The power of music – and other musings…

Funny how music can transport you miles away and years in time apart. Listening to Silversun Pickups the other day I was there reading once more, Pat Farmer’s Pole to Pole. Better yet, I was there running beside Pat again, through South America. I was right there beside him, support vehicle beside us, middle of the desert, just running. It felt sublime. Oh to be there in reality! Some serious non-running withdrawals going on here I think!

I listened to the Silversun Pickups’ album, Neck of the Woods repeatedly while reading about Pat Farmer’s exploits last year. So much so, that for me, the two go hand in hand. But I wonder if I started reading the book again, would the music suddenly be there right in me head? I don’t know about that, but what I do know is when I started to read a new book, Duff McKegan’s It’s So Easy and Other Lies listening to that very same album it just didn’t gel. I had to abort. I stuck on some Gunners instead. A much better match at any rate.

But it got me thinking. What music would go well with my book? What would complement my novel? The Offspring? They’re mentioned and quoted in my novel, so why not? But would there be something else better? I know I listened to a lot of Metallica while writing it. I find Heavy Metal is the only music I can write to. Anything else just distracts me. But even so, listening to metal now doesn’t transport me back to writing the book. Most of those songs are already attached to other memories. Can songs have multiple memories attached? I believe so. Aldious, a Japanese band, for me, takes me back to 2011 and walking to and from the pool for my swimming training while I was injured and at the same time back to Japan in Osaka where I first discovered them and bought the album. But then, can multiple songs have the same memory attached because Trivium also takes me back to those same memories for the same reason. I listened to both interchangeably during those days. Does that make the two albums impossible to separate?

All I know is, music is a powerful memory tool, and since I have such a terrible memory, perhaps I need to employ it more often?! Hang on a minute, tell me those statistics again while I listen to Metallica’s Unforgiven!

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