I’m the guy with the headphones. You can ask anyone in the office: I tend to wear them all the time. It’s one of the things that come with the job of being a music writer. Aside from the professional aspect of listening to countless new releases and suggestions from your inbox, there’s also a psychological appeal to it. Certain music can help you increase your workflow.
Along with many other creative people at the Blogfabrik, I’m sharing a co-working space with Eileen and Pierre of the multi-disciplinary studio Schall & Schnabel. I have no clue how they do what they do but the results always look stunning. So, I just went by to ask them about how music influences their daily work. Unsurprisingly it plays a vital part: “Music is especially important when there’s a big team involved and you have to keep the motivation up,” they explain. Music clearly helps here. During an actual shooting, they prefer more agile sounds in the fields of jazz, electronica and rock, while post-production often calls for more laidback sounds. “When we create concepts we actually don’t listen to music,” Pierre says.
Especially during prolonged processes like retouching and less spectacular remittance work, music can be a wonderful distracting thing, Eileen explains. Schall & Schnabel have also worked on several music videos in the past, so the combination of images and sound is often crucial to that work, even if that means you have to listen to the same song again and again. „We switch to classic music or something psychedelic to get such a track out of our heads then „, the two artists tell me. Their favourites include everything from LCD Soundsystem to The Beatles – I was interested in having specific examples from the joint venture.
The following four projects show how specific music hase influenced the creative work of these two, sometimes more and sometimes less. Anyway, the songs left quite a memorable mark, to say the least.
1. Björk – „Unravel“
„For our collaboration project „Skinwalker“, a dance / painting / photography / performance project, Björk provided us with the perfect arty, yet cosy atmosphere.“
2. Bon Iver – „Holocene“
„For the retouching process of the images of „the concrete series“, we were listening to artist’s radio playlists on Spotify, including Bon Iver, José Gonzales, Chilly Gonzales & Ben Howard. It helped us to concentrate on the prolonged process.“
3. Moderat – „Running“
„We have a special playlist for editorial productions, including artists like Moderat, Caribou, SBTRKT, LCD Soundsystem etc. Some dance and electronic music tracks to cheer up the vibe on set.“
4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – „Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow“
„For our editorial „Tell me it’s not over“ for VISION MAGAZINE CHINA, we were listening to Nick Cave because our inspiring model Kassandra was at a concert of his the day before. She had the chance to meet him backstage.“
As you can see, motivation comes in different forms and sounds. And wouldn’t it be interesting to see how different creative fields get influenced by different types of music? NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION took the occasion of our chat with Schall & Schnabel to start a brand new Spotify playlist, based on the sounds around here at Berlin’s Blogfabrik and in general. Whatever your job is, this selection of encouraging songs will hopefully help you to reach your goal.