You would rather resurface from the mechanics of your mind and hear music, not feet moving on the floor above, or the noise of cars and the hum of appliances.
Music melts away background noise while you work and provides a nice setting when you come back to reality. Instrumental pieces are often ideal for creating this mental nest; Arrival to Earth, by Steve Jablonsky (Transformers), is an epic example. It builds slowly. Pieces by Glorie are also excellent, and less imposing.
However, I love to hear a singing voice, and music with lyrics can be distracting. You begin to sing along, or you “wonder what that word was” and open Google. But by listening in languages I don’t quite know (as I learned via Reddit and Wikipedia, French and Italian are very close indeed) or in a language that is totally alien, I have found a solution.
It may be obvious – listening to a singer whom you cannot understand fills a desire for lyrics while lessening their distraction. Music in other languages has also introduced me to melodies which I wouldn’t have encountered if only listening to English music.
Christopher Tin’s album, Calling all Dawns, begins with the Grammy award-winning Civilization IV theme, Baba Yetu, and contains songs in 12 different languages.
Each one is a unique orchestral masterpiece, and there may be a song for you. Though Baba Yetu is the most famous, I especially enjoy the movement of dawn. It moves seamlessly between Hebrew, Farsi, Sanskrit, and Maori, the last song echoing Baba Yetu.
Some other artists I enjoy are
- Sissel – various languages
- Riya – Japanese
- Harihara Ayaka – Japanese
- Runrig – Gaelic
- Andrey Vinogradov – Russian
From a page with the Swahili lyrics to Baba Yetu.