Music has the wonderful property of time coding life. At first, I thought maybe that was because music is released over time, but I think that is only a partial contributor. This would be most noticeable if you are a fan of contemporary music, regardless of genera. I am a sucker for pop hits, and so for me, it is very obvious that what I am listening to is associated with different periods of time, because the music itself gained popularity over the course of a specific year. I like a lot of music and tend to experience it in bursts, almost obsessively. When this happens the music is not specific to a time period. Usually, it is music that someone has shared with me and was good enough to not put down. So, the other part of associating music with life is tied to the act of listening enough to imprint the experience alongside memories.
I can revisit a feeling or memory just playing a tune, like Ella Fitzgerald singing Baby its cold outside with Louis Jordan. It takes me back to a winter season about the same time the movie Elf came out â€“ which had a fun rendition of the duet. Another example is the first time I heard Father and son by Cat Stevens. I was in Switzerland, coming down from hiking glaciers in the Alps, heading toward the hostel in the town of Interlaken. A friend had told me find her bag and borrow her cassette mix. I cannot recall all of the songs, but I know them when I hear them. The memories are strong enough that I know how I felt listening to them and the excitement of having connected with a life-long friend. Most recently, I have been obsessed with the same few songs, one in particular, Major Label Debut by Broken Social Scene. I am sure years from now this song, along with others, will let me recall this time, this year.