Right now, stop what you're doing and listen. Hear anything?
If you're at home, you're probably surrounded by various neighborhood sounds. The springtime sounds in my suburb are made by the swarms of lawn-care crews running ungodly leaf blowers, chasing invisible clippings into adjoining yards for their service to clean up. (Does no one besides me mow their own grass these days?) If you're in an office, you've likely got the drone of some air-moving machinery, a slight hum from your computer and the light fixtures, and maybe some traffic noise if you're lucky enough to be placed near a window. What's it sound like by you, right now?
Personally, I can't handle silence. I need something happening in the background to work, and at least since college, that "something" has been music, supplied then by hauling my Walkman and a couple of cassettes down to an isolated study carrel, and now by CDs piped through my computer's speakers. Even having the volume down low is better than no sounds at all. And I've added a thrift-store travel alarm clock to the mix -- mechanical, of course -- just for the steady tick-tick-tick it makes in the background. I need this noise, to keep me grounded in the real world. Coding datbases is a solitary, silent existense, and I guess I need a little reminder where I really am when my head is full of tables and queries and joins.
There's a discussion going now on one of the mailing lists about musical typewriters: not typewriters that make music, but that are designed for printing it onto the page. Maybe what I need here is my own typewriter music -- a regular click-tap-click of a machine being put through its paces, measuring and marking off ideas like this little clock measures off the seconds. Sounds wonderful to me. Anyone up for sitting nearby and providing me with a little mechano-musical accompanyment? The pay's not great, but the audience is rapt.