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Off topic: Best go-to music/song?
Thread poster: Preston Decker

Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:25
Chinese to English
Jan 15, 2015

At my soon to be in-laws at the moment. There are only two rooms where translation is a possibility, and tonight my fiancee's brother was playing computer games with the speakers way up in one; in the other, her father began watching a dating show, again with the sound way up. I'd already been translating all day, and felt my working speed slowing down with all the distractions.

The solution? Headphones and an hour of Beethoven's ninth. By far the best go-to music I've found, and I've powered through most of the rest of what I needed to get done tonight. Runner-ups include:
Dvorak's New World Symphony
Beethoven's Seventh
Eddie Money 'Take me home tonight'
夜空中最亮的星 (type: Yekong zhong zui liang de xing)
And recently, 'Boys chase girls' by Ingrid Michaelson

The last three have to be on endless repeat of course.

Any other good ones?


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 00:25
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Minimalist Jan 15, 2015

John Adams and Philip Glass work fairly well. As does Bach.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:25
Member (2008)
Italian to English
None of the above Jan 15, 2015

None of the above. As a musician myself, I cannot use music as wallpaper. I have to stop whatever I'm doing, and listen to it carefully. If you were to put on Philip Glass or John Adams my translating work would cease completely!

So I have a better option for eliminating annoying background noise: I run a little application for the Mac called, oddly enough, Noisy.

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/28330/noisy

This generates white noise (i.e. a continuous whoosing sound on all audible frequencies, similar to the sound of a waterfall).

I can set the volume to whatever I'm comfortable with, and can listen either through headphones or speakers.

Because white noise absorbs all other noises, I hear nothing at all !

Of course, a much better option is to make sure there just aren't any noise nuisances in the first place.

Here are some other options:

http://blog.worksnug.com/2013/03/19/5-best-ambient-sound-apps-for-focus-and-creativity/

Coffitivity is fun. It generates the sound of being in a coffee shop, without actually needing to be in a coffee shop !

https://coffitivity.com

[Edited at 2015-01-15 16:40 GMT]


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
A little different... Jan 15, 2015

I have a YouTube play list that I turn on. It's mostly punk rock, but I like it and it keeps my energy up. It's about an hour long and it says that I've viewed the entire thing 249 times during 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4P7NxpsA2Q&list=PLgAqFoQC3_lMIbEteRKjkSJqvwXSN5ZyD

Tom, you might like this, too. http://gomix.it/

It lets you mix nature and other ambient sounds. I personally like the snow + wind + wind in leaves + fire combination.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:25
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Thanks Jan 15, 2015

Thanks Triston - I like it!

 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Nothing I actually want to listen to Jan 15, 2015

Preston Decker wrote:
Any other good ones?

Like Tom and Tristan I find that if I put on music I enjoy I listen to that rather than focusing on work, so lots of rainfall and wave sounds for me!

Dan


 

EnglishBusiness
Germany
Very Cool App! Jan 16, 2015

Triston Goodwin wrote:



Tom, you might like this, too. http://gomix.it/

It lets you mix nature and other ambient sounds. I personally like the snow + wind + wind in leaves + fire combination.


Nice one, thanks!

Oliver W.


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Listening to the music is an "effort" Jan 16, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

None of the above. As a musician myself, I cannot use music as wallpaper. I have to stop whatever I'm doing, and listen to it carefully.


So true, Tom. I am not a musician, by far not, but I love vocal music and have 300+ recordings of opera in my collection. My findings are:

- There is no way I can concentrate on my work if I listen to anything even close to “verissimo” o “belcanto”. It is just too beautiful and exciting to have it as a "background".

- In Baroque pieces, as well as in minimalist music, there are lots of repetitive passages, which helps to be more concentrated, but just barely enough; still cannot avoid the “effort” to actively listen to the music.

- French opera is out of question; it is just “too fun” to be “ignored” (sang myself as part of an amateur choir in a professional production of la Belle Hélène in Aula Magna, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium).

I stopped listening to any kind of music altogether, while working. Instead, if bothered by noises, I often find myself articulating source or target passages out loud. This gives me better levels of concentration and neutralises just about any unwelcome background noise.

I did not know some special apps existed. I will give it a try. Thanks a lot.


 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 18:25
English to German
+ ...
It changes all the time Jan 16, 2015

There are times I can't listen to music because I get distracted, but I have a small electric heater with a fan in my room and I guess it generates a kind of white noise.icon_smile.gif

My musical phases vary widely - it can be baroque, old Argentinian tango or even metal (nothing relaxes more than some really evil metal on an angry day!). But I mostly prefer baroque, with its repetitive patterns and rythm.

I find most other classical music too complicated to be good for work, but I got hooked onto Vaughan Williams "Tallis Fantasia" for some days now and have been listening to it very, very often. I hope it doesn't make my translations more exalted than they should be (I believe that tears of emotion brought to the reader of a simple user manual might interfere with the intended function of such text).

Best regards,
Anna


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:25
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Fantasia Jan 16, 2015

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro wrote:

......... "Tallis Fantasia" ......



Anna- that's a beautiful piece of music, but your mentioning it has just reminded me of something: unfortunately BBC announcers seem to think that the word "Fantasia" is pronounced "Fan-tay-see-a". Really off-putting!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
BBC Jan 16, 2015

I usually just have the radio on unobtrusively in other room, in the background. Right now it's BBC6 and it sounds like some sort of Moroderish disco track... although I was oblivious to it until I started to post this.

Vivalid is nice for proofreading...


 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 18:25
English to German
+ ...
Disney or Williams? Jan 16, 2015

Fan-tay-see-a


They must be thinking about the movie that makes us think of hippos when listening to "Danza delle ore". But I must admit that I, too, am shamefully guilty of mispronouncing - when, 32 years ago, in a read aloud competition in Germany, I caused people to think of the great Greek poet Homer as having a bright yellow skin complexion and pop eyes. So much for practising my text alone, without the help of an adult...

And once this is completely off-topic, I herewith add that my choice of music today turned out to be progessive psy trance. Great for working really hard after a day of procrastinations. Back to work, then.


 

Recep Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 19:25
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Progressive Psy Jan 16, 2015

Though I'm a rock music fan, I enjoy translating while listening to progressive psy sets found on YouTube, especially:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMFK1k2JyC7lIJgEXM62ExA


Two Steps from Hell tracks are nice too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmUVXOXiLeM


 

Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:25
French to English
My current list Jan 16, 2015

Preston Decker wrote:


The last three have to be on endless repeat of course.

Any other good ones?


I also need "endless repeat" music at times, helps me to concentrate. Lately I have been addicted to Lindsey Stirling (Crystallize and Shadows), as well as Electric Tears by Buckethead. Was into M83 a while back, but got sick of it.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 00:25
Chinese to English
Another thumbs up for the Tallis fantasia Jan 17, 2015

If you like Vaughan Williams, I can also recommend his Christmas music: Hodie and Fantasia on Christmas Carols are on repeat during the festive season at my house.

I can't listen to music while working, though. If it's good music, I have to stop and listen; if it's background music I end up hating myself for listening to muzak. But in Preston's situation I might resort to some heavy metal in my earphones. Faith No More can drown out most sound, but they're not quite good enough to start me jumping around the room.


 
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