Monday, June 25, 2007
There is a line in a song called "luv [sic] Part 3" by a Japanese DJ named Nujabes. It says: "It's funny how music puts time in perspective... Adds a soundtrack to your life and perfects it."
I know (from a deodorant commercial) that smell is the sense most strongly related to memory, but I bet hearing a familiar tune can have an equally strong tie to one's memory.
A few nights ago I decided to do something I haven't done in a while. I was going to run with my iPod. Rather than taking time to make a playlist I decided to keep it on 'shuffle'. Towards the end of the run I came across a song that I haven't heard in a very long time. Maybe it was because I'm out of shape and was lightheaded from the run, but for some odd reason this song seemed to lift a curtain and unveil memories I had completely forgotten. As I warmed down and continued to listen, the song not only evoked images but also emotions and a sense of excitement.
The same way that certain genres of music define a generation (i.e. disco and the 70s) certain songs can define times, events and people in one's personal life. And when I reflect on my own soundtrack, it really is something funny whenever I hear Coolio and think of my first grade class, or how John Lennon makes me think of my mom teaching me to play the piano.
It is common, at a party or among friends to have a conversation that begins with "Dude, do you guys remember...(fill in the blank)" This is when someone decides to recall their favorite childhood cartoons, old teachers, or toys. Everyone erupts in laughter and applause and contributes to the subject. "Or what about... (another blank)" Then there is that one person who didn't have cable or went to a private school and has no idea what everyone is talking about but has fun laughing along anyway. Songs can be the same way. I can hear a song and be back in seventh grade and lip-syncing on stage with my two best friends. I hear another song and taken to Hollywood, the time I saw it live in concert.
As a fan of music, and a sucker for sentimental value I find it more and more difficult to take songs off my iPod or delete songs from my library. I like to believe that although I may never care to hear Lil' Zane again, maybe someday I'll come across that song and appreciate what it will bring back.