I've noticed that my musical tastes vary a bit between typical 'pop' easy listening to music where I really can get affected by what I'm listening to.
One musician who makes me think about things in a lot of depths is Australian Iva Davies, lead singer/composer etc of Icehouse who were primarily around in the 80s but he's still writing amazing music. The lyrics are very full of meaning and the music really speaks to me.
Reminds me of Janny and WOLAS!
When I am working on something, particularly a written piece, I usually prefer instrumental music, because I have found myself going along with the lyrics, or even transcribing said lyrics. The exception to this is Enya, who is generally singing in Gaelic, and as I don't know the language, I somehow don't transcribe the lyrics.
Does anyone else run into that?
The piece I choose also depends on the mood of the scene. One of my favorite classical series to write to is Gustav Holst's Planets Suite. Mars, Bringer of War, has great martial (bad pun, I realize) undertones, while Jupiter Bringer of Joviality, has a much lighter tone, but with a few parts that could suggest dignity or sorrow.
A dead topic but an interesting one. For me the good ones are not those who make me think as such, but those who make me feel - those who evoke definite emotion. This can free up the creativity nicely. There's another kind of evocation I love in music - this is my favourite - music that evokes visual images or spatial possibilities. I guess I shouldn't say this doesn't make me think, because I suppose it is thinking, but non-verbal thinking, conceptualising. That's the stuff I love to listen to when I'm working (I's an artist). If I'm writing, even a little note like this, I can't listen to any music whatsoever. Completely destroys my concentration. The "strongly visual" music can put me in a place where I find it hard to speak, let alone write. Weird, but good patterns come out. An album that always sends me there is the Mirror Pool, by Lisa Gerrard. I wouldn't know how to begin describing this music, so if anyone out there knows it, you're more than welcome to have a go!
John Denver for me.
Whenever I listen to his music and the lyrics in it, I realize that they're in tune with the world - we should learn from people like Jacques Cousteau and stop destroying the environment with every little act we do. Global warming and the greenhouse effect, anyone?