Music that is ironically good to code to

Music that is ironically good to code to

I was chatting with someone the other day who loved the soundtrack from TRON: Legacy. (This person is awesome, he is part of the amazing band Knower and creates their very-TRON-inspired visuals). He got a kick out of how I will sometimes put on that TRON soundtrack when I really need to crank out some code. This is ironic, as the main plot point relies on a computer-programmer protagonist getting so wrapped up with what he is doing that he ends up in the computer. I then realized that all the music I rely on for serious coding focus is just as ironic:

  1. TRON: Legacy Soundtrack (Daft Punk)
  2. The Social Network Soundtrack (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). Pretty obvious why this is a perfect fit, given that I’m usually listening to this while coding at a startup founded by ex-Harvard students.
  3. The soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi. This is a little more subtle – Koyaanisqatsi is a movie with no words which is scenes (usually slow-mo or time-lapse) of the intersection between humans, technology, and the environment from the late 70s into the early 80s. The title is a Hopi word that literally translates to ‘life out of balance’, and the film generally takes a very negative outlook on the frenzied pace of technological change on humanity and ecology. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend watching. If nothing else, the images of this time of rapid industrialization and mechanization are fascinating.

I suppose I do have two artists I use to focus who are not as ironic, so for full disclosure (and to promote their amazing but weird work), I also love to work to Michal Menert and John Talabot. What about you?


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