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Sounds to Accompany a PhD: No. 1

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This playlist is deeply dishonest. It is not, strictly speaking, what I play when I read or write. I play albums: long streams of steady tones with smooth transitions. I say “play” because I don’t want to listen. I want to induce certain moods in myself without paying too much attention.

I tend to work in two-hour blocks. But I couldn’t just offer you two albums. So think of the following collection of songs as a series of trailers for a larger playlist. The playlist I use is 61hr 21m. Nonetheless, even with a variety of artists and albums, disruption can be minimised and textures can be enhanced by careful selection.

But this playlist is dishonest in another way: these are the songs that did make me pay attention. The songs that made me listen. So forget what I said above, sometimes disruption is better. A few moments to suspend your thoughts. Enjoy.

James Daniel Fisher is a PhD candidate in his first year at King’s College London, studying the meaning of work in eighteenth-century England. He tweets @JamDanFish