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Thread: Mental images/interpretation of what you are hearing.

  1. #1
    Join Date: May 2008

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    I'm Rob.

    Default Mental images/interpretation of what you are hearing.

    Does anyone else have mental images whilst listening to music?

    Our recall of images/places/experiences goes back to not long after we were born. I often find myself listening to a piece of music and linking it to something in the past, an experience or a place I have been or just an atmosphere, something intangible.

    There are certain types of music that provoke these cognitive responses. For example if I listen to the sort of stuff that the ECM label produce (Lars Dannielsson/Wolfgang Haffner/Jan Garbarek) eerie stuff with a sort of haunting atmosphere and I am transported to the bleakness of The Tate Modern and the vast engine room in the bowels of the building. The music is austere and sparse, and this conveys to me the bleakness of this bare and brutal structure.

    Many years ago I was driving home from work and at one point the clouds in the sky looked like they were about to swoop down and engulf the road, enormous castles of clouds, about to burst with the sun behind and the sky pitch black at the same time. Quite frightening. The soundtrack by Vangelis form the album 1492 has the sort of brooding/menacing sound that always brings these images back to mind.

    Anyone else experience this sort of thing?
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  2. #2
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    Music has always painted pictures in my mind - I thought we were all the same?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
    Does anyone else have mental images whilst listening to music?

    Our recall of images/places/experiences goes back to not long after we were born. I often find myself listening to a piece of music and linking it to something in the past, an experience or a place I have been or just an atmosphere, something intangible.

    There are certain types of music that provoke these cognitive responses. For example if I listen to the sort of stuff that the ECM label produce (Lars Dannielsson/Wolfgang Haffner/Jan Garbarek) eerie stuff with a sort of haunting atmosphere and I am transported to the bleakness of The Tate Modern and the vast engine room in the bowels of the building. The music is austere and sparse, and this conveys to me the bleakness of this bare and brutal structure.

    Many years ago I was driving home from work and at one point the clouds in the sky looked like they were about to swoop down and engulf the road, enormous castles of clouds, about to burst with the sun behind and the sky pitch black at the same time. Quite frightening. The soundtrack by Vangelis form the album 1492 has the sort of brooding/menacing sound that always brings these images back to mind.

    Anyone else experience this sort of thing?
    You shouldn't be driving while on that shit Rob
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  4. #4
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    I can barely remember what i had for last nights tea, so it would need to be some tune
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idlewithnodrive View Post
    I can barely remember what i had for last nights tea...
    It was filet mignon au miel et au vinaigre balsamique, parfumés au curcuma, servis avec des haricots beurre et un coulis de poivrons grillé.

    Happy to help.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It was filet mignon au miel et au vinaigre balsamique, parfumés au curcuma, servis avec des haricots beurre et un coulis de poivrons grillé.

    Happy to help.

    Marco.
    I eat something very similar in Saigon in 1994. It was in a restaurant at the Hotel Continental. Obviously There wasn't any music - so no Proustian moment, just an eidetic memory.
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  7. #7
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    I'm Dennis.

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    It is well recognised that there are two established 'indexes' to lifetime points, smell and music.

    Other than those we are increasingly in a world of metaphors, and I believe that our brain looks for metaphorical comparisons between sensual experiences.

    Music can be written to be a deliberate portrayal of something also, and there are pieces which everyone would agree convey certain moods or things, for example Variations on a Theme From Thomas Tallis', Vaughn Williams, is to many bound up with the English countryside.

    I usually dose when listening, and there is always some sort of prompted internal image response.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    Music can be written to be a deliberate portrayal of something also, and there are pieces which everyone would agree convey certain moods or things, for example Variations on a Theme From Thomas Tallis', Vaughn Williams, is to many bound up with the English countryside
    Not for me. When I hear the Tallis Fantasia, I have imagery of sixteenth century choral singers in a cathedral singing Tallis chants or lamentations.
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2016

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    I'm Mike.

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    Music features hugely in our culture, it is a constant presence, often to an annoyance, i.e. morons who wear headphones when in public. Of course it is going to be linked to memory and experience. Combine this with drugs and you have some truly magical sensory experiences. The music you mention, sort of ambient style invites reflection. About this time of year I have a niggling ear worm, George michaels 'Last xmas', its rather annoying.

    My own rather fascinating experience with music and mind is that a song will come into my head and in an instant I'll realise why, because its reflecting the situation or thoughts I'm experiencing often to ironic or sarcastic effect! Wim Wenders in his film 'Kings of the road' stated how America had 'colonised our subconscious' (one of the main characters said this when a song came into his and his co star head).

    Your thread may have been started with a slightly different meaning, music and mental images? The different types of music can represent every vague mood or situation, that's the beauty of it! Classical music being the supreme example of this I guess.

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulf-2007 View Post
    You shouldn't be driving while on that shit Rob
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