Memories Triggered By Music

tilly50

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#1
I have just been listening to Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine on classic fm and, as it usually does, it brought back a particularly vivid memory. However it is a memory that I could not possibly have had of a real event. It must be of either a dream or else something I have seen on TV.

The memory is of sitting in a darkened concert hall listening to this particular music and looking around me and thinking "what the hell am I doing here?" All around me are men in SS uniforms and I begin to worry that when the concert ends and the lights go up I am going to be in BIG trouble.

That's all there is to the memory, but everything about it is very vivid, even down to smell. I cannot remember having seen a scene like this in a film or TV programme as I am not a big fan of war films etc. Does anyone have an idea of any film that has this scene in it, as I would love to be able to identify where this imagery has come from
 

PeniG

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#2
It's interesting that you call this a "memory," rather than mere "imagery," which music calls up semirandomly in most of us. I find that memories do feel different in the head than other ideas and images, but once you have an image it can then be remembered, confusing the matter.

Dream imagery and memory, I find, are particularly easy to confuse, and the "wait a minute, why am I here?" moment is dreamlike, so a memory of a dream forgotten, prompted somehow by the music in question, is a parsimonious explanation.

Another, less parsimonious but more interesting one, is reincarnation. Since the work was first performed in 1866, it is at least theoretically possible for it to have played to a hall full of SS officers at some time, but why you should be in the middle of them if you are sufficiently recognizable to fear the lights coming up requires a lot of backstory.

As for where the imagery comes from, you don't always need an exterior source. Since about the mid-nineties I've gotten imagery of a Klingon band whenever I hear "Play That Funky Music," for no discernible reason whatsoever. My brain just cobbled it together out of pre-existing images of Klingons (post-movie Klingons, not Original) and rock bands and attached it to this song without any conscious participation from me. If asked to construct imagery of rocking Klingons, I almost certainly would have had them playing metal. This may be something equally arbitrary and pointless.
 

oldrover

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#3
I don't think the association is uncommon, the portrayal of the SS is often associated with classical music its a well worn plot device, ie. at some cultural event before going off to do something dastardly. really well worn. like you I'm not a fan of war pictures either, but I think at some time we've all had to sit through enough of them for at least some of the clichés to permeate.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#4
It is certainly a cinematic image/auditory impression.

Fauré had no great reputation until after WWII. The haunting quality of his music has already been used in an online hoax about an Irish cylinder recording of a sweetmeat from the Requiem. There was no market for such a thing, even if location recordings had been possible in 1900.

The scene you describe is just the kind of thing a lazy film director might use to illustrate a concert in occupied Paris, relying on the familiarity of Fauré's idiom to the modern viewer. I don't know of any such scene in a movie but your sleeping brain may have produced something at least as awful without all the expense of staging it! :)
 

Zilch5

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#6
I just read something about life in Paris under the German occupation that made me think of this thread:

Herbert von Karajan conducted the German State Opera in Paris. Cocteau's plays were performed all through the war. Jean-Paul Sartre published his books, as did Simone de Beauvoir, and German officers were among those who came to see Sartre's plays. Albert Camus was patronized by the German chief of literary propaganda, Gerhard Heller. Film studios thrived under German supervision. And Sartre and Camus wrote for the resistance too. Things were even easier for French collaborators. For them, as Robert Paxton observes in Collaboration and Resistance, "life in occupied Paris was sweet."
So German soldiers attending concerts etc was not only allowed but encouraged. So you could have channeled somebody's memory, a previous life or a previous occupant of your place.
 

Ulalume

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#7
A few years ago, I had a terrible dream in which the song "Macarthur Park" (a song I despise so much as to actually fear it) played in the background, reproduced note for note and lyric for lyric with perfect fidelity, even though I hadn't heard it in years. I get shudders every time I remember. Ugh. Of all the things to perfectly recall...
 
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Ulalume

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#8
A nice example of the way music and memory are intertwined...
Recently, the public radio station has been playing a snippet of Daft Punk's Digital Love during breaks. No matter how often I hear it, it instantly sends me back to the summer of 2001. Sort of a full body memory for a few seconds. Thankfully, it's a great memory. It always lifts my spirits, which is a good thing considering what the news is like.

The music clip is the part that begins at 18 seconds into this Gap commercial (which also brings back memories,BTW)

That whole album was pretty brilliant for triggering nostalgia, actually. :)
 

Ulalume

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#9
Here I am again, with a peculiar musical memory - or perhaps better to say, non-memory. This is driving me a bit nuts, so perhaps someone here can help out.

My 8 year-old has just discovered the album Moon Safari by Air and is in love with it. I recall when this album was popular, though I didn't own a copy and really only had a glancing familiarity with it, as radio in the place we were living didn't go in much for ambient French pop. Truth be told, it's the kind of music that would have driven my spouse crazy, anyway.

However, while listening to the first track, I realized I knew it extremely well, to the point of knowing every note. I knew it from somewhere but where? I could even pin it down to a time frame of 1999 - 2001 but the source is a mystery. I thought it might have been used in a film I'd seen often, or a TV show or even a commercial, but after doing some research, it seems it was never used in any of those things.

Next, I looked up the band itself, and realized I recognized the names of the band members - again, as if I knew their music very well. But from where? I've been thinking about this all day, and no answer is forthcoming. It's just a big blank.

I went so far as to ask one of my older sons about this, reasoning that if I'd heard it so often, he likely would have heard it too. The song and band were completely unfamiliar to him, though. So I'm stuck.

Granted, I did all my research on the internet and as such could have inaccurate info. Thus I'm asking here - does anyone know of a film, television show or etc. that used this song? 'Cos otherwise this is beginning to feel like a glitch in the matrix!

 

escargot

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#10
Here I am again, with a peculiar musical memory - or perhaps better to say, non-memory. This is driving me a bit nuts, so perhaps someone here can help out.

My 8 year-old has just discovered the album Moon Safari by Air and is in love with it. I recall when this album was popular, though I didn't own a copy and really only had a glancing familiarity with it, as radio in the place we were living didn't go in much for ambient French pop. Truth be told, it's the kind of music that would have driven my spouse crazy, anyway.

However, while listening to the first track, I realized I knew it extremely well, to the point of knowing every note. I knew it from somewhere but where? I could even pin it down to a time frame of 1999 - 2001 but the source is a mystery. I thought it might have been used in a film I'd seen often, or a TV show or even a commercial, but after doing some research, it seems it was never used in any of those things.

Next, I looked up the band itself, and realized I recognized the names of the band members - again, as if I knew their music very well. But from where? I've been thinking about this all day, and no answer is forthcoming. It's just a big blank.

I went so far as to ask one of my older sons about this, reasoning that if I'd heard it so often, he likely would have heard it too. The song and band were completely unfamiliar to him, though. So I'm stuck.

Granted, I did all my research on the internet and as such could have inaccurate info. Thus I'm asking here - does anyone know of a film, television show or etc. that used this song? 'Cos otherwise this is beginning to feel like a glitch in the matrix!

Video unavailable, as was the previous one.
 

Naughty_Felid

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#11
Here I am again, with a peculiar musical memory - or perhaps better to say, non-memory. This is driving me a bit nuts, so perhaps someone here can help out.

My 8 year-old has just discovered the album Moon Safari by Air and is in love with it. I recall when this album was popular, though I didn't own a copy and really only had a glancing familiarity with it, as radio in the place we were living didn't go in much for ambient French pop. Truth be told, it's the kind of music that would have driven my spouse crazy, anyway.

However, while listening to the first track, I realized I knew it extremely well, to the point of knowing every note. I knew it from somewhere but where? I could even pin it down to a time frame of 1999 - 2001 but the source is a mystery. I thought it might have been used in a film I'd seen often, or a TV show or even a commercial, but after doing some research, it seems it was never used in any of those things.

Next, I looked up the band itself, and realized I recognized the names of the band members - again, as if I knew their music very well. But from where? I've been thinking about this all day, and no answer is forthcoming. It's just a big blank.

I went so far as to ask one of my older sons about this, reasoning that if I'd heard it so often, he likely would have heard it too. The song and band were completely unfamiliar to him, though. So I'm stuck.

Granted, I did all my research on the internet and as such could have inaccurate info. Thus I'm asking here - does anyone know of a film, television show or etc. that used this song? 'Cos otherwise this is beginning to feel like a glitch in the matrix!

Not listened to that for ages, welcome back Ula.
 

escargot

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#15
Had a terrible family bereavement some years ago. Lots of kind people endeavoured to comfort us all and I was sent gifts including CDs that folks thought would help. I put them all on the iPod which Techy shrewdly provided and took the dogs on many long epic walks with the music for company.

So now I can't bear any of that music because it reminds me of the raw grief. I just looked up one of the albums and the mere sight of the cover art brought tears to my eyes.

This experience ruined music for me for a good while. Eventually I went back to the heavy/progressive/guitar rock genres of my distant youth, that I thought I'd grown out of forever. Comfort in Sound, indeed.
 

Ulalume

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#16
Had a terrible family bereavement some years ago. Lots of kind people endeavoured to comfort us all and I was sent gifts including CDs that folks thought would help. I put them all on the iPod which Techy shrewdly provided and took the dogs on many long epic walks with the music for company.

So now I can't bear any of that music because it reminds me of the raw grief. I just looked up one of the albums and the mere sight of the cover art brought tears to my eyes.

This experience ruined music for me for a good while. Eventually I went back to the heavy/progressive/guitar rock genres of my distant youth, that I thought I'd grown out of forever. Comfort in Sound, indeed.
Yes, music can definitely get entangled with grief and bring back all the raw feelings....sorry if I made you feel bad, scargy.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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#17
Here I am again, with a peculiar musical memory - or perhaps better to say, non-memory. This is driving me a bit nuts, so perhaps someone here can help out.

My 8 year-old has just discovered the album Moon Safari by Air and is in love with it. I recall when this album was popular, though I didn't own a copy and really only had a glancing familiarity with it, as radio in the place we were living didn't go in much for ambient French pop. Truth be told, it's the kind of music that would have driven my spouse crazy, anyway.

However, while listening to the first track, I realized I knew it extremely well, to the point of knowing every note. I knew it from somewhere but where? I could even pin it down to a time frame of 1999 - 2001 but the source is a mystery. I thought it might have been used in a film I'd seen often, or a TV show or even a commercial, but after doing some research, it seems it was never used in any of those things.

Next, I looked up the band itself, and realized I recognized the names of the band members - again, as if I knew their music very well. But from where? I've been thinking about this all day, and no answer is forthcoming. It's just a big blank.

I went so far as to ask one of my older sons about this, reasoning that if I'd heard it so often, he likely would have heard it too. The song and band were completely unfamiliar to him, though. So I'm stuck.

Granted, I did all my research on the internet and as such could have inaccurate info. Thus I'm asking here - does anyone know of a film, television show or etc. that used this song? 'Cos otherwise this is beginning to feel like a glitch in the matrix!

According to IMDB it was used in Veronica Mars and The O.C. , and something called Arctic Heart.

But...how about this. The AIR track heavily samples Runnin' by Edwin Starr, which was used in the movies Hell Up In Harlem and....Uncle Buck!
 

escargot

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#18
Yes, music can definitely get entangled with grief and bring back all the raw feelings....sorry if I made you feel bad, scargy.
Heh, you didn't make me feel bad!

Just because grief is traumatic doesn't mean it's not normal and healthy.

Comes with the territory; you get attached to people and you eventually lose them, or they lose you. In the long run, somebody pays for all that love. We humans tend to feel it's still worthwhile.
 

escargot

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#19
Anyway... I keep buying piles of second hands CDs to chuck in the car. They all get played eventually and if a passenger fancies one they can have it. Yesterday I was on 'Hairbrush Divas 2' or summat - a compilation of girlie singalongs - and Cindy Lauper's Time After Time came up.

Reminded me of having a HUGE row with an ex about where I'd been and what I'd been doing. I'd actually been at someone's house watching MTV, totally transfixed by the dazzling music videos. I found Lauper's offerings particularly entertaining.

Back then there were few chances to see music videos on TV so once I'd seen MTV/VH1 I was totally sold.

So now that song reminds me of him accusing me of wrongdoing and me replying 'Wait, no, stop, you're not listening! We should get satellite! It's great! You can watch pop videos!'
 

Ulalume

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#20
According to IMDB it was used in Veronica Mars and The O.C. , and something called Arctic Heart.

But...how about this. The AIR track heavily samples Runnin' by Edwin Starr, which was used in the movies Hell Up In Harlem and....Uncle Buck!
Thanks for digging all that up. Unfortunately I've never seen any of those TV shows or films!
 

Dwain Pipe

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#22
A couple of years ago I was out driving when, on the radio, came the song 'Xanadu' by Olivia Newton John. After a few seconds I was completely overcome with emotion and had to pull over to the side of the road with tears streaming down my face. Hearing the song brought back a memory of being on holiday in Cornwall with my parents and siblings. The film was playing at a local cinema at the time and hearing the song had (I assume) brought back some long buried memories of a wonderfully happy childhood holiday.

This experience was utterly unexpected and uncontrollable. Very odd.
 

escargot

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#23
Bad Company's Shooting Star reminds me of a time when I played the album it's from (Straight Shooter) a lot and was hopelessly in luurrve with a totally unsuitable man.

For years I couldn't hear it without remembering how I felt back then and how rubbish life seemed without him.

Strangely, the reason I was so heartbroken is that in the time we'd had together I knew he'd drag me to Hell with him and had sensibly kicked him out.

Time would tell that I was right and we wouldn't have had a future together. I still blush at that song though.
 
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GNC

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#25
A couple of years ago I was out driving when, on the radio, came the song 'Xanadu' by Olivia Newton John. After a few seconds I was completely overcome with emotion and had to pull over to the side of the road with tears streaming down my face. Hearing the song brought back a memory of being on holiday in Cornwall with my parents and siblings. The film was playing at a local cinema at the time and hearing the song had (I assume) brought back some long buried memories of a wonderfully happy childhood holiday.

This experience was utterly unexpected and uncontrollable. Very odd.
Not long after I read your post, what did Gary Davies open his Sounds of the 80s radio show with? You guessed it, Xanadu.
 
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