Music in the Studio

A lot of artists like to play music while they work. I think it’s a dangerous thing to do. The problem is that the feelings of the music possess you and then you start to believe that your own work has the same feeling. If you feel the music a lot you can enter a delusional state and imagine that your work is great, when really you haven’t given it a chance. Actually, having said that, I realize it might be too generous to my colleagues, most of whom probably use music as background noise, as it is in many workplaces. As such it can be a tool of concentration, a way of distracting oneself away from the normal background noise in one’s head. But once the flow is happening, it becomes an obstacle to concentration, a distraction. At some point, it has to be turned off.

Robert Linsley, Collage #7 2016, watercolor, watercolor pencil, silkscreen, acrylic, enamel collage on canvas

Robert Linsley, Collage #7 2016, watercolor, watercolor pencil, silkscreen, acrylic, enamel collage on canvas

But then listening to Das Lied von der Erde in the studio while working on this collage, I found the music joyful, despite it’s apparent seriousness. The joy is in the composer’s exercise of artistic capacities, skills, knowledge—the ability to put things together, also the pay off from my own efforts. So which way does the influence go? Does the music cast a glow over the work, or does the act of working open me up to the music?

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