Working in front of a computer could be quite dull. Sitting for eight hours (or even more), staring at the monitor and trying to concentrate just to write a few words. It is specially annoying when you work in an office. You have 30 other people around you, all clicking on the keyboards, making their small irritating noises. And when you are working as a writer you just need a way to isolate yourself from the environment. Or you might just need some inspiration.
The thing that helps me most is music. But not just any type of music - soundtracks. Other music could be quite distracting.
Video Game Music
I decided to split the list in to two - movies and video games. Just for your convenience.
Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil
An old game that I used to play when I was a little kid. It has a wonderful plot, wonderful gameplay and I enjoyed every moment of it. But there was one thing which grabbed me a lot - the music. To be honest, a few years back I couldn't remember anything from the soundtrack. The only song I knew was "Propaganda" - a really catchy tune. But thanks to the internet I found the whole thing. I can't tell you the times I've listened to this album. There are more than 30 songs inside and each one is incredibly pleasant for work. Just try it out. It's a pity there won't be a second game.
Unlike others games on this list, Bastion is one I have never played. I know it's a good game, many friends have recommended it to me, but I've never tried it. Yet the music is something else. I fell in love with this soundtrack. The acoustic guitars, pianos, violins, the narrator - it just sounds so perfect. Darren Korb has created a masterpiece and he should continue creating more music like this.
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX
This one is a little different. It's not made by a composer, it's not background music. This is the game that made me realise how much I love punk rock. And what's not to like? You have Rancid, Cypress Hill, Sublime, Deftones, Pennywise, Dropkick Murphys. Amazing bands! Sublime are long gone, but are still with us, still creating new fans and will always be one of the greatest ska bands. Cypress Hill are still making their brilliant music. The rest - you will always have fun listening to Pennywise, Primer 55 or the Dropckick Murphys. I don't know if it's nostalgia, but the soundtrack will always be one of my favourites.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
We can't talk about Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and not talk about Tony Hawk. Pro Skater 2 is a classic, but 3 has the best soundtrack. This album was the music of a whole generation. Every skater of my time was listening to it. It could be aggressive for some or too loud, but it really isn't. Just play it, turn the volume down (you are working after all), and enjoy the good vibes. I am listening to it at this very moment, while writing this article.
Mafia: City of Lost Heaven
This is the best video game soundtrack of all time (my opinion of course). Not everyone likes Gypsy Jazz from the 30s and 40s. I didn't listen to it before, but after so many hours playing Mafia I got used to it. Then I grew up and realised how professional the music is. You can hear how good Django Reinhardt is with the guitar, you can hear all the background instruments creating these beautiful noises. And if you are looking for music that can inspire you - this is the one. Play it! enjoy it!
There are many other video games I listen to - Grand Theft Auto radio stations, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Half Life 2, many more. But it's time to move on to the film music.
The Dark Knight Rises
Hans Zimmer has done something amazing with this soundtrack. The film is brilliant, not as good as it's predecessor, but fascinating in it's own way. And one of the best things about this motion picture is the music. There is so much energy in it, so much beauty. You can sense the darkness, you can feel the emotions. Not everyone likes film scores, but this one is different. Try it out if you haven't listened to it yet.
A brilliant movie. There is no point of talking about the music - just hit the play button and be astonished. It is as amazing as the flick.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
One of my most favourite pictures and one of my favourite albums. A true Guy Ritchie masterpiece. Listening to songs like "Spooky", "The Boss", "I Wanna be Your Dog" and "18 with a bullet" will definitely boost your mood. They are funky, relaxing and beam wonderful vibes. Don't forget about the catchy film lines - they make the soundtrack even better.
When you think about it, The Dark Knight Rises is not his only masterpiece. "Inception", "Gladiator", "Pirates of The Caribbean", "Black Hawk Down" - these are also brilliant films with marvellous music. Zimmer has done his job and you can admire his work in so many blockbusters. Just check his discography and choose one. You won't be disappointed.
I was thinking of adding Star Wars to the list, but then I remembered Indiana Jones, too. Then Harry Potter came in mind and Memoirs of a Geisha, and Jurassic Park, and I realized they were all made by John Williams. Just browse his discography. They are all pretty amazing for work with the whole orchestra and the epicness. It will definitely motivate you, boost your mood and make you more productive.
I would like to add more soundtracks here - "Pi", "TheGodfather", "ToyStory", "Lordof the Rings", but the list will get too long. You can suggest more ideas down in the comments.
All these soundtracks you can find on http://grooveshark.com. That's what I usually use. YouTube is a good platform and with playlist feature it is really useful, but Grooveshark is far better. Just enter the title and play the whole album. If you can't find the album, search for playlists. Most employees don't block this website (unlike Facebook), so you won't have any trouble using it.