It’s a new year and another blank canvas to fill with new memories. Don’t worry, this won’t be a column about New Year’s resolutions. But part of my New Year’s ritual is looking back and asking myself a simple question: “What did I do in the previous year and what have I achieved?” I brew some coffee, put a vinyl record on the record player and sit back in my sofa to reflect for a while.
While listening to my record, I reach a simple conclusion: the biggest development I discovered during my life in 2017 was actually delving and understanding how music has been relevant and primordial for my life. Not only have I explored new boundaries in music and amassed a respectable collection, even when I go back to my memories, music is always there, and each record I own has a distinct remembrance attached to it.
As soon as the needle lifts off the initial record I set, I head to the player, pick up the record and put it back in my crate. I slowly browse through my crate looking for the next record to listen to, looking for the next memory to think about. I soon reach into my funk section where I instantly stop as soon as I read the magic words ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’.
Many songs by Earth, Wind and Fire are special to me, but it is listening to After the Love has Gone that really takes me back to one of last year’s fondest memories, when I visited my parents during the summer holiday. Strolling downtown in my father’s car, I was changing the radio until I stumbled upon the classic music station. A song was playing and my dad immediately grabbed my hand so that I wouldn’t move on to the next station. With a grin he just said: “This song is an instant classic, it just takes me back in time!” My dad started singing to it in his hilarious broken English. Fortunately, I knew the song as well, so I enthusiastically joined his lonely chorus. Through that experience, I saw how music could easily bridge an evident generational gap.
As the song finishes, I snap back into my living room with an empty coffee mug. Following my routine, I stand up, lift the record from the player and look into my vinyl crate for another memory.