Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Angelic conversation

I bumped into Joad Raymond outside school today. Joad knows an awful lot about Milton. He knows an awful lot about angels too - he is writing a book about them at the moment; or at least a book about their appearance in other people's writing.

We asked how our respective books were getting on and I told him about my builders. Joad suggested music as a barrier. I was not sure about this. I have always liked the idea of music when I write (and I prefer music when I illustrate and particularly when I paint), but whenever I have tried it, I find I end up listening to the music too much and writing too little. I have always believed that I like music too much to treat it as background noise. So I have convinced myself I can only work in silence.

But it never is silence is it? There is always something leaking in - traffic noise, neighbours, kids, whatever. Music ought to be better than that. So I gave it a go and it seemed to work. I stuck my iTunes library on shuffle and gave myself a rather bizarre background music selection. And I certainly got more done that I had managed in the last few days.

It occurs to me now that I know nothing of Joad's taste in music and maybe did not have The Handsome Family or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or any of the other things I have floating around inside my computer in mind when he made his suggestion. Maybe a man who writes about angels listens to Bach not Bjork. But it worked - that's the main thing.

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