Yesterday afternoon, while the rest of the city was chewing its collective tongue over that New Yorker earthquake story, I found myself in a record store, looking for a birthday present for a young rock 'n' roller who's begun to study composition and recording in a slightly more formal way.

Dave Segal gave me some recommendations: Morton Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon, Terry Riley's Shri Camel, the eponymous Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece, and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. The record stores didn't have any of those, so I wound up getting other titles by the same composers. (Except for Mother Mallard's. The record geeks seemed enthusiastic about them, but couldn't help me get ahold of anything by MMPM in time for the birthday gift.)

And I also found this—Philip Glass's score for the Bela Lugosi Dracula as performed by the Kronos Quartet. It apparently got mixed reviews, like most good things do (the most scathing adjectives I could find were "ill-considered," "busy," and "cheesy"), but I'm finding it an excellent soundtrack for the working day. I recommend you try it out on yours.

If office-type labor involves drama (which it usually does) and repetition (ditto), Glass's goofy-grin accompaniment to a "scary" film that is no longer scary sets everything you're thinking of while listening to it at a playful remove—if you're stressing on a deadline, or having to negotiate some kind of delicate office politics, or staring down the barrel of some other crisis, the Dracula score turns the drama into melodrama. It hammers the treacherous into comedy.

Plenty of people loathe Glass for intelligent-sounding reasons (full disclosure: I'm not one of them), but even haters might get something out Dracula. Written in short fragments and drunk with arpeggios, it's broken Glass—and has so much fun with the horror-noir atmosphere of the film that it teeters towards camp in the Susan Sontag sense:

The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to "the serious." One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious... The connoisseur of Camp has found more ingenious pleasures. Not in Latin poetry and rare wines and velvet jackets, but in the coarsest, commonest pleasures, in the arts of the masses. Mere use does not defile the objects of his pleasure, since he learns to possess them in a rare way. Camp — Dandyism in the age of mass culture — makes no distinction between the unique object and the mass-produced object. Camp taste transcends the nausea of the replica.

Glass loathers, I suspect, are partially nauseated by the way his music replicates itself—the queasy, repetitious backing-and-forthing of his chords and figures, especially when he's composing for raw strings (which he is with Dracula). He uses old technologies and old instruments to create a sense of mass reproduction—and his minimalism is (horror of horrors) accessible.

In this era of precarious employment, when international studies are showing that well over 50 percent of us might lose our jobs to automation, there's something vertiginous about being employed at all, never mind how ridiculous your job might be. So plug in your headphones, listen to the dizzy seesaw of Glass's Dracula, and get back to work.