Writing with music helps give the writer energy, adrenaline and focus to help power through more writing work. The following motivating albums are on constant rotation in my stereo to help me write, whether it is writing for pay or writing essays for school.
Hans Zimmer – The Da Vinci Code Soundtrack
Whether you think The Da Vinci Code was a good movie or not (or even saw it), the soundtrack can stand alone as a musical piece that can be motivating for the writer who is into an orchestral style of music. Fans of orchestral music may recognize The Da Vinci Code Soundtrack to have elements echoing a myriad of famous orchestral works, such as Mozart’s “Requiem” or Handel’s “Messiah.” In general, this song is preferable for writing over classical orchestral works because it keeps an even overall feel and does not make distracting changes in the movements.
Explosions in the Sky – Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
Take a break from German influences to explore an inspiring album from a band based in Austin, Texas. Though they identify themselves as a rock band, guitar-heavy Explosions in the Sky offers up a slow-building instrumental experience that gives a similar feel to many classical or symphonic pieces. With slow-rising buildups to dramatic musical climaxes, this is a good album for raising writing energy that seems to be irreparably stagnant. Though “Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place” is my favorite Explosions in the Sky album for writing motivation, any of their albums tend to be good for composing words of word art.
Deftones – Adrenaline
An alt-metal band that snowballed into popularity in the mid-to-late nineties, Deftones offer up a kinetic slap in the face for a writer who is moved by deep, growling guitar and lyrics that mix screams with whispers of vulnerability Deftones sing in English, but the inherent screaminess of the lyrics makes the words generally more difficult to discern without actively listening to them. Not that the lyrics are bad or should be ignored; for some lyrics simply do not serve the purpose of writing well, since they can distract the writer from the words developing in his mind’s eye or ear.
Kraftwerk – Minimum-Maximum
Minimum-Maximum is a live album released in 2005 by the German music group Kraftwerk. The album was released in both English and German languages, but only a few songs are different, so either version of this album is a good pick for writers who like motivating electronic music. The general feel of this album is sort of that robot-beepy electronic style, with heavy use of vocoders and electronic elements like synthesizers.
Though each writer has her own process or way of thinking, I often find that songs with limited vocals or non-English lyrics help drive me to better concentrate on writing. Keep these albums in constant rotation to build musical energy to increase the volume and quality of the words you put on the page.