I’ve been listening to a lot more classical music lately. So that I can feed on their energy, I like to study around other people who are also working, like at Starbucks or the library, but sometimes these places are too noisy to concentrate. Yes, sometimes even the library. The relative quietness of the library depends on the location. Toronto Reference Library emits the perfect amount of white noise, whereas Wychwood closest to my home seems to be plagued by loud-talking librarians (WHY??). The “sky” floor at Ryerson Student Learning Centre, I was told on a tour, is the quiet floor where industrious students never speak above a whisper (LIES). I love Robarts at University of Toronto because it’s like a goddamn tomb in there. Alas, neither my beloved TRL or Robarts are very handy, so my solution is to study wherever adorned with headphones. Investing in headphones is seriously some of the best money I’ve ever spent.
The trouble is, music is distracting! I tried an app that makes white noise but it wasn’t enough to block out the annoying shit that Starbucks plays, presumably to prevent people from sitting there all day (nice try, Starbucks). I also found it pretty annoying. So the music must be something that blocks out noise, but isn’t so intrusive that it competes with what I’m thinking about. My acupuncturist has been advocated classical music since my first session with her because it supposedly improves mood, lowers stress, boosts brain power, and helps you sleep (sleep being the critical issue for me). I don’t know about all that, but it does exactly what I need it to do when I’m studying or writing in public. Thank you Google Play “Classical for Studying” playlist.
Following the success of Classical for Studying, I decided to make my acupuncturist proud and revive my sleep hygiene practice of listening to classical music before bed. Not surprisingly, Google Play has a playlist for that too: Classical for Sleep. That is where I encountered this piece, Metamorphosis IV by Philip Glass, which is ENTIRELY TOO STIMULATING TO BE ON A SLEEP PLAYLIST, Google Play – WTF???*
Anyway, obsessed with this piece.
* Also, I miss when Google Play’s playlists used to be Songza, who understood that a sleep playlist shouldn’t involve loud-ass ads that scare the hell out of me when I’m on the cusp of, or actually asleep. Get it together, Google. Try getting a human to make these decisions instead of an algorithm, maybe.