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My strategy for pairing music with life circumstance is to reflect the emotion produced by the circumstance in a humourous way - to lean into the absurdity of the situation.

So, my job market playlist is a playlist entirely composed of songs named after and about the various cities of the world (eg. New York, New York; Chicago; Kalamazoo; the St. Louis Blues). No thought is given to genre, quality, or tone. Where will I be next year? What will it be like? I don't know. Nobody knows. This playlist doesn't know either. Set it to random shuffle and you could end up anywhere. I've collected just over 100 of these songs, and I'll gladly accept suggestions for more!

Maybe it reflects something kind of disturbed in my personality, but it really works for me. Here's a link for the interested: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3SfQ65Rn2zoXKKw0u9mZ7H?si=02edb00bcd6542c0

Ben Roth

Two excellent ambient works:

Aphex Twin's calming Stone in Focus (field recorded)

William Basinski's elegiac Disintegration Loop 1.1

Greg Stoutenburg

Paul Simon's album Graceland got me through my dissertation and job market seasons.

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