The best moments while writing are when you lose yourself. Story and character and moments meshing seamlessly. The best music for writers helps facilitate that engagement, like oil bled into gears.
Altus is an Ottawa ambient music project. Their Bandcamp page is full of albums and recordings, but I want to focus on their “Sidereal Cycle.”
This branch of the broader Altus catalog consists of four numbered albums. Each one is intended to correspond to a season, number one being summer, two autumn and so on through spring.
I gravitate towards the “Sidereal Cycle” first because the tracks are long. Each one clocks in at more than fifty minutes. For me, the best music for writers stretches out. I don’t like having to reach over and click onto something else because the track or the album ended.
My writing sessions tend to run two to three hours. Hopefully those play out with minimal interruptions. With these albums, I can press play on Autumn, #2 for example and roll on through Winter without having to consider a change in recording.
Want to know about the quality of the music? Altus offers gorgeous, sedate ambient with strong new age influences. The keys are strong. They have a nice, resonant sound, but the melodies are stripped back to the bone, leading to moments of what can only be described as bliss.
The variation between seasons is clear. Outside my window right now spring is arriving early, so listening to #4, Spring feels apropos. But listening to an off-season part of the cycle is not, in any way, arresting to the senses.
In other Music For Writers columns I have emphasized my love of calm. This collection of records meets that.
Altus offers a great musical gift with these recordings, one I hope you see fit to add to your writing session.
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