When i was writing my Master’s thesis, i listened to one album perpetually. I had just had most of my CD collection stolen when i went away to the woods to write. The CD player there didn’t play burnt CDs so i listened to Son Kite’s “Minilogues” for a week solid. And somehow, i continued listening to it for the rest of my thesis writing. A full summer of the same CD on repeat.
Thus, when i went to listen to them spin this weekend, i was totally taken aback by how quickly my mind reverted to thesis mode, simply by hearing them spin. In a matter of moments after they hit the stage, i was working through various problems in my thesis, trying to solve missing components. Very strange audio association…
That really is an interesting aspect of our relationship with music – it’s something I’ve tried to play with when DJing, though I don’t know how successful I’ve been. What would you call it? Semantic/memetic/aesthetic tagging?
Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot always sends me back to my honeymoon last November with this really rich set of associations. We were off at a cabin by a deserted lake, so it’s snow, Tetley’s bitter and English cheese, shades of grey and muted green, a specific “relaxed” physical sensation in my head and chest. The emotional context probably didn’t hurt (mirror neurons going ping?) but I’m sure the principles could be used for designing information systems.
Do you do any work with George Lakoff, by chance?
I’m definitely familiar with Lakoff’s work, but i just arrived at Berkeley and have not worked with him yet.