What’s that sound?

Do songs stick in your head the way they do in mine?

I mean the way you can simply read a couple words from a song and then the rest of it plays in your head for hours. Or the way you can wake up with a song on repeat, even when you may not have heard it for days, weeks, or longer.

Even more so than visual items, smells, or tastes, sounds queue more memories for me than any other sense. And with that is when songs and sounds link from one memory to another.

Often, this starts with a link from a song on TV or in a movie which reminds me of one from another TV show or movie, then dives deeper to memories of what was going on in my life or a specific moment that made that first song important enough to anchor that deeply in my mind.

The most recent case for me is the end credits theme for the TV show, “Haven” (2010-2015), which I started watching on Netflix. This vexed me for a bit until I realized what it was reminding me of – the piano theme called “It Was Always You, Helen” from the 1992 movie, “Candyman”.

With the former composed by Shawn Pierce and the latter by the great Phillip Glass, I make the assumption that any similarities rely mostly in my own mind.

A lot was going on in my life when Candyman came out to make it stick strongly, even beyond my general love of horror films. Those memories are for me to swim through, but here are the two songs.

Do you hear the same similarities that I do?

If you do watch “Haven”, also try out any of the Jesse Stone mystery movies and look for the visual similarities of the fictional towns.

2 responses to “What’s that sound?

  1. For what it’s worth. I just watched the first episode on Netflix and the first time the theme played I thought it was phillip glass playing. I have a thing about patterns so instead of discounting it I look to see if others have noticed. I also live in Nashville where music copy write loss is an ever present fear. There is actually a set number of notes for plagerize in composing but i cant rember how many. In this case Shawn has also done a key shift, but if you were to put the notes onto a graph the patterns would be the same shape but not completely identicle.

    I found your webpage because I was doing a search to see if there had been anyone else to notice or even plagerizing claim. Granted it’s not the David Bowie/Vanilla Ice debacle but still an internationally renown composer and pieces in a major motion picture and prime network tv with internet streaming.

    Lol sorry rambling. For what it’s worth. No, it’s not just you.

    • I recently rewatched the old movie, Brainstorm, with music composed by James Horner. The opening music – also repeated throughout the film many times – is very reminiscent of Alan Silvestri’s music from The Abyss – which was done many years later. Interestingly, Horner was apparently known for lifting bits from his past work but also from classical composers. My wife is a photography professor and she has a whole section in her classes devoted to discussing plagiarism. What does it mean legally? When is it okay artistically? And when can an artist be considered plagiarizing when it’s really just years of hearing other music which made an unintentional influence?

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