What do you listen to while you work? I usually start the morning with Sesame Street (nothing beats that harmony between Bert & Ernie in their “Great Adventures” theme song). Then it’s on to NPR’s Morning Edition and usually I switch to John in the Morning on KEXP Seattle (streaming through iTunes) as soon as he starts. The afternoon is either listening to what I’m working on, or a lot of tangential playlisting. I usually have one strange 30-song playlist that makes sense to no one but me, and I listen to ad nauseum for about a week. Every time I get in the car with my wife remarks on how she’s “completely sick of this playlist,” and I’m always a bit surprised that she was even listening. I think the point is that music for me has a way not of being supplemental to my reality, but rather replaces a good deal of what I should be paying attention to.
How do you listen? I run everything through my Apogee One. iTunes, recording apps, the works. It sits on my desk in a little tripod stand, and it’s ready to listen to me whenever I have something to say. When recording, I listen out of that through my Sennheiser headphones (everyone needs a pair of good studio headphones). They put me inside the music, where speakers put the music near me. When I’m not using headphones, I had a custom cable made that lets me take the output of the Apogee One and run it through my Bose sound dock. Audiophiles will laugh, but I don’t care. Limited space, and sounds a a lot better than just about everything else that fits in my little apartment studio.