Weekly Mix: Daniel Palillo

Weekly Mix is a series of articles in Helsinki Design Weekly where designers and other pioneering creative professionals share their thoughts and memories about music. The playlists represent their creators and contain music for many different situations and purposes, for example to work at night. While working, multitalent Daniel Palillo nearly always listens to jazz. He created a playlist of his current jazz favourites for Helsinki Design Weekly.

Hi Daniel, how are you? What kind of music do you listen to while working?

I usually listen to jazz while painting. It helps me reach a state of flow. When painting, it’s important to me to enter a state of mind in which I’m not aware of what is happening around me. If, for some reason, I cannot reach this state, I feel that my work becomes too premeditated. Then I feel it’s not authentic. Jazz helps me quickly reach a state in which my work seems to proceed by itself.

What does that mean?

I want to feel like someone else is doing the work for me. When I work, it all happens automatically powered by the subconscious. Some jazz musicians believe they are prophets, through which the music flows, and they are just instruments. This has always inspired me. When working to jazz, I feel like a higher power is steering me.

A power that takes the form of art or music through the creator?

Yes. I’ve utilized this idea a lot. For example, when painting for an exhibition in Israel a few years ago, I only listened to a four-second sound loop for a total of eighty hours. With this I wanted to test what kind of a state I was able to enter through sound repetition and how that would impact my paintings.

What is your typical workday like?

I usually wake up at four or five in the morning and start working right away. I feel that early in the morning is the most peaceful time to work. In addition, I want my work to exist in its own time. When I start early, I’m in a different time related to others. I have a break at lunch time and usually continue work for some time in the afternoon.

What kind of a playlist have you put together for us?

I chose eight jazz pieces that I currently enjoy. I’ve been listening to all types of music, but jazz is the only genre that has stayed with me.