Music and its associations – it’s all in the mind

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013

After a recent Interplay gig a friend of about my age asked “Where does this stuff come from? It sounds like those cool American detective series from the early 1960s”. He was expressing pleasure both at the music and at how it connected him with something else he really liked. It’s lovely that people attribute the same music with such widely varied associations. If the music is mine these are often ideas I have never even thought of! Of course the suggestive power of music and its ability to fire the imagination is one of its greatest qualities. But it still knocks me out – and makes me smile – when I hear comments like this. “Really? If you say so” I thought, then I started to ponder. I certainly remember as a kid thinking the theme music to ‘Hawaii Five-O’ was pretty exciting. There was another series though, with Bill Cosby and someone else (was it Robert Wagner?) as ridiculously cool plainclothes cops, and they had some hip music too. Anyone remember that series, what is was called, or how the music went? If so please let me know. Stuff I liked and still remember comes from a bit later – ‘Taxi’ and ‘St. Elsewhere’ were two series with great music, by Mike Post if I recall.  But do I think about any of that when I’m writing for Interplay? Not a bit, although many years ago I did write a big band score titled ‘Bullet-Proof Vest’…. By contrast another example comes from a very different age-group. The band is booked to appear at LAMP, Leamington’s new music venue, which is run out of a social enterprise to engage young people through music and related activity. The PR for the venue (young, naturally) has written up our music as reminding him of the sound track to a well-known computer game. He tells me this is because he really likes that music and ‘his’ public will relate to it. Brilliant! I can describ  e our music to our typical audience, but would never have thought in a million years of talking to young people about it in such terms. (And it might suggest a different outlet for our music...

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