Soundtrack Music for the Creative Process


Many people love to listen to music when they work. I have never met a single person who said they don’t like music. In my book that is tantamount to saying “I hate the world.”  Although some folks are musical connoisseurs, others like myself, merely wish to have a background soundtrack to their life.

While engaged in the creative process music can invigorate your thoughts and even movements. In the case of fine art painting, you can move in rhythm brushstrokes or be sedated and soothed by sounds that lend to a lighter application of paint. For my part when I am making paintings or sculpture I need that soundtrack to my life playing. It inspires my thought process and informs my intuition. I thought I would share that with you today. An important part of this includes my preferred form of delivery.

I went through all the mediums of delivery of music for my art studio: albums, tapes , CDs, iPod …but when YouTube came along I found my bliss. What I love about YouTube …

Wait! time for Full Disclosure: I am not an employee and/or do not receive compensation for writing about or promoting in any way shape or form YouTube or its parent company Google. Admittedly I do own Google stock which I purchased many years ago. I do believe they make great products but I am not convinced they are not evil.

Okay now that that is out of the way – let me expound on my thought about how awesome YouTube is as a music delivery system for my studio and creative process. I love that I can build playlists and let them roll in order or randomly. I also love that you can find a billion versions of the same song not necessarily produced by the original artist. Not only did I find one of my favorite Budgie songs – I found a recording of Van Halen playing it at a party before they were famous. Kabam! two birds with one stone. Rare Budgie with rare never released Van Halen music. Here it is In For The Kill. Additionally  you might even find a version by some kid or an undiscovered musician who only plays in his garage. Also soundtracks or personal recordings/bootleg it’s all here.

So without further adieu her are some of my favorites. Remember you can play one video and YouTube will roll onto music or audio interviews by the same artist and then hit a tangent and continue with other artists …much like Spotify.

For this article we are focusing on my favorite soundtracks. I love haunting music- no surprise as many times I am painting horrific scenes of war and torture. First up! Planet of the Apes the original Soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith for the 1968 film: hands down one of the greatest Science Fiction Films ever. Forget the remakes.  The entire soundtrack is here. Just click this video and they will all play in succession:
Planet of the Apes Soundtrack 1968

Next up! The Hunger soundtrack. This movie was one of the best vampire films ever starring the late David Bowie(still can;t believe he is gone). From Lakme to Bach this soundtrack has it all. It also contains weird screechy sounds that are down right creepy. This music is enough to bring tears to your eyes. I have made countless paintings listening to this soundtrack. Once I was painting a model years ago and she began to weep as I painted she was so moved by the music. It really is that good. Again play the first and the rest will roll through the whole soundtrack. There is a bonus track that is superb that was not included on the released soundtrack but was used in the movie. One of the glorious things about Youtube – you get rare music that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Hunger Soundtrack

Number three another Vampire film. This has a cover of The Doors People are Strange by Echo and the Bunnymen as well as Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Roger Daltry. The pièce de ré·sis·tance is Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMahon. Fortunately a kind soul uploaded the whole thing in one file.

The next two soundtracks I had made into a mix tape in the late 80’s. I lived in New York City and worked for artist Tishan Hsu.  One day I brought the tape to his studio, like me, he became obsessed with it and played it over and over again. When it came time to part ways I gave him the tape, he later told me he played until it broke. The tape was comprised of  the A sides from the Soundtrack of Blue Velvet and Betty Blue. I don’t know if it was the word blue or just that both films were about twisted love and crazy people. Love Letters by Ketty Lester and Roy Orbison’s In Dreams are epic on the Blue Velvet soundtrack. I included both versions of Blue Velvet the original by Bobby Vinton and the Isabella Rosselini version. There are a couple of tracks missing but the key ones I included in my 80’s painting tape mentioned above.
Blue Velvet Soundtrack

Here is the Betty Blue soundtrack. This music will roll you through every emotion possible and begin to peel away the layers of your soul. Fortunately every single track is on YouTube so the playlist is complete and in order. Perfect for placing you in a creative zone. Special thanks to Tinfoilunicorn who uploaded most of them.
Betty Blue Soundtrack

I could go on and on but those are my top picks and to this day I listen to them while painting or making sculpture. In closing if you haven’t seen these movies – you should! They are all excellent stories and examples of beautiful filmmaking.


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