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--- Apr 29 2001 Go to category
Subject: Listen While You Work
Category: General Questions
From: Cliff McCartney (Fayetteville, GA USA)


I have been a huge fan since "Travels." I heard the live "Are You Going With Me" in 1984 and the rest is history. My daughter is now a big fan and she *loves* "The Roots of Coincidence." Your show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta last January is one I will not soon forget. I can still remember the whole thing. My wife and daughter and I have vowed that if you play within 200 miles of Atlanta we will be there.

I am a professional software developer and the work I do is pretty heads-down stuff and can get very complicated both to write and troubleshoot. I almost always listen to music while I work. My selections are usually classical or instrumental jazz. In the latter category, my selections are usually you, Keith Jarrett, Miles, or Coltrane. It is a rare day that I don't listen to you while I work. I am working right now on a big hairy piece of code and listening to "To the End of the World." I belive my best work comes while listening to PMG.

My question is this. Has anyone ever told you that your music is inspiring in professions other than music? Do you have any thoughts about your music as an active agent in the creative process in a non-musical context?

Pat’s Answer:

hi cliff,

in fact, i do hear quite often from people who do all kinds of jobs while listening to our music and it is really interesting to me. especially the idea that music can function in a way that is condusive to work in areas that require complex thinking. i even admit to being slightly envious of someone who can use music as a kind of assistant for concentration, because for me, in my work, silence kind is a neccesity before i can get to anything. the functional aspects of music that are available to folks who are working on important things are intriguing to me, although i don't think it would ever be possible for me to kind of aim towards that as a conceptual or practical goal while making it. but i hear all the time from students, a lot of software engineers, factory workers, designers, artists and many others who use our stuff as a kind of component in their everyday work lives. i feel flattered to be included, and if there is a kind of service at work there, then i am glad to offer that service as an unintended but apparently useful part of the overall package that the music is.

thanks for writing in.

best from pat