Streaming Art

There you are going about your day, running errands or on your way home after a long day of work. It’s getting dark, traffic builds up and the red lights glare on in front you for what looks like miles. You are streaming music, or playing it from your phone, or maybe even cruising the radio when it hits you; a song loaded with memories. These memories come flooding in; you are taken outside back to a moment. The moment deeply moves us, and we find ourselves reliving a feeling, maybe a long forgotten feeling, or maybe a favorite feeling that we love to recall. All art has the power to move us, but music can do so in a very specific way. Music can be woven in intimately with memory, and instantly transport us to a time or place, either alone or one spent with others. This can take many forms; it can be a favorite jam from a memorable road trip, a song that reminds us of a loved one passed, or even a song that we don’t like any more that reminds of us a life we used to live.

These memories are stored and locked away, much like stores our valued objects and possessions. This transcendent aural transportation usually occurs involuntarily. We hear the song and the nostalgia comes crashing. Our brains are wired to associate memories with our senses.


Music is a very physical art form, causing actual vibrations to resonate in our heads and stir up our emotions and jog our memories. Music is also created in a very physical way; anyone who has seen a concert knows musicians pour their energy into their performances, sweating on stage and dancing and moving for the crowd. This all contributes to the unique way music can hit us when we don’t expect it. It doesn’t always have to be a memory exactly either. Music can inspire us with motivational lyrics and a catchy hook. It’s not just lyrics too; certain chords and melodies will reliably bring me to tears. Something about the way the notes mix together and interact with my brain starts a certain chain reaction to make me feel what I imagine the artist intended me to feel. Everyone is different, and while most people may feel sad by songs in a minor key, not all will. Find the music that moves you; don’t just wait to hear it unexpectedly.