On Musical Traces: Some Favorite Musical Moments Of 2013

Musical memory is an interesting thing. Sometimes we remember with great clarity bits and pieces of a music–a beat, a catchy hook, a lyric, a chord progression. My wife’s memory seems to work this way: she has total recall of the words and melodies of just about any song she’s ever heard. Another kind of musical memory works in more amorphous ways, leaving us with only traces of what we listened to. These traces often take the form of a remembered gestalt–kind of like a compressed snapshot of the music. My memory often works this way. Having listened to a favorite piece a few (or many) times, I begin to mentally play back the sounds in a condensed form. The entire piece becomes a short loop of favorite parts juxtaposed together that I can somewhat hear in my mind’s ear. I say “somewhat hear” because I recall the overall vibe of the music more than any part in particular detail. Something about it has left a trace, and this trace–a memory of my repeated encounters with the sounds–is enough to help me recall the vibe of the music and keep me thinking and writing about it.

Here then are a few favorite musical moments that left traces here at brettworks in 2013:

Dawn of Midi, “Dysnomia”:

(read more here)

TM404, “202/303/303/303/808”:

(read more here)

James Blake, “Digital Lion”:

(read more here)

Autechre, “Bladelores”

(read more here)

Max Richter, “Recomposed, Winter 3”:

(read more here)

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