I believe that was W. Eugene Smith. Must have really messed him up. ;)
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
I couldn't stand to watch TV in the darkroom; in fact I can't stand it on in the background anywhere. Decades of living without cable or satellite, quite intentionally, has turned it into a severe irritant for me. I only have a TV to watch recorded or streamed movies, and certainly not in the darkroom.
But to each their own. I listen to jazz or blues most often. Sometimes it's on a CD but most often I put my iPhone on streaming WWOZ from New Orleans. I leave it just outside the darkroom plugged into an FM modulator, and pick up the signal on my darkroom boombox which has the display lights taped over. Works for me.
I've got a nice iPod dock under my plastic delta sink on a simple wooden board, the display lights are set to off, and I use a stack of exposed paper to block my iPhone screen when docked. I use the remote to change tracks. I listen to a pretty varied mix of rock, classic rock, alternative, folk, and indie. Audio books sometimes but often times I have to go rewind as I get caught up with the motions of the print. Music helps a lot, much better than silence and the enlarger clicking on, or the drone of a fan. Keeps you going too especially when printing until sunrise.
I'll listen to nearly anything. If I'm trying to get something accomplished, I need something with a good beat to get me going. Some of the groups that get more play time than others: Dropkick Murphys, Evanescence, Basia, Enya, Clannad, Metallica, The Glengarry Bhoys, and of course, Jimmy Buffett. My CD player broke, so I plug an iPod into the aux inputs.
So much music to chose from..... I took a photography course in the mid 70s from an old guy who put safe light filter film over his b&w TV so he could watch Charlie's Angles while developing film. Me, not so much for TV in the darkroom, but I do like just about anything classical, jazz and Laurie Anderson whom I never get tired of. Sometimes, just the sound of film or paper washing is nice and relaxing too.
Here are a few others that just now came to mind:
Tom Waits, JJ Grey and Mofro, Elvis Costello, R.E.M. early albums, Calexico, Yo La Tengo, Hindi Zahra, The American Analog Set, Alexi Murdoch, Beck, Mazzy Star, Modest Mouse, Neko Case, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, and Richard Thompson.
I've properly rigged the place for tunes... Kenwood KA-801 driving a pair of AR93Q speakers hanging from the rafters over the sink... I even went so far as to move the amp and tuner out of the darkroom proper (used to be under the enlarger and my excuse for no tunes was the light).
But I have to keep my darkroom as quiet as it is dark. Except for the water running. I have to listen out for the timer.
Besides it's so hard to get fixer spots off the vinyl.
Or, maybe some Nine Inch Nails or Rage Against The Machine? Such soothing and relaxing music.
No, just joking - I generally listen to the ABC Jazz digital radio station.
Even if I don't spend time doing pictures (as I scan my negs) I most often pile up 5-7 rolls of film and then go into the dark to put them in tanks all at the same time, almost always listening to music for the relaxing meditational ambience it creates.
One of my favorites is Max Richter, The BLue Notebooks, very nice classical influenced ambient music.
Pretty much anything, but it's generally loud (to beat out the whir of the extractor fan) and I sometimes miss the good lady banging on the door bearing a suitable beverage and wanting a chat :( Eventually I catch on and douse the music to open the door. But the concert of Mr Cohen or Miss Enya or Ms McKennitt or the like resumes to the secondary activity of making magic.
No music, I am so busy in producing one. Just kidding...