As you look around the reading room or FriSC on a given day/night(/does it matter?) during finals, you’ll realize that many people don’t like studying with music. Yet there seem to be two camps of musicless studiers. For some, any noise is bad noise. But for others, they opt out of musical study sessions solely because the lyrics tend to distract from the words on the page. With pop lyrics these days as sophisticated and poetic as, “my b*** s*** d*** like she s*** d***,” this comes as no surprise. But in all seriousness, even those who can’t bear to fully focus on two separate sources of information deserve some study tunes—that’s why Brian Eno developed modern ambient music.
But we aren’t here to recommend Brian Eno for the distracted studier (in fact we did that in last semester’s post). Instead, we fully recommend the album we had relegated to an afterthought in last year’s Survival Guide: Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Vrioon. For those with MUSC200 experience, this album will be familiar—a perfect mix of ambient, glitch and minimalism that makes Todd Winkler excited in its appropriation of musical ideas. For the easily distracted studier, this album will be a welcome mix of beautiful piano lines and synthesized sound that lacks the lyrics and distracting melodies of modern pop music. The nearly 60-minute composition is perfect for putting on repeat for ten times that long, because no matter how many times one listens, it will still sound beautifully empty and surprisingly new. Find the album for only $5.99 on iTunes, find the tracks on YouTube or [insert illegal downloading means here].