A lot of you loved last week’s post by Brian Greene about pencils (incidentally, so did Boing Boing). And some of that is due in part to the post’s whimsical-cool illustrations by artist Jordan Awan. In addition to being a contributor here at Lifework, Jordan’s also the Art Director at The New Yorker and the founder (along with wife Morgan Elliott) of Springtime Studio Illustration. Here’s the music that makes up the Brooklynite’s (probably very long) workday.
What do you listen to while you work? I usually listen to rock and roll or just enjoy silence, which is sometimes easier for me to work to. The mix below is decently representative of what I like to listen and work to. Otherwise, I listen to opera; I also like to work to Philip Glass Ensemble.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I haven’t really explored those too much yet. Last FM seems quite good; the little time I have spent on it, I’ve been impressed with what they recommend based on the channel you create. Pandora is fine, too.
Does music influence your work? I’m more overtly influenced by literature or visual art, so it’s interesting to think about music influencing me. Actually, for a long time I was stealing titles for paintings from Simon and Garfunkel song lyrics. So, that’s something. I think John Cage’s funny and beautiful “Suite for Toy Piano” is really inspiring, and is maybe a close relative of what I aspire to do. I admire how Mozart could write something that is simultaneously silly and elegant, for instance his exuberant Overture to The Marriage of Figaro. Artists like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, or Lou Reed, each of whom invented a new version of a musical vernacular, are very creatively motivating.
Where do you find music recommendations? My wife has had an influence on my musical taste, which probably happened naturally as our records and libraries got mixed together and her music would be on when I’m in the apartment. She got me interested in Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Buddy Holly, Gillian Welch…blues and all its offspring, I guess. Music that is very American. Other than that, sometimes a friend will give me a good recommendation.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? Maybe Elvis? Might as well as be the king. A friend once told me that a Beat Happening song called “Indian Summer” sounded the way my drawings looked.
Child’s Christmas in Wales, John Cale
Redondo Beach, Patti Smith
Spanish Harlem Incident, Bob Dylan
Cannibal Resource, Dirty Projectors
Waterfall, The Stone Roses
My Girls, Animal Collective
This Must Be the Place, Talking Heads
Sweet Jane, The Velvet Underground
Elvis Presley Blues, Gillian Welch
In the New Year, The Walkmen
From Stardust to Sentience, High Places
Images: Jordan Awan