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. Or a piece of music might pop up when you call to mind a beloved relative, a close friend, a certain school year, your first love, your first job, your move to a new town, your child.
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 feeling that goes with 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.
I’ve just posted a memoir called “Soundtrack” in this website’s essays section organized around music. Almost every reference is linked to a YouTube clip. The narrative is mostly linear, but details are spare. I report just enough to give an idea of the someone or situation. Many people and events are missing. But all memoir, like all writing, is a culling process. A life is many stories that can be viewed from any number of angles, one of which turns out to be musical.
Copyright © 2015 by Adrian Spratt