while the hands are working


i find it easier to listen to some things more than others and it always amazes me that depending on what i’m doing can be affected by listening to the spoken word, music or nothing.

When i listen to music, i can’t help seeing colours and patterns as well as feeling the emotion of the composer, lyricist or performer and i think this is why i find it difficult to draw or make something else at the same time.  when i’m on the potters wheel or in the workshop i don’t listen to music but i can listen to the spoken word with ease.  and then there are the times that listening to nothing can be deafening or just the right thing for the moment.

here in Scotland, this time of year is marked by study leave and exams and thinking about listening made me wonder about the most effective ways of studying.  One of the things i listened to this week, which also touched on this subject was http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gnq8y/Start_the_Week_Creativity_Jonah_Lehrer/ a great discussion programme which debated creativity, day dreaming, writing, sound, music, science and art.

like one of the participants in the programme i don’t listen to music or the radio when i’m travelling, especially when i’m walking, i don’t listen to anything apart from the sounds around me whether they are natural or man made, they all add to the experience of the walk and engagement with the place.  i guess it comes down to trying different things out and finding what works for you.



2 thoughts on “while the hands are working

  1. It’s very interesting, what you say about not listening to music while you work. I don’t do that either, unless I’m doing something mindless that I don’t need to think about and I need something to keep me going, but even then it is a bit of a distraction. I’ve worked with people who’ve had to have music on all the time while they worked and couldn’t stand the silence, which I’ve always found hard to deal with working in an open plan area. The one time when I do enjoy listening to either music or the radio rather than nothing is when I’m driving on my own. I quite like Radio 4 on in the background if I’m alone in the house but there is something very nice about silence too. I find it hard to imagine a life where I would always have the TV, radio or music on, I think it would drive me daft. I suppose it’s a lot to do with what you’re used to and brought up with, but listening to music is such a rich experience on its own, as you say, that it can be hard to do anything else that requires a lot of concentration at the same time.

    • thank you for your insight Lorna. I think driving is an interesting activity, for me the weather and my mood will determine whether I listen to music or radio 4. Thank goodness we’ve got the choice and we’re all different, life would be boring otherwise. 🙂

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