Monthly Archives: February 2009

Musical Context

Every song is a time stamp. A place in life, marked by the exact moment that it’s first heard. In this moment, your sur­round­ings, cir­cum­stances, and emo­tions all become attached.

There’s a song for every­thing, from a sin­gle moment — like los­ing your vir­gin­i­ty — to an entire year — like your last one in high school. Perhaps my child­hood is such a blur because I nev­er start­ed lis­ten­ing to music until I was about 14; there was no anchor for my mind to asso­ciate with my experiences.

In prepa­ra­tion for my house­warm­ing par­ty, Trolley and I decid­ed on a set of music to be played dur­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties. It was my idea to split the songs into two cat­e­gories, day and night, to take us from the after­noon to the evening. We sat at his com­put­er, and as we went through the list, I told him how to cat­e­go­rize each song. It seemed like such an arbi­trary act to him, but for me, there was a dis­tin­guish­ing tone to each song that made it appro­pri­ate for a cer­tain time of day.

Two exam­ples:

The quin­tes­sen­tial night, Bring Me the Disco King, by David Bowie, (fea­tur­ing Maynard James Keenan & John Frusciante).

And the quin­tes­sen­tial day, Another Sunny Day by Belle & Sebastian.

I won­der if I’m the only who can hear it, because of my expe­ri­ences and when I heard these songs first, or whether the order of cer­tain notes express a cer­tain con­no­ta­tion of sun and moon.

Accepting a song from some­one, as opposed to find­ing some­thing your­self, always puts the song in the musi­cal con­text of that person.

The con­no­ta­tion then comes from this person’s expe­ri­ences, your rela­tion­ship with them, or both. You hear the song through their ears. It changes the notes, the chords, the core sound of what you’re lis­ten­ing to. From some­one like Darren, a song is total­ly dif­fer­ent than from Julie.

Music is thus anoth­er form of memory.

French Toast

My intro­duc­tion to French toast with cin­na­mon and vanil­la and fresh fruit. When I was young, my mom would make French Toast, but it was plain eggs and bread.

It’s not what you’re think­ing though. The bot­tle of Crown Royal is filled with real maple syrup. Not whiskey((Coincidentally enough though, both liq­uids are Canadian icons.)). 

God, it’s nice to have some­one cook for you in your own home.