Music Triggers

Music triggers emotions. Music triggers memories. Music triggers and begins associations of time, place, touches, sensations, smells.

I knew that Before.  Ever more so, After. (My Daft Punk association will follow in a couple of weeks – cheery one though it is – deep breaths, bereavement blogger followers).

There are obvious ones, ones associated with Beth and Iz, together or individually. Bands we’d seen together (Mr Hudson, Glass Animals), bands we’d planned to see but didn’t (The XX). Bands I ferociously took the piss out of with Iz (Macaroon 5, Both Directions, Ed Sheridan – they never ever failed to annoy her). My on-going (and ever funny, may I say) shout of ‘Band?!’ to Beth, whenever a soundtrack came on.

Strangely now, as time, weeks, months pass endlessly on, I’ve discovered new ones. New sounds that have no direct or even in-direct association. Fresh with vibrant poignancy, a melody, a refrain, a chord change, a lyric or a phrase, opens up my soul, without it even thinking about knowing there was a connection.


10th January, 2016, Izzy’s phone

From Week 22 on, one of my hardest, heart shuddering triggers is ‘Life Story’ by Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm.  A new piece of music for me, an artist I’d never heard of. (Give it a listen, buy it, ignore the link, whatever.)

No association, no memory, no recall. No poignant or reinterpreted lyric. Just a gut wrenching, breath stopping trigger. It’s their beauty, their essence,their life, distilled into a few dissonant, improvised piano chords. It releases a deep, deep trigger, that, from the opening few bars, tears away the barriers of my pretence of normality .

It brings with every play an instant hit of streaming hot tears, a severe bout of shortness of breath and the opening and widening of the deep hole that lies permanently in the middle of my chest, the hole that is Beth and Iz.


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