One of the best ways to set the mood in the studio is to turn on music...often I listen to energetic stuff, especially when I'm stuck doing the endless masking that this new series involves. However, there are times where I really need something that removes me from this world and places me into my fantasy world. What seems to work best are movie soundtracks...and I guess that makes sense since they are created to partner with images...and I find instrumentals are best in that they allow me to continue with my own inner dialogue.
This is one of my all time favorites...Tan Dun, For The World from the film Hero. I listened to it a lot a few months ago when all the drama was happening at my school...the sadness helped me find a larger perspective and what's interesting is I think I can see its influences in my work months later. This soundtrack has the beautiful violin of Itzhak Perlman which, when combined with the orchestration, feels like a person standing in that beautiful landscape. I've created a cd that features several from this film and others and I use it often when I want to create imagery that really comes from the heart.