It’s said that scent is our most vital memory retrieval agent. If that’s so, then it seems to me that sound must be running a millimeter or so behind in a close second place.
My memories are so incredibly affected by, and evoked in the presence of, the sounds and music that were in the air when I formed them, that even now I can reduce myself to a pudgy, nervous teenager by listening to Alanis Morrisette (also Metallica and Nirvana), or a babe in arms by listening to Simon and Garfunkel (but also Profokiev, and the Eagles – my mom had good taste, but it was definitely Soft-Rock/Classical taste).
(Whenever I hear this, not only am I a badass hacker, but also a thirteen-year-old watching Robert Redford teach me what it means to man)
It’s odd, isn’t it? the things you forget until you hear the sound that went on in the background? It’s like our genetic blueprint was made for synesthetics. I hear Peter Frampton and suddenly I smell cookies, vanilla and Murphy’s Oil soap on hardwood, the smell of my aunt’s house. When I was staying there she would have us clean top to bottom once weekly – and Do You Feel Like I Do was in heavy rotation on the ‘music to clean by’ mix CD. ^^
(Frampton was never so pussyfied as when used for silver polishing montages)
I can remember my first kiss or my first breakup like it was yesterday just by hearing the songs I heard then. My first job comes back just fom listening to one of the (like five) songs they played on loop. (It was an awful job)
I wonder when we’ll learn to tap into this amazing memory sink and figure out how to create ‘mind symphonies’ as an aid to memorization, like we do already with ‘mind palaces’.
What music reminds you of your youth? What scenes does it evoke? Let me know in the comments section. ^^