I first heard this album in a terrarium store in Portland, OR, the kind with overpriced airplants and ephemeral glass ornament-like bulbs meant to hang from the ceiling with no holiday in sight. Probably a one-word store name like “Stone” or “Amour,” though I don’t remember it now. Lovely store, anyhow. Multicolored rocks, feathers, little clay mushrooms and beautiful, vibrating violin coming from the boombox. (Yep, boombox.) I asked the store clerk what the album playing was. “Andrew Bird,” he said, as though I should’ve already known. I didn’t recognize the sharp, vibrating violin as him, since his easily identifiable voice is completely missing from this entire album, beyond a few lyric-less lines of whistling. I usually love lyrics, but for distraction-less writing, this album is absolutely perfect.
The classical for studying radio station on Pandora satisfies my musical needs while studying. The station offers all instrumental music, which is important because lyrics distract me. What I like most about the station is that while it includes classics like “Suite for Solo Cello No. 3 in C Major” by Bach, it also includes modern composers, movie scores instrumental versions of pop songs and video game soundtracks. I have learned that I really love the modern composer Rachel Currea (“Announcement of War” is a dope piece). Realizing halfway through the song that I am jamming out to the Skyrim soundtrack is always fun. After using this station for years now, I’ve found that if I put on the station, I am more prone to just work. And even when I zone out or get off task, the music’s presence as “work music” pulls me back in without pulling me into singing along (which can be a distraction).
Overall, the lack of lyrics, chill mix of music, and repetition of my usage of the station have led this station of be a successful study tool/trick for me.