Think of a song, and chances are you’ll think of a moment or a someone. Think of another song, and you’ll probably think of another moment, another someone.
A piece of music might pop up when you call to mind a parent, a child, a friend, a certain school year, your first love, your move to a new town, the loss of someone fondly remembered. It might make you think of a time of joy or a moment when you gained recognition, such as when you graduated from a school or got your first job offer. Perhaps a piece of music is associated with a spiritual awakening.
Many people keep photo albums, but, no matter how large or small our music collection, we don’t think to keep music albums. Yet while photographs keep memories alive, music evokes the person we were at the time of those memories. And just as going through photographs will summon up loosely connected memories, focusing on music can cascade into more songs, and with them more memories and more feelings.
This post introduces a revamped version of “Soundtrack,” a now 54-page memoir organized around the music going through my head at different stages of my life. Click here to open the PDF file. I posted the original four years ago, in October, 2015. Since then, about 25% of the links broke, and I’ve located new ones. Having gone that far, I substantially edited the text. I did more associating, along with more prioritizing, which meant both adding and deleting a lot of material. I’ve also added links to my more conventional memoir writing on this website.
Memoirs tend to stimulate readers to reflect on their own lives. I hope “Soundtrack” prompts your own music associations.
Josh Stiles says
brilliant idea and delightful execution. as fate would have it, in two days patty and i will be hearing Tom Rush play in Truro, one town north of us!!! i wonder…. will he play the many songs that were on our roomie Peter’s awesome album “circle game” — played so often on our old vinyl turntable in pratt? urge for going, no regrets, sunshine, meant to call her name (shadow dream song) or perhaps the beautiful rockport sunday? my memory of music coming from your room also includes a lot of pet sounds, gordon lightfoot (one haunting song in particular which i do not remember name of) and glad you owned up to the occasional franchise hardy. ha! Ken