Memories, like the corners of my mind…

Memories, like the corners of my mind…

I’ve been reflecting recently on memories that are stirred up by music. I discovered a couple of mixed tapes from university the other week. Each one represented the music from a year in a shared house with my friends Paul, Beccy and Rachel. As you might expect of music gathered from four different tastes, the tapes are eclectic (the transition between Blur’s ‘Song 2’ and ‘Jack in the Box’ by Clodagh Rogers is genius). But listening to them both brought back so many memories.

I often find that individual songs or singers remind me of a person or a time. The terrible 2004 Eurovision entry from Belarus and the much cooler Estonian song from the previous year both remind me of my wonderful friend Anne, as we laughed at/appreciated the strange lyrics of the two songs. Cliff Richard, Queen and Status Quo remind me of my parents, tapes that were around the house when I was a child. Last night, I went to see Josh Rouse, an American singer-songwriter, in London. I went with my friend Adam and his wife Hayley – Adam and I discovered Rouse around the same time, and every time I hear Rouse’s music, it reminds me of Adam, the other times we saw him live and when we listened to his new material.

Listening to old records, tapes and CDs is the musical equivalent of looking through old photographs. It’s impossible to listen to without getting totally distracted by memories of the times when the songs in question were important to you. And they’re a great source of creative inspiration too – links that you wouldn’t normally make are found in music memories. If you’ve got a bit of creative block, pop a few old songs on, and see what comes flooding back.


Photo: Josh Rouse’s facebook page


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