measured by my feelings. If the music is conducive to that, then it tends to help get me into the right creative zone. We all know what that zone is like – it’s when we’re no longer aware of where we are, of how much time is passing by, and all the distractions of every day life have gone. In that sense, it is very similar to the creative zone we experience when we are out in the landscape – time passes by, thoughts float freely away, and we’re left with an empty and calm mind that is ready to be occupied by one thing: the craft of picture making.