Friday 12 June 2009

Music to Paint by

What sort of music do you listen to while painting? Or are you the silent type? Personally I need to listen to music, if only to drown out the noise of the TV. I'm easily distracted and before I know it I've wasted an entire evening watching mediocre programmes that are laughably called entertainment [Whoa boy! Off that soapbox!]. Ahem...

As I was saying, I like to listen to music while I paint. My choice can be quite varied, from Classical to Movie Soundtracks. Of the latter I'm quite fond of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack by Howard Shore (no surprise there) and the Blade Runner music by Vangelis. I also consider the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack by Basil Poledouris to be an essential for every painter.

In recent years I have discovered a love of Chinese films and consequently enjoy soundtracks from films like Hero and Crouching Tiger (both composed by Tan Dun). Another favorite is music from the computer games World of Warcraft by Jason Hayes and others.

I can't write an article on music, especially fantasy music, without mentioning the website Radio Rivendel. This is an online radio station based in Sweden playing fantasy music 24 hours a day seven days a week. Started in 2001 it has continued to expand its selection and quality of streamed music on the web and I heartily recommend it.

Aside from its TV obscuring properties music also helps me get "in the zone". I definitely paint better when I've lost myself in some fantastical world conjured up by a compelling soundtrack. In fact it could be argued I drift too deeply... the house could fall down around me and I wouldn't notice.


  1. It's not music for me, rather I like Radio 5Live, or Radio 7 of the digital radio.


  2. I always found classical music is great to ease the mind. Any track by John Williams via Star Wars is also a great motivator


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