Sunday, February 24, 2008

Alternative Music Interlude

I'm occasionally asked about how I stay productive, in terms of writing, blogging, working with traders, trading, etc.
Waking up at 4 AM daily helps, as does eliminating most of the timekillers such as TV and empty socializing. The real secret, however, is music. My most productive times are those in which I'm most connected to the music that speaks to me.

This is a sampling of the alternative music I've been listening to this weekend during my writing and research. It is my major source of inspiration on a day to day basis, so I thought I'd pass a few tunes along:

* Snog - Ballad: "When the working day is done, I refuse to belong to any one. And at night when I try to sleep, I hear the howls of commerce in my dreams."

* Dreamside - Open Your Eyes: "Open your eyes, my love."

* Bruderschaft - Forever: "I will walk this ground forever and stand guard against your name."

* Siouxsie - Into a Swan: "I feel a force I've never felt before...I burst out, I'm transformed."

* Assemblage 23 - Disappoint: "Do you believe in the nobility of suicide? No."

* Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage: "My body is a cage that keeps me from dancing with the one I love."

* Covenant - Call Our Ships to Port: "A choir full of longing will call our ships to port."


Charles said...

In reference to "Sharp Brains", just wondering if you or any of your readers have used Cognifit's "MidFit" program?

Comments or Reviews?

Thanks in advance,

SSK said...

Hello Brett, thanks for the music! I like Snog, and Assemblage 23 the most. Music helps me to block out distractions, and I have percussion instruments that I play along adlib that is fun and beneficial. It is a great exercise in allowing your intuitive side to let loose to compliment the sounds of the seconds and adapt. I love to play along with music that I have never heard before. I think there are aspects of playing in that manner that can also re-enforce taking the implicit nature of ad libbing to the explicit function of acting out something that you don't really think about, but just let happen. I notice when I take a break and engage in that activity during the trading day, my trading improves. I am going to get back to that routine starting Monday. I have never stopped listening to music thoughout the day to fill the air with vibrations, just stopped creating some of the vibrations myself. That will change! Thanks for the musical links! Best, Steve ~SSK~

Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D. said...

Hi Charles,

I'm not familiar with the program, but also would be interested in hearing about people's experiences.


BirdMan said...

You are gonna scare people...

Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D. said...

Hi Steve,

Interesting idea; best of luck with it!


Anatrader said...


Have you ever tried listening to classical pieces like those by Rachmaninov: On a theme of Paganini:

I find the melody is deep and enchanting, kinder on the mind when working.

The beat of pop music for me is when I need to work out a little.

Perhaps, it is age which affects me in my choice of music as in the last decade!

tapeworm said...

dr. brett: this may sound stupid, but i find myself getting very creative when i listen to R & B...not only is it relaxing, but i often get great ideas (trading related no less)...i can't figure out the connection, but jazz music has a similar effect

maybe its just because the normal stuff i listen to is so mind numbing to begin with

LeeHarward said...

Hi Dr Brett,

Do you have any mp3 files for the music?

Would like to copy to my mp3 players.

Thanks for the great ideas!

Lee H T

Charles said...


While searching the web for Brain Building programs, I ran into a series of Music supposedly developed in association with something called "The Center for Psychoacoutic Research".

I then found a company called "ABT - Advanced Brain Technologies" which assembled a series of music for Sound Health. These include Music for Concentration, Thinking, Learning, Productivity, Relaxing, De-Stressing, Inspiration, Motivation, Focu and Performance.

Not sure how legitimate their research is, but it is an interesting concept:


Colin said...

I recently attended an Arcade Fire concert, and I can say, at age 25, that I felt very old at that gig.

Brett, I'd love to see how you look at one of those shows ;)

Great band though


LJS said...

Dr. Brett:
Have you checked out VNV Nation? One of my faves, in the same vein as Covenant or Assemblage23. Thanks for sharing. I thought I was the only guy over 30 who listened to this type of stuff! Maybe it brings me back to my '80s synth-pop days. Great blog, always something interesting.