I’m Jeremy Caplan — this is my Wonder Tools newsletter. Previous posts are here. For a bit of relief from politics, I’m sharing some unique music 🎵 sites. I was a 🎻violinist before I was a journalist. Music has always been a big part of my life, and it’s become a big part of my work from home routine. Here’s some of what I’ve been using lately.
Quick Sound Bites 🎼
When I’m stuck, I sometimes open Paratap for a micro musical work break.
Tunes from Afar 💌
Radioooo — Pick any decade and a spot on the globe and listen to music popular there during that period. Lately I’ve been enjoying French music from the 1940s. A sweet way to escape from the craziness of 2020 and election mayhem. (Thanks to my colleague Bob Sacha for bringing it to my attention.)
Sounds👂 that Adapt to Your Environment
Endel offers soundscapes that adjust to what you’re doing. It has a relax mode, a focus mode, and a sleep mode. Depending on how you use it, Endel can adjust the beat of its music to to your resting heart rate by comparing it to your real-time heart rate using data from the Health (iOS) or Google Fit (Android) app.
Endel can also alter its sound intensity depending on the number of steps you take per minute. Or react to the temperature outdoors with sound layer variations. Berlin-based Endel’s apps, which have been downloaded two million times, require a $50/year subscription, but this trial gives you a month free. Or use a more limited version free in your browser here.
Sound Without Music
Sounds of Colleagues is ambient noise for when you’re missing the coffee shop or office feel of working near other people. I sometimes open it up when I’m feeling isolated on my laptop, far from friends and colleagues.
For a little work break, visit Bongo Cat to tap a few keys. She can play marimba, piano or cowbell to a beat you set.
… One More 🎶 Thing 🎶
Music Eyes is one of the most delightful, innovative music apps I’ve ever used. The software allows you to create detailed visualizations of classical music masterpieces along the lines of those pioneered by Stephen Malinowski. He originated the Music Animation Machine, creating animated graphical scores with shapes, colors, lights, and patterns that help visualize classical music. Here’s an example of one of his creations.
Music Eyes enables anyone to easily create similar visualizations without any special knowledge or training. Here’s a short overview of how the new software tool works, to let anyone create professional-level visualizations.
Music helps me with productivity as well as creativity. I use these music apps — along with others like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube Music— to keep me focused. It also helps establish a creative atmosphere amid screens and devices.
Thanks for reading, Jeremy
p.s. If you’d like to hear some amazing classical performances, here’s a video playlist I curated. If you have a favorite playlist or music🎧 app to share, hit reply. I’d love to hear about it.