Monday, 2004-01-05; 07:46:00

Ramblings about memories tied to specific songs

It's kinda weird. Certain songs in my library have very specific memories attached to them (besides the obvious relations like those songs that came from a movie that remind me of that movie). The Fly by U2 always reminds me of playing The Fool's Errand. Listening to Dreams by Gavin DeGraw always reminds me of reading MegaTokyo. Dancing Queen by Abba reminds me of a small dance party in my neighbor's room that happened in Loro during my freshman year here at Stanford. Listening to Elysium (an electronica piece) reminds me of playing Escape Velocity (original version, none of that Nova stuff). And Calling Your Name by E-Type always reminds me of walking to do math problem set sessions in Tressider when I was taking Math 152 and Math 120. Please, no commentary on the music to which I listen, especially since these five songs aren't really representative of my listening habits.

It's also funny because if the memory doesn't come immediately whenever I start playing the song, then the song doesn't have a memory attached to it, period. I think the main reason this happens to me is that I tend to overplay new music that I've just acquired, because I'm just bored of listening to all other music in my collection. I hadn't really been actively listening to music that much until iTunes came along, because there really wasn't a good, easy way to organize it all. And most recently, the iTMS has allowed me to easily explore and download new music and buy music I haven't had the chance to before. So when I overplay the music, the song just gets attached to whatever I was doing at the time. The thing is, though, that I overplayed a BUNCH of other music and THEY don't have memories attached to them. Furthermore, the songs that do have memories attached to them were also overplayed in other situations, not just the situation related to the memory. It might just have to do with the first situation in which I overplayed the piece.

The thing is, I don't necessarily need to overplay the piece. A song I recently bought from the iTMS, Signs of Love, by Moby, always reminds me of Mars. But I've only played it a mere 15 times since I've bought it, and that's nothing compared to how many times I've overplayed other songs. This one must've been a combination of three specific factors: the cover art that comes with the album, which shows Moby in a spaceship on some foreign landscape; the fact that I was looking at the first images from Spirit after it landed on Mars just a few days ago while listening to Strings of Love; and the fact that the song just sounds appropriate for space subjects to me for some reason. It's just really relaxing but totally different than most music, and the lyrics talk about flying, too. So now whenever I play this song, I always think of Mars.

The "memories" I get from Love of Strings, though, are particularly strong. I think it's because that setting foot on another planet has always been the ultimate dream for me. I've thought about it a lot recently, too, what with all the attempted Mars landings. It's funny... if I had the chance to go to Mars, I would definitely be willing to go even though it would likely take a year just to get to the red planet. I would be seriously tempted to go even if I knew there would be no chance of getting back to Earth. I wouldn't even care if I wasn't the first one to get there... I just want to experience what it's like just to walk alone across a barren landscape, totally removed from civilization, and being able to see our homeworld up in the sky. That would be awesome, and not in the colloquial sense (i.e.: not the cool kind of "awesome"). It's kind of a funny dream, to be able to get far away from just about everybody and everything I know.

I guess a lot of this has just come from me watching Star Trek all the time, watching movies like Escaflowne, playing some space games, and even learning about other planets in the classes I'm taking.

Of course, all this is just a dream right now, and while I may have an above average chance of achieving them than the average person (since I'm a geologist), it's still a pretty slim chance. I suppose it's always good to dream, though...

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