I have always championed the undisputable power of music but have never been compelled to write about it until approximately six seconds ago. As a result of a reckless choice on Spotify I have just been hauled by the seat of my pants from the present to another time and place entirely.
My time keeping ability is appalling. I cannot calculate time maths, have no concept of the days of the week and regularly have to check when filling out forms that ‘we are in 2010 aren’t we?’ It will come as no surprise, then, that I categorise the various periods of my life according to the soundtrack to which it played out.
Unless you own an exceptionally well groomed iPod, engaging in the musical Russian roulette that is The Shuffle is a terribly risky move. You know from the off if you’re on to a good run or not; hit a bum first track and the game is as good as over. All subsequent songs are sure to collide with your mood in a most inappropriate fashion. Thumping beats will descend around your ears when you crave soothing melody, and beautiful lyrics will fail to deliver where some jangly guitar certainly would have.
My iPod is a powerful tool, capable of transporting me back to beautiful evenings spent cooking dinner with my darling boyfriend, sweet sunny afternoons spent in the garden at my home on Wellington Street, and evenings driving myself to and from friends’ houses. It can also conjure memories of dire arguments, disastrous nights out and moments of blind panic.
Only music has the power to remind you of some of the sweetest times in life or completely knock the stuffing out of you. It is a life sponge, accumulating the heady pleasure of something wonderful or of stomach churning despair and saving it for another day. Another day when you take the risk and hit ‘shuffle’.