Studio Listening

When I'm in the studio working, sometimes I prefer silence. But other times I like to listen to music or podcasts. Here are a few of my favorites.

For people out there who only use laptops or iPads, you can listen to everything I mention below by clicking the link embedded in the article. Of course you can listen on your mobile device also.

Typical day in the studio with our Siberian cat Jasper.

I'm a big fan of Spotify.  We have a family membership so I do not need to listen to commercials. You can make an account and listen for free with just a few commercials scattered in with the music. A few months ago, I saw a fellow quilter would post Instagram photos of the albums she was listening to. That inspired me to start making a music playlist for each series I create based on that theme.  I started with the Sun Corn series and included lots of Los Lobos and Linda Ronstadt’s  album of Mexican folk songs. I went with a Latin music theme since the series is based on heirloom corn seeds. You can find the playlist HERE. This link takes you to the Spotify website and my playlist. You may need to sign up for Spotify to listen to the playlist but they have a free version. Spotify has genres and playlists they curate for any mood like chill, focus and fresh finds. 

My Gulf Waters playlist has lots of reggae with both familiar songs and some more obscure music and you can find it HERE. It just felt appropriate for spring since I always listen to reggae as the weather starts to warm up.

My current series Fire playlist is a compilation of songs I like with the word Fire in the title or band name. You would be surprised how many songs there are about fire. The nice thing about Spotify is you can search songs or artists which made this playlist rather easy to put together. Anyone remember "cuts tapes" from the 70's and 80's? It is an easier way of making a compilation. You can find the Fire playlist HERE

There a so many good podcasts out there. I am only listing my favorites. The iTunes platform is probably the most commonly used to listen to podcasts. I use an app called Overcast because I like the more streamlined interface and ability to make playlists of podcasts. 

Debbie Millan has been podcasting Design Matters for over 10 years. She is a great interviewer even on subjects I've never thought about or people I have never heard of. She talks about things that I'm interested in like the creative process and why people do what they do. She also is an author and has published several books on design and two illustrated essays. You can listen to her podcast HERE directly from her amazing website.

I've been following the Minimalists for several years. They just started podcasting and it's a free-flowing format where they pick a topic like consumerism, mental clutter or education and they have people ask questions by voice mail and just generally talk off the top of their heads about the current topic. I like their simple approach and I find the podcast interesting. Their website is fantastic and I have read a few of their essay collections. You can listen to it HERE directly from their website.

My son got me interested in the Start Up podcast.  They just started on season three and they follow the journeys of different start ups from the idea to crash and burn or success with everything in between. Great storytelling and first class journalism. You can listen to it HERE from their website.

Fresh Air with Terry Gross is another favorite. I often forget to listen to it on public radio so their podcast is wonderful for me. The podcast content is just the show. Their guests are always interesting and Terry is a wonderfully kind and knowledgeable interviewer. They often interview authors, actors, musicians, etc. Their guests are an eclectic mix of people. Sometimes I think I don't know who this person is and think about not listening to it. But often times I am surprised and fascinated by them. Every one has a story to share and Terry really brings it back to issues that all of us can connect to. You can listen to it HERE on the public radio website.

My all time favorite thing to listen to any time of the day is our local Chicago radio station WXRT. I have been a huge fan since 1981 when I first heard the station. Most of the same disc jockeys still work there from the 80's. What other station plays the Talking Heads at least once a day. You can listen to them from anywhere now, thanks to the Internet. You can listen to it HERE.

Hope you enjoyed my Studio Listening list and find at least one thing that you want to give a listen. Let me know what you thought about the music or podcasts.