I find it hard to work with audio files. What gets to me is the need for silence. When I’m looking to equalize volume between tracks or hunting down artifacts to cut out, listening to music or ambient sounds is not a luxury that I can afford – I’d end up missing stuff.
I didn’t understand how much impact my soundtrack had on my performance until my work as a podcaster forced me to eliminate it. I’ve always seen myself as a lover of silence – I’m utterly unable to do work with people talking in the background, even if they’re not talking with me.
But it’s not that silence disturbs me. It’s just that it doesn’t inspire me, either. On the other hand, ambient sounds (birds chirping, tropical rains, glorious thunderstorms!) and music (especially instrumental arrangements) act as excellent brain lubricants. I think that I started using them – putting on headphones, or turning up the volume – as an alternative to “shutting the door”, a way to not have to hear other people. But eventually, sound became part of my process.
Everyone changes. But rarely according to plan. Ours changes come about as a consequence of our actions, of what we DO. And often, the changes creep up on us, unnoticed.