By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!
Everyone experiences a change of mood thanks to music, a particular song or band. And, even more, it’s very likely that you associate it with a very distinct moment in a very concrete place. This happens for a specific reason and can be useful or disappointing at the time you choose your music for travelling.
One of the clearest cases of music association in my life is when I went to a friend’s home, in one of his Paris apartments, I stayed there while he worked all day during the week, so the moments in which I was not wandering around town, I spent at home listening to the music I had brought with me. The problem was that I only brought two albums (there were no mp3 or mp4 then yet, ok?) one was a Best of Placebo album and the other one was “Veintegenarios” by this peculiar Catalan singer-songwriter, Albert Pla. So, after two weeks of listening to only this music I completely and absolutely associated these albums with my stay in Paris, precisely to that apartment, and most exactly, to the corner where I was sitting when I was listening to it, and even more: I can remember exactly how I felt, what I was thinking, what I ate and what it tasted like if I listen to that songs now and close my eyes.
This happens because through your eardrums, music and its vibes go directly to our brain. These vibes carry on to “give orders” to our brain. Researches have shown that a certain amount of beats per minute activate our left and right part of the brain, and that the simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes the retention of information.
This is how music can make you feel depressed in a matter of 3 minutes, just try listening to Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees or, on the contrary, you inevitably cheer up with Artic Monkeys’ Fluorescent Adolescent. This happens because there are different kinds of vibes that songs transmit, which our brain interprets differently (these are basically alpha: rhythm typically associated to a relaxed state; beta: associated to activation states, there are also theta and delta which are linked to sleeping moments).
Basically, we can choose our mood through music, as we can choose which kind of vibes we want to receive. Also notice that, even though you are not going to any of the apartments in Paris, but just a ride to the supermarket in you car, if you put on a song you like a lot, you’ll probably remember that very simple route. So be careful with the music you choose for long trips, or for certain moments, as they possibly will be stuck to this moment forever.