Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Music for Every Occasion.

Until I was studying Education, it never occurred to me that people learned in different ways. Perhaps it is narcissistic, or just generally short-sighted, but I just assumed that all people learn and think as I do. Through the beauty of meta-cognition, I have become very intrigued by notions of others’ thoughts and perceptions. I find myself discussing this with a lot of different people, and I’m always fascinated to find out about differences.
For most of the world, scent is the most powerful of the senses in terms of evoking memory. Of course, Proust had his madeleines, so I suppose that this, too, is different for everyone. Scent is strongest for me, but sound is a very close second. If I have done an activity while listening to something specific, say television or particular music, the activity/completed project will trigger an entire playback of it later. A certain poster I framed while Welcome Back, Kotter played in the background always calls to mind a Barbarino conversation about “the Great French Fry phantom” (the Great Potato Famine, for those of you who aren’t Vinnie-literate.) And certainly songs are attached to people. For the most part these are songs that were played at an important time that they were around. Maybe a favorite song that played a lot on the radio, maybe a song played during a first kiss.
This isn’t always the case, though. I’ve discovered that many songs I attribute to people, I’ve actually attached after the fact. The song comes to make me think of them, and it becomes a strong association. I’ve found that this is somewhat atypical, and it surprised me to find that this isn’t what happens with all people. For one, a fellow that would never be clear about feelings, it’s Todd Rundgren’s “Hello, It’s Me.” For my best friend, it’s Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” after spending a most lovely afternoon at the zoo. A childhood friend will always be “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone,” due to an uncanny resemblance to the front man for Glass Tiger.
I think I have a song in my head for just about every person I know. I’m like the Secret Santa Ally McBeal, a theme song for all, but it plays in my head instead of theirs.

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