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.
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.