BBC Radio always comes up with the goods, doesn it? I wrote The Parliament of Spies to the sound of their Mozart fest in 2011, now it’s a baroque spring – joy!
The other night Tim Marlow the art historican presented a fascinating programme on the soundscapes artists work with. Do you work in silence or to music? Until the Mozart fest I always worked in silence or, sometimes, to the repetitive grind of garage or house so it was interesting to hear Tracey Emin say she played the same tune over and over again throughout the day to get into that creative trance state we all need. Rachel Whiteread mentioned medieval polyphony and it suggests we need something to take off that superficial layer of attention to get down to deeper and creative source. Some pople say they can only work if there’s the roar of traffic in the background, or the constant sound of the sea, or the rabble of a busy cafe. Each to his own. Can the neuroscientists explain it?