I continued my music degree, but instead of focussing on performance, I switched my major to music history. I went on to do my coursework for my master's degree in Musicology at McGill. After 2 years of coursework, I moved back to Ontario to work and to complete my thesis. I got my first job in advertising and sadly, my thesis remains unfinished to this day!
I guess the reason for me explaining this background is so you understand that I know a lot about music. I know the history of music. I know the technical aspects of music composition. I know all 9 Beethoven symphonies. I can tell you that in the movie Die Hard, Beethoven's 9th symphony is used to increase tension and make the viewer more agitated at certain points of the movie. But what I can't explain to you is why music has such a powerful emotional effect on people. I Googled this when I was thinking about writing this post. Here's what I found:
"As for music's emotional impact, there is some indication that music can affect levels of various hormones, including cortisol (involved in arousal and stress), testosterone (aggression and arousal) and oxytocin (nurturing behavior) as well as trigger release of the natural opiates known as endorphins." (This is extracted from an article by Michael D. Lemonick for Time Magazine).
I'm sure everyone would agree that there are certain songs that evoke strong emotional reactions. Music also has the ability to transport you to another time and place. Music has the power to bring memories flooding back to you so you are re-living incidents of years ago. I'm going to give you a few examples of songs that do this for me! Maybe you'll chuckle when you read some of these. Maybe you'll have memories of your own that get stirred up by some of the same songs! Or maybe it'll get you thinking of some special pieces of music you have in your own life!
Here's a good one! I clearly remember walking with my best friend Kristen to our first high school dance in Grade 9. We had a single can of tonic water which was 1/2 tonic and 1/2 gin. We shared this cocktail on our way to the school. We also had 1 Sony Walkman that we shared. Kristen had one headphone, I had the other. On the cassette tape side A was the Psychedelic Furs "The Ghost in You" album. On side B was an album by Ultravox. Whenever I hear this song, I am reminded of that walk and how much fun we had that night and how excited we both were to be going to our very first dance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aMHL1lEQBk
Fast forward a year or so... I had a boyfriend in high school named Mark Champagne. He sang in a band and looked like Jack Wagner from General Hospital!! He was dreamy! One night Kristen and I snuck out of the house to meet up with Mark and his less dreamy brother (sorry Kristen!!). We walked down to the canal and sat on a bench talking till the wee hours of the morning. At one point that night, Mark the dream boat, started singing this song to me. I'm reminded of that night every time I hear it!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eT464L1YRA
And finally, whenever I hear anything by Erika Badu, I'm reminded of my second date with my Ronnio. He picked me up at work one night and we drove to Toronto for an amazing dinner. I brought my Erika Badu CD to listen to in the car. I think he thought I was trying to seduce him. I think he may have been right!!!! 2 years later, we were engaged. 8 months after that, we were married! Guess the EB worked! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CPCs7vVz6s
So, today I'm having a hard time shaking a couple of songs. Both are stuck in my brain and are reminding me of my fabulous Vegas getaway. They're songs we heard in the clubs and danced to until dawn. They're reminding me of the amazing group of women I bonded with over those 4 days. And they're making me realize that just because I'm turning 40 doesn't mean that I don't still have the ability to have fun and let loose sometimes! After all, as my friend Kristen says, 40 is the new 20!!!! Enjoy these 2! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-dvTjK_07c&ob=av2n http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjZD63BWKgA&ob=av2n
So, I'm curious to know about what songs spark memories for you. Surely there are some good stories out there. Don't be afraid to share them here!