Monday, March 28, 2005

The iPod Therapist

"Music therapy is the systematic use of music, within a developing relationship between patient and therapist to restore, maintain, and improve physical, emotional, psychosocial and neurologic function."
Institute for Music and Neurologic Function

I'm finding an interesting effect of iPoding. Much like smells, I'm finding that songs are triggering certain memories.

"We Are Each Other" from the Beautiful South's 0898 or, really, anything from the Housemartin's The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death conjure up images of my Junior year of college, looking over the campus from the 13th floor of Tower 2. Good times.

Or, Poe's "Angry Johnny" or "Trigger Happy Jack (Drive by a Go-Go)" putting me in my awesome apartment in the Central West End right after college.

One must also be careful about what ends up in your iPod "session." OMD was cool for a suburban St. Louis high school stud like me, but after Tesla Girls comes on, say, the third time, you're begrudging iTunes for finding it in the "archives" folder. Or, send you running to take out the Propellerhead's "History Repeating." (The shuffle function's shortcomings are well-documented, but come on!)

God forbid that heavy rotation ruins the soothing nature of Bill Wither's Use Me Up or the emotional impact of Jeff Buckley's Morning Theft.

Still, with the effects of these rememberances, I'm starting to wonder if these constant, system-driven reminders of times past will start to connect us to thoughts, ideas, or moments long (or lately) forgotten - allowing us to spend a tiny bit of extra time adding to our language studies, or finding that one additional piece of information that proves your hypothesis.

Will the iPod help us continue to slowly expand our capacity for knowledge, reducing slightly how much time we're caught up in "managing" our current library?

Maybe, instead, we'll just get to sleep before midnight for once.

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