In a previous post I introduced some music that I personally feel is ideal listening while transcribing manuscripts. Working on the huge data set for the Pastoral Epistles ECM, time got away from me and I neglected to write the first follow-up post. Without further ado, the second installment of selected transcription music.
LoFi Girl’s lofi hip hop Channel
The lo-fi music scene has exploded on the internet, producing an endless stream of instrumental tunes with shuffling dilla beats, warbly detuned guitars, scratchy mics, and chillhop grooves. But the term lo-fi is not really about recording on low-budget equipment, it is about a sound--that can be expensive to produce as well! For manuscript transcribers it’s a sound that can make your workflow a lot more pleasant. LoFi Girl is where it's at if you want a great stream of lo-fi music to work to.
Kind of Blue (Miles Davis)
The Miles Davis Quintet of 1955-1959 produced some wonderful instrumental jazz that, even if you are not someone who regularly listens to jazz, is melodic and accessible. At the risk of being too obvious (I am not a snob obscurantist working at Championship Vinyl), I have added Kind of Blue to this list. If the bassline on “So What” doesn’t hook you pretty quickly then your condition is terminal and we’ll add you to the center’s prayer list.
Nova Sonus (State Azure)
If you were enchanted by Vangelis’ soundtrack in Blade Runner, then this two-hour excursion into dreamy Vangelis-like music is for you. I apparently stumbled across this song/video about a week after it was released and I have listened to it countless times while working with Greek manuscripts. I have wondered from the start if Nova Sonus is a grammatical infelicity (that should be corrected to Novus Sonus) or if the title is simply a mix of English and Latin. State Azure has some generative tracks (such as “Snow Drift”) that are also great background music.
L'Apocalypse Des Animaux (Vangelis)
Having just mentioned the late Vangelis, the Blade Runner soundtrack is a good choice even though the bits of dialogue are hard for me not to recite when they appear. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe… attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…” Good times. But L’Apocalypse Des Animaux (written for a late-’60s documentary series) has one of my favorite Vangelis tracks: “La Petite Fille De La Mer” and some great dreamy pieces like “Creation Du Monde” and “La Mer Recommencée.” Definitely some great background music for transcription work.
Intuite (Pierre Bensusan)
There are some fantastic guitarists I could put on these three lists and I am shocked to realize that I am just now adding the first one. I learned about the Algerian musician Pierre Bensusan through guitar prodigy Michael Hedges, after wondering why one of his songs was called “Bensusan.” Intuite is just him and a DADGAD-tuned acoustic guitar, which is ideal for this list. I really wish two other songs were on Intuite: “4 A.M. (4 Heures Du Matin)” and “The Last Pint (La Derniere Pinte),” two wonderful acoustic-guitar-only tracks from his Spices album. Oddly, Pierre did not consult me when putting together Intuite.
In PART THREE we will wrap it up with some other favorite albums that make the hours fly by when doing this work.