The New York Times' "Paper Cuts" blog runs a series called "Living With Music". In it, artists (writers, musicians, dancers, and others) talk about the impact and influence music has on their lives and work. Each artist's entry includes an annotated playlist of songs that have been significant in one way or another.
Here is the excerpt that brought this series to my attention. From writer Aleksander Hemon, actually an old writing teacher of mine:
"I cannot live or write without music. It stimulates the normally dormant parts of my brain that come in handy when constructing fiction. A particular piece of music attaches itself to the piece I’m writing and there is nothing else I can listen to. Every day I return to the same space to write, the music providing both the walls and the pictures on the walls. Once I’m done and the piece is published, I often have a hard time remembering what piece of music is inscribed (or, indeed, transcribed) in it, as there are no visible, let alone obvious, connections, apart from an occasional embedded line. I think that is because the music and writing become indistinguishable to the aforementioned dormant parts, which constitute the majority of my brain mass."
To read the rest of the article and Aleksander Hemon's full playlist:
To check out other playlists: