Music and the memories it carries

I’m the type of person to associate places and situations with music. It used to come in very handy when mixing an audio montage at a radio station and for my time at a football club for their highlights. At the end of a match, we’d use clips and set it to an ‘appropriate’ piece of music.

These days, I find myself setting my life to music. I have far too many to put down in one post… and I’m sure you’d be bored to death after 5 but I find it fascinating the way things become associated and how we replay them.

On my first trip to Dublin, (working on the Quarter Final Heineken Cup coverage of Leinster v Cardiff) thanks to a small snippet of a track, I find myself put right back there when I hear Titanium by David Guetta. If I close my eyes, I see my first glimpse of the Aviva Stadium, flashes of the setup of our kit, into rehearsals and then the game. It’s almost like having my own internal Director, complete with appropriate camera cuts and pans.

One of the oldest (working) ‘musical memories’ I have is from BBC Radio Leeds back in 2003. I was a Digital Audio Trainer at the time and the song was ‘These Dreams’ by Heart. It was one of the tracks that I always had in my playlist and it brings back some wonderful memories of my time on the road, but in particular of Leeds.

I can understand why those two memories exist. The tracks were played when in that place (multiple times no doubt), but, as I’m sitting in my hotel room ahead of the Semi-Finals, I find Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out reminding me of driving to my new office from my flat in St Neots. It wasn’t the first track I heard when I did that drive… just seems to have stuck with me and I’ve no idea why.

I think my best and oldest memory from music is from when I was about 6. I would spend the evenings with my dad, helping him in the kitchen with the beer he was brewing, the front door wide open and Abba on the stereo.

With this particular memory, it doesn’t require one track. I think we must have had their compilations CD on loop for the entire evening. It’s a fantastic jumble of memories, most of which were full of laughter and fun. The evenings that were slightly less funny tended to mean a misjudgement on the bottling of the beer, resulting in smashed bottles and a soaked carpet. My dad became very good at mopping up but not so good at hiding it from my mum.

I do wonder what track this weekend will end up being set to, but I’ve a sneaky feeling that Titanium will cover this one too. The weekends have been so close together that I’d be surprised if I had a new track.

Having said that, the pub I visited this evening played 80’s power ballads for most of the evening… you never know…