“I spent a large part of one of the evenings I was in Uganda thinking about what precisely the memory of a person is.
What do I want people to remember about me?
What would I prefer to have suppressed?
Do I have a number of secrets that I shall take with me to the grave?
How can I shape other people´s recollection of me?
It is an impossible task.
I can hardly control what anyone else chooses to remember about me.
I can only have a vague idea of what sort of impression I have made.
To some extent I can anticipate reactions to what I have written…
But what about the memory of me as an individual?
I can guess that people´s memories will vary…
I don´t know what people will remember.
Nor for how long.
Memories are always finite.
Memories of me will last for a number of years, but the day will come when they no longer survive.
It is given to very few to live on beyond the memories of their grandchildren.
After a hundred years most of us are one of the anonymous grey shadows in the blackness that surrounds us all.
But I also turn the question round:
What do I remember about others?
(Henning Mankel: I Die, But the Memory Lives On: The World AIDS Crisis and the Memory Book Project)
Inspired by this book as well as the events of my 50th birthday party, (See Post Vino Veritas.)
I found myself thinking about my love of music and how many memories, both painful and joyful, have been associated with music.
I hear Air Supply´s Lost in Love and am reminded of a bus trip to Montreal.
Billy Joel sings For the Longest Time and I remember an old friend from my days working and living in Vankleek Hill.
Oran Juice croons his tune Walking in the Rain and I remember a particular painful break-up with a former ex-girlfriend.
Music is intertwined irrevocably with memory.
Music is also a keen insight into character.
I believe knowing the music and literature that formed a person gives sharp awareness of who that person is as well as where (both geographically as well as psychologically) that person came from.
I propose a project…
I want to keep my loved ones ever clear and sharp in my memory and close to my heart.
I want to know them on a deep level that only music can offer.
If there is music you love…
If there is music that makes you remember someone or something or somewhere…
If there is music by which you would like to be remembered…
Send me a playlist…or…burn me a CD…
So that when that music is played, then memory of that person will endure, or a sharper understanding of that person´s place(s) of origin becomes clearer.
I believe that just as every person has a story to tell, so there is a soundtrack that goes along with it.
Tell me your story.
Sing me your songs.
Let us laugh, cry and smile together.
Let the music play and unite us harmoniously.