Sitting high above the pulchritudinous Portsmouth tugboats (Thanks for the inspiration,, Graphic Details team members derive creativity and motivation in different ways. In our office, music tops the list. A recent inter-office conversation got us asking each other what music fuels the work we send out into the world. Do you share the same musical motivations as our GD team? Read on to learn about our “music to work to” moments. 

Brenda Riddell

(Owner/ Creative Director/ Feel-Good Listener):

I have a few playlists on my laptop, and I tend to listen to the same ones over and over when I need to get into a zone. A combination of my familiarity with the music, and the comfort I feel with these particular artists, eases me into productivity. I’m typically listening to Wilco, Mercury Rev, Tycho, José Gonzalez, Grizzly Bear, Danger Mouse, and Radiohead.

Jaimie Knapp

(Design Director/ Needs Noise Cancelling Headphones):

For the most part, I cannot listen to music while trying to concentrate on anything. I can’t even search for something online or balance my checkbook and listen to music. I need silence! The only time I can sometimes listen to music is if it’s instrumental and I don’t have tasks that require 100% full concentration. I’m pretty much the buzz-kill in the office always asking to turn the music down or off when I need to concentrate… I definitely need a pair of noise-cancelling headphones!

Nathaniel Raymond

(Designer/ Illustrator/ Office Music Overseer):

When using the office speakers, I aim to play predominantly vocal-less music that hopefully won’t distract Jaimie. It’s some mix of upbeat post-rock, instrumental hip-hop, chillwave, ambient, IDM, flubstep, electrosplash, skiff rock, and any other combination of nonsensical and/or made-up genres.

Actual albums I have had on repeat while working (with headphones) in the past few months:

“World Eater” by Blanck Mass
“Ascending a Mountain of Light” by The Body & Full of Hell
“Commitment to Complications” by Youth Code

Rachel Pantazis

(Content Management Associate/ TV Soundtrack Streamer):

When I was in college, I used to love to stream Bach on Pandora. I’d sit down on the floor or at a table in a common area, put my earbuds in, and headbang to some pretty schweet Bach inventions. After a while, I learned that Bach’s music was WAY too intricate for me to listen to while I was multitasking. Once I switched to less intense classical music (Chopin or some other French #BOSS), I saw a serious decrease in my performance anxiety.

Today, I still stream some classical music, but I’m really enjoying fan-made playlists of music from my favorite shows. While I work, I love to stream the jazzy styles of The Marvelous Mrs. Masel with ALL the Barbra Streisand, girl power anthems from shows like The Bold Type, or some orchestral drama from a Poldark playlist between seasons on Masterpiece Theatre. I change my choice of music based on the task I’m doing, or based on how much I’m dreaming for a new season of binge watching.

Megan Tracy

(Graphic Designer/Newbie):

Honestly, it depends on the day for me. When I was in college, some days I would listen to cello music or coffee shop sounds (not sure how I came across this, but it’s fire) and other days I would listen to one of my calm Spotify playlists. Today, my music taste can range from belty “GIRL, SING IT” music to some raunchy rap music that I probably shouldn’t be allowed to play out loud. Whenever I get asked what type of music I like, the answer is always, “anything, but country!” So in reality, I’ll just hit shuffle most days and hope for something that’ll keep me on track with my work, which works… most days.  

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