Music Review - Albums That Help Us Focus

Upon walking into Shannon's home, the first thing you see is a huge watercolor portrait of Q-tip. The second thing you see is an 8' long wall of her record collection. It is made very clear that music is important in her life. It is also an important part of her business. Clients, friends and inspiration in design all stem from the music world and industry. While attending performances is always nice, it is often the recommendation of a new album from a friend that makes for a memorable impact. In the office, we listen to albums almost daily, setting the tone for our work.

Below are 3 albums we play when we want to focus on work. Albums that we love and cherish. Thank you friends (you know who you are) who sent these our way.


Sleep - by Max Richter

Because sleep is an often spoken of topic in our lives, this album came in a surprise package from a friend in response to it. Upon putting it on to listen to for the first time, it changed everything, time stopped and the neo-classical composer Max Richter became a fascination of ours. Quietly full of ennui at times and then softly buoyant at others, it plays beautifully in the background of our days and yes, into the evening too. The uninterrupted album is perfect for a day when we can focus and work a straight 8 hours to the constant flow of music.


The Chopin Project - by Alice Sara Ott and Ólafur Arnalds

When the calm of traditional classical music is desired, it is so easy to place this album on the turntable.  Arnald's, an Icelandic composer, was inspired by his grandmother and the memories of listening to this very same music with her as a child. Ott a German/Japanese pianist joined him beautifully and meticulously to go back in time and then forward to bring Chopin to us in a fresh way. This album is familiar, inspiring and full of emotion that when working imbues a sense of purpose into our daily routine.

                                                                                     We Got It From Here Thank You 4 Your Service -Tribe Called Quest

With nearly a 20 year hiatus between albums, We Got It from Here was released in November of 2016 and arrived on my doorstep shortly thereafter. Listening to it was reminiscent of older Tribe music however with a newer lyrical bent that borders on transcendent. This is traditional hip hop with an intelligence that is unparalleled lyrically. A record with power and driving beats, it suits to the background sounds of high energy days working from the home office when we like a tempo to match our lively pace.