December 26, 2012
After 12 months of living, working, and listening, Lifework has amassed an ear-tingling selection of great playlists from all over the globe. Playlists came in from all around the Americas, even Europe and Asia. Review the sonic side of last year with the Best of the Playlists from 2012.
February 15, 2012
Janine Vangool publishes, edits, and designs UPPERCASE, a quarterly magazine “for the creative and curious,” from her studio in Calgary. Learn how music—and William Shatner—played a part in inspiring her career in this week’s Playlist. Read more
February 8, 2012
Felicia Filer has been the director of the Pubic Art Division for the Department of Cultural Affairs in City of Los Angeles for more that 15 years. In this post she shares the music she loves to listen to at work.
What do you listen to while you work? I mostly listen to Jazz during the day when I work, either instrumental or with words. I will pepper in some Soul or World Music if I need a boost! Erica Badu, Adele, Aretha Franklin, Corinne Bailey Ray, Angelique Kidjo or Toots Thielmans will always makes me happy! As the evening nears, I tend to play something a little more moody, like Gretchen Parlato, Jeff Buckley or Esperanza Spalding.
How do you listen? Since I have my own office I don’t have to wear head phones when I listen to music. I generally listen through the speakers on my computer. I try to keep the volume at a respectable level, yet still serve my need for the music to change my atmosphere.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I listen to Pandora on occasion.
Does music influence your work? Listening to music while I work helps me to stay calm. My job can be tremendously stressful. Mostly I am responding to people streaming into my office all day long with problems. I try to use a creative approach to solve the complex and challenging issues surrounding art and politics, such as how to continually provide cultural and artistic services throughout the City of Los Angeles with diminishing human and financial resources. Music helps me to think outside of the box when searching for innovative solutions to these concerns.
Who influences your musical taste? My daughter Brynne. She is part of an acoustic/indie duet called Le-Ti. She gives me a new mixed-cd about once a quarter with some amazing music on it. That really pushes me to keep expanding my musical taste. I find that the time of day or the beautiful California light and sunsets will also influence what I listen to!
What song or artist best represents the work you create/ If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Well, it’s the end of the year and everybody wants everything completed right now, so I would have to say today my work feels like the painting The Scream by Edvard Munch.
Felicia Filer’s Playlist
Esperanza Spalding, Fall In
Bobby McFarren, Invocation
Adele, Rolling In the Deep
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme
Wayne Shorter, Dance Cadavarous
The Beatles, Blackbird
Emanative & Ahu, Turn Your Lights On
Erykah Badu, Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long
Gretchen Parlato, Winter Wind
Azymuth, Free As A Bird
Jeff Buckley, Grace
February 1, 2012
After you make a memorable, handpicked music mix for a friend or loved one, there are a few things you might feel. Glad. Sort of satisfied. Clever for the interesting playlist you thoughtfully compiled. Slightly cool for hipping someone to artists and songs they might not have already known. Happiness in sharing a little part of yourself.
But let’s face it: there’s always that “gah!” feeling—a moment when you realize that there was one more perfect song that you wish you had included. In that spirit, we gave a few past Playlisters the chance to add that one extra tune to the mixes they previously created for our column. Here’s what a few of them are choosing to include. (We think it makes a pretty great mix just in itself!) Read more
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 30, 2011
2011 brought a full year of great music mixes to inspire us while we work—and while we play. Our thanks to those creative folks who gave us a look at the song picks that kept their workday (and ours) humming along throughout the year. Be sure to keep an eye out for more interviews and playlists from some of our favorite workspaces in 2012.
In the meantime, take a look back at some of tunes we featured in this first part of our “Best of” list. There were so many to choose from that we decided to sneak in part two on Monday. Read more
Balance, Design, Technology
November 16, 2011
In this week’s Playlist, I wanted to turn the spotlight on Lifework‘s fearless leader (and my editor) Cerentha Harris. We’ve been working with each other for a while now, but always from opposite coasts–and I often wonder what it would be like if we were creating this blog together in the same workspace. At least now I can get a taste of what it would sound like. Take a listen to her music mix below.
Balance, Design, Technology
October 26, 2011
Because he spent several years touring and recording as a bass guitarist with indie rock bands, we’re giving Washington, D.C.-based product designer Jonah Takagi extra cred when it comes to creating an interesting work mix. Take a listen to what he’s put together for us in this week’s Playlist.
Above: Jonah Takagi’s Scaffold Shelving
Balance, Design, Technology
October 19, 2011
This week’s Playlist comes to us by way of Amsterdam, where art director Ben Lambers and styling director Tatjana Quax run Studio Aandacht, a “studio for commercial culture.” Turn up your speakers for a quick listen to what’s playing through Ben’s sound system on any given day in their bold, colorful workspace.
What do you listen to while you work? Radio 4 (classical music in Holland), iTunes, and Radio Diemen (local pirate radio).
Balance, Design, Technology
October 12, 2011
What does Copenhagen-based stylist, blogger and designer Sofie Brünner listen to as she sips her first cup of coffee in the morning (besides the sound of her favorite jazz pianist playing next door)? Find out in this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? Actually, I love listening to someone talk while working! That means I listen to a lot of radio and podcasts and collect all sorts of weird and wonderful information on music, political issues, and comedy. However, I also like listening to music, which is usually within the jazz, soul, or easy-listening rock/pop genre. There’s nothing like putting on an Ella Fitzgerald album while sitting down with the first cup of coffee of the day. I also happen to be lucky enough to have a boyfriend who’s a jazz pianist, who happens to practice just next door to me. That means I’m not always allowed to listen to music (headphones distract me), so I sit and listen to him practice the same tune over and over again.
How do you listen? I’m not very proud to say that I’m not that high-tech. That means I play music off my computer… or if I feel a bit more motivated, I put on a vinyl on my old vinyl decks. There’s something special and real about the scratchy sound of and old Joni Mitchell vinyl.
September 28, 2011
This week, smashLAB Creative Director and Partner Eric Karjaluoto dishes up a Playlist: a mix with an old-school A- and B-side. (Who knew that could feel so fresh?) Turn up your speakers for a listen to the tunes that pump through his Vancouver office. (And if the office looks a bit familiar we ran Eric’s rather tidy desk last week!)
What do you listen to while you work? I quite like metal. The texture, pulsating rhythms, and general mass of it, all works for me. (While I understand that I’m likely in the minority on this point, I also find that this type of music helps me focus on what I’m doing.) The rest of the time, I listen to a garden variety of acts, ranging from Paul Westerberg and The New Pornographers to Supertramp and Massive Attack. I can’t say that I’m particularly adventurous in my listening, but I remain quite open to anything.
How do you listen? At the office, I plug into those ubiquitous white Apple headphones, attached to a computer. At home, everything runs through a stereo, which has some quite decent speakers. The most enjoyable music listening experience I have these days is with my boys, Oscar and Ari. After my wife, Amea, reads bedtime stories to them, they join me to listen to music on my iPad. The sound quality isn’t very good, but I love introducing them to music. (At the moment, they’re awfully fond of ABBA.)
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I find Grooveshark quite handy. It’s nice to have access to so much music, and the UI is relatively simple.
Does music influence your work? Not like it used to. When I worked as a painter, I found the connection much closer. Certain music does invigorate me to move faster and feel energetic; nevertheless, the projects I work on are focused more on agreed upon objectives and strategy than my personal voice.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? I run home from work most nights, and do so tuned into a program called Q on CBC. The interviews are very good, and the host, Jian Ghomeshi, often introduces interesting new acts. Recently, I found The Rural Alberta Advantage and Austra as a result of his program. I like that he features a number of emerging musicians, and that so many of them are Canadian.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I find the comparison difficult one. While I identify with a lot of different music, I don’t see my work as being analogous to any particular artist or piece of music. In fact, I feel it’s my job to ensure that our agency never feels like it’s coming from any single voice or perspective. In that respect, I suppose we’re a little like a group of session musicians. Our clients bring us in when they need to get the job done, but it’s more about them, than us.
I’ll treat this like a mix tape, with the A-Side containing some (lovely) metal, and the B-Side being more reflective of that garden variety of listening habits I mentioned.
Painkiller, Judas Priest
What Doesn’t Die, Anthrax
That Was Just Your Life, Metallica
Jesus Built My Hotrod, Ministry
Poison Was the Cure, Megadeth
Damage Case, Motörhead
Hang Down Your Head, Tom Waits
Moves, The New Pornographers
After the Rain, Blue Rodeo
Beast of Burden, The Rolling Stones
The Twilite Kid, The Twilight Singers
Images: Eugene Huh