Music in The Studio, Part II: Pandora

On Wednesday we talked about what everyone’s listening to in the their studios, and there were such interesting comments that I wanted to include as many as possible. Lots of people are listening to Pandora music radio, and here are some of the stations they love that you might want to check out in your own space.

Carol says, “I listen to music the entire time I’m in my artspace. Great upbeat music gets me motivated, but I have to be careful because sometimes it motivates me to dance more than work! My Pandora list includes music ranging from Cage the Elephant to The White Stripes and The Black Keys. A couple of truly awesome favorite songs for me are ‘Shine On’ by Robert Plant and ‘Do You Evah’ by Spoon. I couldn’t get anything done without my music!”

Kim says, “Sara Bareilles radio on Pandora…. I love songs that tell a story and I can sing along to super loud. I do often work in complete quiet, too, though.” And Lynne adds, “Okay, I am with Kim on the Pandora radio, listening to Sara Bareilles when gathering my supplies for a project or for the day. I also listen to any 1970’s pop era ballad type things for that, but not really anything at all when actually creating. I talk to myself a lot so, lol, I need to hear myself think. When it is crank out time, I like Kelly Clarkson’s ‘What Doesn’t Kill You,’ Maroon 5 (anything from them), and Lady GaGa’s ‘The Edge Of Glory.’ I also feel it is good for my workshops to have something neutral with a beat to get everyone in a rhythm for stuff like sawing. I would like to incorporate music more in my teaching……this can be a bit tricky depending on student tastes. Seriously and surprisingly, the old time favorite, ‘I’ve Been Working On the Railroad’ works for most in those classroom settings…… Hehehe.”

Linda says, “I like to listen to Phil Coulter’s music on Pandora. Sometimes it is pan pipe music, Blue grass— depends on my mood. No words with it. I find singing is distracting when I am trying to work on something.” Judah says, “One of my favorite Pandora stations is created around the group Beats Antique, which features music influenced by the indigenous folks in different areas of the globe, but… modernized? Not quite sure how to describe it. Some vocals, some no vocals, since it’s a mixed station. A favorite artist to listen to (sometimes on repeat) is Zoe Keating, formerly of Rasputina, but now doing solo cello work. No vocals, just her by herself and her cello, which you’d never be able to tell, as she loops herself over and over again, creating these ‘walls’ of sound, the percussion coming from physically beating on the body of the cello. (I love her) Best CD of hers is Natoma.” Sharon likes the Beats Antique station, too, so you might want to check them out. It’s cool to think of other artists you know working away to the same music you’re listening to.


Several other people mentioned world music: Kari says, “I have a quirky little routine. I listen to Celtic, Peruvian, Indigenous Mexican and Native American music with heavy flutes when I am sketching and noodling around. Then during ‘production’ I listen to high energy, upbeat things like the Riverdance soundtrack, or Footloose Soundtrack- stuff that makes me want to dance and move! For kit packing I listen to a longtime favorite John Melloncamp- usually the Scarecrow album. I ‘know’ all the lyrics and it doesn’t mess up my counting. As I write articles and class descriptions I turn to classical or opera. I generally like Vivaldi or Carmen. To work on the computer, to submit classes and contracts, I listen to things that are upbeat and happy- Barry Manilow, Statler Brothers, Mexican dance mixes! I know- I’m an odd duck!” We don’t think she’s odd at all; she’s someone who’s figured out what her brain needs for specific tasks, and that’s wonderful.

Kathy listens to world music, too, and says, “I always listen to music…..Always! I have a particular love for ‘world beat’ type music that you can find on the Putamayo label or all over Pandora. I generally run music on ‘shuffle’ using many stations: African, Brazilian, Celtic, Contemporary Bollywood, Hawaiian, Irish pub, World beat Radio. Keeps me moving and dancing and that works well when I am doing mixed media work. When I want to wind down I knit and listen to the Yoga station. Very calming. I will also go on artist kicks when I work and create Pandora stations around them. Lately I’ve been on Mumford and Sons and Tommy Emmanuel. When the music is flowing just right I can create for hours!” Exactly!

Annie says, “I am right now listening to Native American chants with flutes and drums, and I have a collection of Benedictine Gregorian Chants. Very relaxing for me….. odd though isn’t it?” but Lorien doesn’t think it’s odd at all, and she says, “Annie – I’ve discovered chants back in high school (the60s), and those, along with Carlos Nakai/Coyote Oldham and Kudsi Erguner (Ney flute master), are my go-to for deep relaxation. I listen to chants/motets when in the dental chair. So not odd at ALL to me!”


I’m still getting responses even as I type this, and the comments are so thoughtful I’m going to do one more post to try to include some more. Check back on Monday to see what else is playing—


Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.

Cover_U2959.inddMore artist’s studio habits and suggestions can be found in Seth Apter’s new book, The Mixed Media Artist.







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