Have you ever thought of what your life’s soundtrack would be?
I actually came up with this cool idea on my flight back from Europe this summer and realized that most of my soundtrack has to do with places I have been. Specific songs remind me of places and things I have experienced in my years on our little blue planet. Some of them have been pivotal and important moments in my life. Others just remind me of an amazing place, a majestic view or are ritualistic in nature.
There are literally hundreds of songs that mean something or create a reaction deep inside of me.
Here is mine… What is your soundtrack?
1. U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
This was the turning point in one of the most difficult and challenging points of my life. Mentally and physically shattered after a three day fight with serious illness in the Serengeti, this song randomly came on my iPod and provided the inspiration and enthusiasm for me to continue with my summit attempt on Mount Kilimanjaro. I actually started crying while listening to the lyrics in our Land Cruiser as a rush of energy and positive thoughts overwhelmed me. One of my closest friends was sitting right across from me and immediately noticed the change in my attitude, like someone had flipped a switch. Since that moment, every time I hear this song, I stop what I am doing and my mind goes into pause for a second. This is how deep this song affected me in a moment where I was at my weakest.
2. This next one is a combination of two songs because they both have the same purpose to me.
Benny Benassi – Come Fly Away (Adam K & Soha Mix)
Matt Darey – See The Sun (Aurosonic Remix)
If I am playing these songs continuously, it means I am on a flight somewhere exotic and exciting. They are my ritual songs that get me pumped up for a long haul flight and for a long photography expedition. I have used them for both Africa 2010 and Australia/Asia 2009. They remind me of the wheels of an Airliner leaving the tarmac and soaring up into the clouds.
3. Morgan Page – The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix)
The first beat of this song always brings me back to the same place, The Namibian Desert. As I was driving over a totally flat, dry landscape on what seemed like “the longest road to nowhere”, this song was played randomly on my iPod. It was a straight road in a colourless, dusty landscape leading all the way to the horizon. Our ultimate destination that day was the Fish River Canyon, a desolate, beautiful place. It was a perfectly fitting song for my surroundings. The image of the dusty road in front of me was instantly burned into memory and associated with this song as if my mind had linked the two automatically. Sometimes I think that the iPod shuffle feature is not random at all!
4. EDX – Thrive (EDX’s Fe5tival Mix)
If you have been reading my blog for a little while, you know that I had an amazing experience this past summer on the coast of California that had to do with 30 or so Lamborghinis. During the 120mph sprint down the coast, chasing the rainbow of Italian Bulls, this song was streaming live via Sirius Satellite Radio. Ragtop down, stereo at max volume, this song was also burned into memory as I took hairpin turn after hairpin turn, driving that rental car like it was stolen!
5. Estelle & Sean Paul – Come Over
I don’t know how this started, but I know the day it started. It was May 15, 2009 and I was on my way to shoot a very fun wedding at Fantasy Farms in the Don Valley. I had this song on repeat from my place in Aurora, all the way to the studio in Etobicoke! Ever since that day, I listen to this song at least once (usually more) as a ritual while I drive to the studio before a wedding or an engagement shoot. This song inspires me to capture love and affection between a couple. Recently, I listened to this song for the entire drive to Ingersoll, Ontario to shoot Amy & George’s engagement photos!
6. Empire Of The Sun – Walking on a Dream
My decision to travel to Australia and Asia in the winter of 2009 was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life. I was at a point where I needed a drastic change and thought that the best way for me was to get out and see the world and experience life like I have never done before. This would be the start of my venture into travel photography and a worldwide image portfolio that is rivalled only by National Geographic. Because I was gone for almost 4 months, there were literally hundreds of songs that I had to choose from. This one has the most significant lyrics and importance to me although this was a tough choice. I had a list of ten songs that I had to narrow down to one! The sound of this tune brings me back to driving down the coast of Australia from Cairns to Sydney. 2,500 kilometres of beautiful coastline, the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island, Fraser Island, Surfers Paradise… A virtually unending list of amazing experiences and beautiful places.
7. Moby – Porcelain
This song is a little cliché because of the movie “The Beach”. If you have been to Koh Phi Phi Lay in Thailand, you will understand that this song was created for one reason and one reason alone: To remind people of one of the most beautiful places on earth. Every time I hear it, I am transported back. As I think of that amazing place, it seems as though it was straight out of a dream and not real at all. This song inspires pure relaxation and causes a mild state of euphoria if I start thinking about Phi Phi.
8. Edward Maya – Stereo Love
Few songs will stop me in my tracks and make me sigh. This is definitely one of them. It has a very distinct start and from the very first note, it brings me instantly to one of the most amazing places I have had the chance to photograph and experience. Victoria Falls, Zambia. When we arrived for our 4 day stay at this beautiful location, this song was playing on the TV in the river side bar and was memorized and associated with my entire time there. There were so many other songs that I heard in those four days, but this is the one that brings me right back to that spot. Whether it was almost losing my life white water rafting, swimming in the Devils Pool at the edge of the falls or the crazy booze cruise with hippos swimming off the side of the boat… This is the song that brings it all back in a nanosecond.
9. Disko Partizani – Shantel
Starting my trip in Africa was a 3 day stopover in Dubai to visit my old friend Carlo who I had not seen in over ten years! Because of the wonder of Facebook, we managed to stay in touch and we spent my entire time in Dubai tearing up that city and having a great time! Carlo played this song in his car and even though the song is from Romania, it had a middle eastern sound and became our Dubai anthem. I can’t count how many times I replayed this song on the way to Varous Clubs, Restaurants and attractions in Dubai. I think this is the only song that I heard in those three days!
10. Linnea Schössow – Someone Like You
This summer was an extremely busy one. Between my photography trip on the west coast of the United States, to my destination weddings in Europe and Mexico, to competing in Canada’s largest fitness show. My hands were pretty much full at any given time. This is the song I used as my inspiration during my final weeks of training before the competition. Through Europe while working out on a cruise ship and in Mexico, training in 120% humidity, this song and a few others like it provided the extra little push I needed to get me through my intense circuits and long cardio sessions. Some songs are just pure, unfiltered energy and it seems to have worked because I had a medal placed around my neck!