Bunker Hill Community College Mobile and Tablet Version

Popular Music Ensemble Concert

traintracks in the woods

Moments Passing: A Music and Memory Project

This concert explores the concept of nostalgia and memory through music. A song can evoke strong memories of the past: youth, family, events, the “one that got away,” and so on. Often times, music becomes a part of those memories – a background character in the drama of our lives.

This has been a semester-long collaboration between the Popular Music Ensemble and three other BHCC classes. Prof. Greg Mullin’s Learning and Memory class developed a survey that explored the way people process memories and how they relate to music. Prof. Nichole Vatcher’s Social Psychology class administered those surveys to the community, and collated the data. The Popular Music Ensemble matched the survey results to the lyrics of this afternoon’s songs. This data – the community memories and selected lyrical highlights – was used to help inspire original animations by Prof. Anne Carter’s Visual Design Lab II class. These animations will be presented during this concert.

Memories from the Community

“1957”, words and music by Heringer/Fink/Sheetz/Arnett, 2012
            as performed by Milo Greene, from Milo Greene, 2012

Related memories

  • “I broke up with my [significant other] because of going to the U.S.A.”
  • “Music is very important to me. It both reflects my mood and enhances it. It also acts as an outlet for when I am frustrated. For instance if I am feeling aggressive or grumpy I will listen to angry music as an outlet for these feelings, rather than acting on them.”
  • “Music contributes to my life on the daily. Music is part of my life. It contributes to my mood because when I am sad or happy, it gives me motivation for any emotion.”
  • “I always liked soul ballads, but I can’t remember who got me interested in music.”
  • “Michael Jackson [got me interested in music] because the flow of his music was very inspirational.”
  • “[1957] reminds me of my ex and the summers together.”

“Remember the Time”, words and music by Riley/Jackson/Belle, 1991
            as performed by Michael Jackson, from Dangerous, 1991

 Related memories

  • “Michael Jackson [got me interested in music] because the flow of his music was very inspirational.”
  • “[‘Remember the Time’] reminds me of when me and my girlfriend really became in love with each other and the song has rhyme as well.”
  • “Happiness, excitement, joy is Michael Jackson. Everyone loves his music. He is a great performer and it gets everyone up and dancing.”
  • “The melody definitely speaks to me more in [‘Remember the Time’]. It reminds me of me and my sisters dancing around in the living room when we were kids.”
  • “The first emotion I feel is excitement when I hear the beat [of ‘Remember the Time’] come in. Then I feel like dancing.”
  • “Yes, reminds me of when my sister brought her first MJ album and we played it throughout the house and during car rides.”
  • “[‘Remember the Time’ reminds me of] when I really started falling in love with my girlfriend. We are going on two years and we’ve been through a lot through our whole relationship.”

“Fifteen”, words and music by Taylor Swift, 2008
            as performed by Taylor Swift, from Fearless, 2008

 Related memories

  • “I remember being overwhelmed and unsure what to do while listening to music.”
  • “I ended a relationship and endlessly listened to Sheryl Crow’s ‘I shall Believe’ from her debut Tuesday Night Music Club album. The song really resonated with what I was experiencing, and aptly described what I knew to be true and what I wanted to be true – and what the difference was between them.”
  • “I do [feel sentimental about the past], especially high school when my friends were like family and we always shared moments together.”
  • “Sometimes I really want to listen to the songs I used to. For example, when I had my first boyfriend, I listened to a song, and whenever I listen it brings memories back really clearly like I came back to that moment. For a few moments, I really feel nostalgic.”
  •  “[Music] helps me have my mind on something that I like or someone I love”
  • “[Music] helps me to introspect. It depends on what genre. For example, if I find myself listening to pop music, it is mostly to set a fun mood.”
  • “[‘Fifteen’ is] nostalgic. Feel like I’m back in the 90’s era.”
  • “[‘Fifteen’] reminds me of relationships from the past.”

 “No Importa”, words and music by Brant/Schajris, 2009
            as performed by Noel Schajris (ft. John Legend), from Uno No es Uno, 2009        

Related memories

  • “I broke up with my [significant other] because of going to the U.S.A.”
  • “When I moved to the US, I had to leave my family and friends behind.”
  • “My best friend moved to a different country.”
  • “I can only go based off what people tell me or memory and pictures that I have of him or with them, so sometimes I feel a little jealous when I see others with their father. I just sometimes wish I had that bond.”
  • “I do [feel sentimental about the past], especially high school when my friends were like family and we always shared moments together.”
  • “No, I don’t miss [the past], but I reflect. My favorite memory is meeting my best friend and walking around the neighborhood together at 3 AM talking about life.”
  • “[Music] is a way to relieve stress, when I am sad or mad. It is a way to make me even more happy. Music has an incredible way with the mind/emotions.”
  • “Music takes my mind off things going on around me and brings me into a different realm.”
  • “Certain songs make me feel a different type of way.”
  • “[Music] helps me have my mind on something that I like or someone I love.”
  • “Camila [first got me interested in music], because their music made me very emotional.”
  • “I always liked soul ballads, but I can’t remember who got me interested in music.”

“Nostalgia”, words and music by Chancelor Bennet, 2012
            as performed by Chance the Rapper, from 10 Day, 2012        

Related memories

  •  “I remember when I was at my grandmother’s house. Whenever I was there, I would be the one to bring my grandfather food. I would sit next to him while he would watch baseball and ask him a thousand questions about Cape Verde.”
  • “I remember I was in the fourth grade and was preparing myself for school. My class started around 12 PM and I was listening to a Turkish song from my mp3 and our door rang. One of our relatives told us that my older uncle had a car accident and he died. That song was my nightmare.”
  • “A specific memory from the past that makes me feel nostalgic is when I got to spend Christmas with her and my brothers and sisters. I haven’t spent a Christmas with them since I left Colombia, so I always feel nostalgic during Christmas time.”
  • “I remember going to the park with my friends after school every day and swinging on the swings. It reminds me of how naïve and innocent I was.”
  • “I like to jam on my way to placed. I like a relaxing ride. When I listen to music it starts my day really good.”
  • “I listen to [music] in the morning, during school, when I’m going home, and when I get home. I listen to music when I’m in any mood, but the genre of music depends on my mood.”

“When Horsepower Meant What it Said”, words and music by Thom/Gilbert, 2006
            as performed by Sandi Thom, from Smile... It Confuses People, 2006

Related memories

  • “My father passed away when I was a baby because a drunk driver hit him. I don’t remember specific memories related to this time because I was so young, however I do wish I had memories of him.”
  • “My best friend moved to a different country.”
  • “When I didn’t have as much responsibilities. Mostly going to the park and swinging on the swings, very carefree.”
  • “Yes, of course [I feel sentimental about the past]. I think it is therapeutic to listen or remember old memories because they are part of what we are now. I sometimes think of when I was an adolescent and used to hang out with my friends and go to their houses or they would go to mine. I just sometimes feel nostalgic of them not being there anymore, especially when you are in a country where one can feel lonely at times.”
  • “[Music] passes the time.”
  • “[Music] makes me feel relaxed, gives me the ability to move on.”
  • “’Horsepower’ makes me feel happy. ‘Horsepower’ reminds me of listening to the song/album with my cousin while driving through the south of France. I think of being with my family in the car with the windows down while all singing along to Sandi.”

“Street Lights”, words and music by West/Englishman/Williams/McIldowie, 2008
            as performed by Kanye West, from 808s & Heartbreak, 2008           

Related memories

  • “When I lost my grandfather, I remember I couldn’t listen to certain songs because it was always reminding me of him.”
  • “I recall when my father passed away, at the time I didn’t know what was happening. So I went to school just like any other day and told my friends my father passed like it was no big deal. And it wasn’t till days later that it finally hit me that me and my sisters won’t see him again.”
  • “When my grandfather passed, I remember when I was at my grandmother’s house. Whenever I was there, I would be the one to bring my grandfather food. I would sit next to him while he would watch baseball and ask him a thousand questions about Cape Verde.”
  • “No, I don’t miss [the past], but I reflect. My favorite memory is meeting my best friend and walking around the neighborhood together at 3 AM talking about life.”
  • “I do feel sentimental and miss the past when I was an adolescent because I was able to see my mother every day. Because I left Columbia at such a young age, I had to work full time here in Boston and my mother stayed in Columbia so I don’t have the opportunity to see her every day anymore. A specific memory from the past that makes me feel nostalgic is when I got to spend Christmas with her and my brothers and sisters. I haven’t spent a Christmas with them since I left Colombia, so I always feel nostalgic during Christmas time.”
  • “[‘Street Lights’ is] mellow uncertainty.”
  • “The first emotion and feeling that comes to mind [with ‘Street Lights’] is sadness.”
  • “Yes, [‘Street Lights’] brings back a memory from 2016 on Valentine’s Day when I wanted to give my crush a card. In that card, I wrote about my feelings towards her. Then, this guy came up to her with flowers and a big teddy bear and it turns out they were dating and I didn’t even know about it.”
  • “[‘Street Lights’ reminds me of] what I’m going through right now. Knowing my goal in life but not knowing when I’ll get there.”

“Paso el Tiempo”, words and music by Linden/Flores/Palomera/Castaneda, 2007
            as performed by Belanova, from Fantasía Pop, 2007

Related memories

  • “I remember being overwhelmed and unsure of what to do and listening to music.”
  • “When I didn’t have as much responsibilities. Mostly going to the park and swinging on the swings, very carefree.”
  • “No, I don’t miss [the past], but I reflect. My favorite memory is meeting my best friend and walking around the neighborhood together at 3 AM talking about life.”
  • “Happiness, excitement, joy.”
  • “It reminds me of relationships from the past.”
  • “[Music] passes the time.”
  • “Every morning when I need to wake up and go to work, I listen to music and since I don’t drink coffee, it immediately energizes me and lifts up my mood.”

“Sixteen, Maybe Less”, words and music by Samuel Ervin Beam, 2005
            as performed by Calexico and Iron & Wine, from In the Reins, 2005          

Related memories

  • “I broke up with my [significant other] because of going to the U.S.A.”
  • “Yes, of course [I feel sentimental about the past]. I think it is therapeutic to listen or remember old memories because they are part of what we are now. I sometimes think of when I was an adolescent and used to hang out with my friends and go to their houses or they would go to mine. I just sometimes feel nostalgic of them not being there anymore, especially when you are in a country where one can feel lonely at times.”
  • “Yes, the sentiment of losing someone is immense. That makes you feel very nostalgic.”
  • “I recall when my father passed away, at the time I didn’t know what was happening. So I went to school just like any other day and told my friends my father passed like it was no big deal. And it wasn’t till days later that it finally hit me that me and my sisters won’t see him again.”
  • “[Music] makes me feel relaxed, gives me the ability to move on.”

“Your Mother Should Know”, words and music by Lennon-McCartney, 1967
            as performed by The Beatles, from Magical Mystery Tour, 1967     

 Related memories

  • “[A song] reminds me of the happy memories with my friends. Because I cannot assimilate into the white community very well, and I feel like I don’t belong here sometimes, so I always think about the past while I am listening to the song.”
  • “I remember being younger and my cousin called me and told me that my great grandmother passed away. What’s so ironic is that this happened on a Sunday at 9 AM and I remember the exact timing and day.”
  • “My father passed away when I was a baby because a drunk driver hit him. I don’t remember specific memories related to this time because I was so young, however I do wish I had memories of him.”
  • “I do feel sentimental and miss the past when I was an adolescent because I was able to see my mother every day. Because I left Columbia at such a young age, I had to work full time here in Boston and my mother stayed in Columbia so I don’t have the opportunity to see her every day anymore. A specific memory from the past that makes me feel nostalgic is when I got to spend Christmas with her and my brothers and sisters. I haven’t spent a Christmas with them since I left Colombia, so I always feel nostalgic during Christmas time.”
  • “Yes, I definitely miss when I was a kid, when I was with my dad and we would go on car rides to the store, and just listen to the music my father played.”
  • “My whole live I’ve been listening to music mostly played by my grandfather who introduced me to The Beatles and many songs from the 60’s to the 90’s, classical music, jazz blues… I never developed an interest in just one band.”
  • “I would probably say The Beatles. I got into music because of my parents playing music all the time, so I was influenced by what they played.”
  • “[I miss] getting to spend time with my grandparents in my free time.”
  •  “[Music] is a way to relieve stress, when I am sad or mad. It is a way to make me even more happy. Music has an incredible way with the mind/emotions.”
  • “When I was sad or in a bad mood, I used to listen to pop music because its rhythm always lights me up and makes me want to dance with it.”
  • “[‘Your Mother Should Know’ is] calm, mesmerizing, childhood as I used to fall asleep.”

“Castle on the Hill”, words and music by Sheeran/Levin, 2017
            as performed by Ed Sheeran, from ÷, 2017        

 Related memories

  •  “[A song] reminds me of the happy memories with my friends. Because I cannot assimilate into the white community very well, and I feel like I don’t belong here sometimes, so I always think about the past while I am listening to the song.”
  • “When I moved to the US, I had to leave my family and friends behind.”
  • “When my grandfather passed, I remember when I was at my grandmother’s house. Whenever I was there, I would be the one to bring my grandfather food. I would sit next to him while he would watch baseball and ask him a thousand questions about Cape Verde.”
  • “When I didn’t have as much responsibilities. Mostly going to the park and swinging on the swings, very carefree.”
  • “[‘Castle on the Hill’] resonates with me in different ways, like, Ed went away from the place that saw him grow up and the people that he grew up with, but they seem to have grown apart and he is not bitter for this, but grateful for all the memories that he got to take with him.”
  • “I live far away from my family and [‘Castle’] makes me think of when I was a child.”
  • “I feel sad and miss my home when I listen to [‘Castle’]. One of the lines that touches my heart is ‘made friends and lost them through the years.’ I didn’t keep in contact with some of my high school friends after we graduated, so I always think about the past when I feel lonely.”
  • “When I was sad or in a bad mood, I used to listen to pop music because its rhythm always lights me up and makes me want to dance with it.”
  • “[‘Castle on the Hill’] reminds me of myself when I left the country that I was born in to go to a new place and having all these memories with old friends, but now we barely talk to each other.”

“Whatsername”, words by Billie Joe Armstrong, music by Green Day, 2004
            as performed by Green Day, from American Idiot, 2004

Related memories

  • “I broke up with my [significant other] because of going to the U.S.A.”
  • “Sometimes I really want to listen to the songs I used to. For example, when I had my first boyfriend, I listened to a song, and whenever I listen it brings memories back really clearly like I came back to that moment. For a few moments, I really feel nostalgic.”
  • “I ended a relationship and endlessly listened to Sheryl Crow’s ‘I shall Believe’ from her debut Tuesday Night Music Club album. The song really resonated with what I was experiencing, and aptly described what I knew to be true and what I wanted to be true – and what the difference was between them.”

The BHCC Popular Music Ensemble, Spring 2018

  • Angela Amico – lead and backing vocals, violin
  • Tara Cabache – lead and backing vocals, flute, guitars
  • Ziarra Cameron – bass guitar
  • Aaron Chen – lead vocals, keyboards, ukulele
  • ZeeZee Feaster – lead and backing vocals
  • Andrea Goncalves-Whyte – keyboards, guitars, drums and percussion, backing vocals
  • Valery Gonzalez – lead and backing vocals, drums, percussion, guitars, bass guitar
  • Savion Pennington – lead and backing vocals, cello, percussion
  • Daniel Pleitez-Martinez – lead vocals, guitars, percussion
  • A.J. Varrs – lead and backing vocals, percussion
  • Marvin Vega Bonilla – keyboards, percussion
  • Patrick Wood – lead vocals, keyboards, percussion
  • Mark Popeney – director

Survey designed by the students of Prof. Greg Mullin’s PSY 201: Learning and Memory:

Maria Beltran-Perez, Hai Cao, Lovely Casimir, Cassandra Corona, Julia Cucuzza, Justin Espaillat, Yamasee Frasico, Romina Gjacaj, James Higgins, Pamela Jean-Louis, Jaehyun Kim, Anthony Le, Jiyun Lim, Daniel Mango, Jaqueline Mazi, Yesi Paez-Lopez, Takalia Pina, Jessica Pleitez Molina, Brianda Reyes, Georgiana Swarray, Sule Umit, Gemima Lydie Wembalonge, Justin Wright, Angela Yang

Survey administered and data compiled by the students of Prof. Nichole Vatcher’s PSY 219: Social Psychology:

Marah Batarseh, Shawn Dessources, Joseph Douyon, Maria Emmons, Toni Fairhurst, Riley Farris, Jose Pleitez, James Higgins, Jenice Ifebuzo-Eutsay, Olivia Jones, Saffiyah Karageh, Chitong Lai, Katherine Leon, Emmanuella Marcellus, Arlene Mejia, Brinda Reyes, Elias Sahile, Akane Shizuku, Sule Umit, Laura Van Melle, Junfang Xiao

Video animations created by the students of Prof. Anne Carter’s VMA 233: Visual Design Lab II:

Lee E. Adams III - Every Morning I Listen To, Bianca S. Bogdan - Poster, Ronsard E. Desrosiers - Poster, Woseniged Desta - Reminds Me of New York/A Place, Davonna Dinkins - Poster: Melody or Lyrics?, Allan S. Dygon - Watching Rain in the Street Lights, Felipe Figueiredo - Music Energy, Fredy S. Flores Rios - Raindrops of Yesterday, Quentin Gong - All About Memory, Mouhcine Karroumi - Nostalgia, Artyom E. Kim - Airplane, Nhi T. Le -  Glasses Box, Mengliu Lu - A Puppy’s Mission, Hannah Morris - Poster, Tran N. Ngo - Road Trip, Legna C. Primera Burgos - Music is…, Ericca S. Sadler - Everyday, Hyeyoon Shin - Train, Gerald A. Tiongson - Main Focal Point, Phuong H. Vu - Snow