When you walk up the stairs in my building, sounds emanate from various corners. One neighbor is listening to “talk of the Nation” on some NPR station; laughter or muffled conversation can be heard. … but when I really want to concentrate it’s not music but other options that I have playing in the studio.
Some folks work well with music playing while they paint, but for some reason that’s never been the case for me. Instead, now that I have an iPod, there is quite a collection of podcasts that I have lined up.
Maybe a neurologist could explain why it is that my brain listening to someone telling me a story doesn’t interrupt my connection to what I’m working on, whereas listening to music seems to interfere/occupy the part of my brain that wants to be fully engaged in / concentrate on painting…
anyway- here are my current favorites in no particular order
The Moth Podcast (true stories told live in front of an audience with no notes)
Speaking of Faith (Krista Tippett’s interviews with a range of fascinating people)
This American Life (several stories each week on a theme)
The New Yorker: Fiction (writers reading and discussing other writers work)