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I always listen to music when I write.

Usually it’s classical, a lot of the time I tune into ABC FM Classic, which provides the most wonderful programmes and background company as I spend time in other worlds typing away. I find it grounding, inspiring and reassuring. Sometimes, particularly when I’m needing to shift gears in a story,  I’ll shake it up and change genres.

Here’s a top 5 go-to playlist I have to keep me writing:

1. Soave sia il Vento (Gentle Be the Breeze) from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte

I subscribe to the belief that Mozart fixes everything… particularly itchy souls, broken hearts and writers block… I play this track to soothe all three. I find it reconnects me to the bigger picture. I also find it totally swoon worthy, a perfect piece, it sounds like being in love.

2. All I Want – Joni Mitchell

I play this when I’m needing some new energy and to shake the cobwebs away. Such a hope-filled tune.

3. If Not for You – Bob Dylan

My go to gratitude song which reminds me of how lucky I am to have all the people I love in my life and how blessed I am to be able to make a living from writing… and that writing is the way I make sense of life.

J.D. Barrett's favourite reading spot

4. Vivaldi’s concerto for Mandolin, Strings and Harpiscord in C major

This is what I play to be reminded of how much I love life … the madness and ambiguity of it as much as the ultimate perfection of it. It was used on the soundtrack to Kramer vs Kramer, a film which I love, though find heartbreaking.

5. Suzanne – Leonard Cohen

Such a poet, such a musical magician… and that sexy as soulful voice… I love Leonard Cohen’s marriage of narrative and pure feeling in his songs.  He’s who I’ll have a cup of tea with in an afternoon break and stare out the window and dream.

J.D. Barrett is an Australian television writer and script editor with a passion for good food and creating great meals. She has worked on the writing teams for LOVE MY WAY, EAST OF EVERYTHING, BED OF ROSES, WONDERLAND and LOVE CHILD. J.D. lives between Sydney, Byron Bay and Los Angeles. THE SECRET RECIPE FOR SECOND CHANCES was her debut novel and THE SONG OF US is her second book.

  • The Song of Us - J.D. Barrett

    THE SONG OF US is a soulful story of family, love and the notes that define our lives by the author of THE SECRET RECIPE FOR SECOND CHANCES.

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