I like most people like to have music around me almost all the time. With music I can steer my mood or leverage it. However despite all this listening it didn’t help me to be more inspired or to become better in sound creation, arranging or mixing. I realized that some sound engineers like a quiet environment when they get home from work. Why was that?
Maybe it’s because like people say that too much cream spoils the cake. If you as an example get an ice cream twice every year, not more and not less, then it will be a very special thing. You will look forward to it and you will remember every thing about it. You will remember how the ice cream tastes, looks, feels and the wonderful time you spend with whoever joins you on this special occasion. If you on the other hand eat ice cream three times every day it will not be so special anymore. You will forget the fantastic experience it is and just look at it as another of the good things in life if even that. When people move to a house with a beautiful view they are over excited but five years later most of them don’t even reflect over the view anymore.
I would think it’s the same thing with music. Walking around with earphones 24 hours a day does not inspire me. Sooner or later it just becomes noise. When I was younger I used to be out playing with my friends or do other things. Then I would decide that now I want to spend an hour or so just laying in bed listening to music, not doing anything else. I didn’t have 20 million songs like I have now. I had only the CDs I had bought which was about 50 or so but mostly it was the latest one or two I would listen to. I knew every sound, every beat and every tone of them. They inspired me to try to reproduce and further develop those sounds. they inspired me to copy and then continue to develop my own sound.
So now I have tried to go back to that feeling and way of listening. I don’t listen to music everywhere I go anymore. Just when I want to listen to something that comes to my mind or when I want to go deeper into a production for reference listening or just to get ideas and inspiration how to move on with my own projects. I try to do one thing at a time. When I listen I listen and when I want to do something else I do that, not both things at the same time. The good thing with it is that it actually works, at least for me. I haven’t been this productive for a very long time, probably not since those days in my youth.