A specific number of variables need to be in place so I can shrug off procrastination and get some real work done. Chief among them is setting the right aural mood. Now, I love listening to music, but the kind of audio I consume — mostly hardcore and post-punk rock — is only a distraction. It's hard to focus on the words in front of you when a band screams its existential crises and unending nihilism straight into your ear canal. I need something more nuanced.
I found that lyrics were the real issue — English lyrics, to be more specific. So I'd flutter between ethereal Icelandic music or simply just general white noise if I needed to get down to business. Now I have a new favourite. YouTuber crysknife007 creates 12- and 24-hour-long tracks set to the ambient sounds of your favourite science fiction locales. One such masterpiece, titled "Star Trek TNG Ambient Engine Noise (Idling for 24 hrs)," reached moderate internet fame in 2011 and now has just over 1.5 million views. However, crysknife007 has tackled even more sci-fi projects this summer, including 12 uninterrupted hours of the Millennium Falcon, Battlestar Galactica, the Nostromo, and even the not-so-fictional International Space Station, clipped from Astronaut Chris Hadfield's recordings.
Yesterday, I found a new creation, titled "Blade Runner Ambient Deckard's Apartment Sound for 12 Hours". It's perhaps the most ambitious creation to date.
All this is really just one short audio clip deftly copied and pasted into a longer segment, but these half-a-day tracks are oddly soothing, actually help me focus, and can put any troubled sleeper into an insta-coma. But if you really need to catch z's, may I suggest "Box Fan on Medium Speed for 12 Hours." [Youtube]