I’ve spoken before on how music and sound can affect the words you hear in casual conversations and about the power of the brain to fill in the gaps to those same conversations. But it is also important to note how those same words and music can affect us emotionally and physically.
The soundtrack to our lives guide us through our days (or nights), they lift us up when we’re feeling down or motivate us to do foolish things and take chances.
For the majority of the 20th century it was the power of radio that provided that feeling of release. It helped make time go faster while driving, to give us great songs to listen to that inspired us to keep on excelling. Before television it gave us radio shows that inspired the brain with amazing stories that only our imaginations could visualize. Without those radio shows we wouldn’t have had Star Wars or Indiana Jones.
Then it changed. With the invention of a device that became known across the world as a “Walkman” and became the defacto slang name for every portable music device until the invention of the .mp3 player. Suddenly there was a device that could actually give your life a walking soundtrack. Music to pass the time while you took the subway to work, biked to school, or had that second input jack so that girl you admired could listen to your latest mix tape.
It altered how we used music in our lives. It became more personal. Playlists became our generations mood ring and we now use those songs and movie themes to emphasize our daily lives. Ringtones that resonate with our inner being.
For me nothing gets the blood pumping more than going for a nightly run listening to the score to my favourite horror movie. A flicker of shadow or rustle of a plant in a dark abandoned city path can get your heart racing as your imagination fuels your base fears. It pushes you to go faster, the pulsing beat of electronic terror.
Music guides your life. It makes us dance. It makes us cry. It holds us back ,lost in key moments of our past, but it also drives us forward to explore new frontiers.
So what is the soundtrack to your life?