Sound Memories From Paula


I communicate with my grandmother through music.

She was diagnosed with Alzheimer 10 years ago and no longer recognizes me. However, whenever I play her favorite songs from childhood, the fog immediately clears and the vibrant grandmother I once knew reemerges. My grandmother loves to sing, and, in those joyful moments, she not only remembers all the lyrics, but corrects those of us who get them wrong. Her song-induced clarity brings to mind Tony Bennet, who, despite his dementia, returned to his former self while performing with Lady Gaga.

My grandmother before a party 1959

Sound has the power to unlock memories and emotions faster than any other sense.

Hearing a song from years – even decades – ago transports us to those earlier moments in time.

When it comes to business, sound can unlock value too.  In fact, brands with powerful audio cues are recalled twice as fast as those featuring other sensorial triggers.  The effects of sound extend well beyond our cognitive functions.  They affect our….

                ….. Physiology -The sound of this siren will activate your flight-or-flight response, while listening to this white noise will lull you to sleep

                ……Moods (our universal tendency to mimic the emotions of what we hear makes us, for example, feel happy while listening to Abba and melancholic while listening to Eric Clapton

               …. Behaviors ( there’s a reason that gyms typically play loud, thumping music. High-tempos make us sprint faster, while slow tempos slow us down. This also explains retail stores often play soft ambient music; it compels their customers to linger and ultimately buy more).

Above all, in an era of isolation, touch makes us feel more connected 

We can steer clear of unpleasant sights, tastes or touch, regardless of proximity. But we can’t escape unpleasant sounds or smells that permeate in our space. That’s why bad music or acoustics in a retail store or restaurant drive customers away. In the digital sphere, soundscapes also can serve as attractors or detractors for customers.

To learn more about how to leverage the power of sound to connect with your customers, watch the highlights of our latest Tastemaker Conversation with Daniel Schougarrd – musicologist and sound branding expert.

As individuals and brands, we have the responsibility to design our sonic world in a way that promotes wellbeing and happiness 

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