I was listening to Herbert Grönemeyer’s first two albums in the car today; as they always do, they reminded me of the game Trinity. It is by far the strongest association I have of any piece of music with any other work. (Other than soundtracks, of course.)

Which is pretty weird – the two have, a priori, nothing to do with each other. I just happened to be listening to those CD’s when I first played the game. But somehow the link stuck.

Why so strong a link? Part of the answer is obvious enough: most video games come with their own music, so it’s not surprising that, if I’m going to make a strong link between a video game and an unrelated piece of music, then the video game would be a text adventure. But why a video game? Why not, say, a book? I’m not currently in the habit of listening to music while reading books, but I’m pretty sure I once was.

Presumably playing video games opens up different neural pathways than reading books does; maybe it makes me more receptive to music somehow? I have commented before that listening to certain video game themes makes me feel happy: a few snippets of Zelda or Mario music, and I feel at home. (And I was just singing the Katamari Damacy theme to Miranda while she was brushing her teeth tonight.) So maybe this isn’t entirely a coincidence.

I’ve been working my way through the Grönemeyer oeuvre recently, by the way. (Well, most of it – the latest album I have is Chaos.) The earlier albums are actually holding up rather well; while I’m more familiar with his middle albums, and am very fond of them indeed, I have to admit that, while many individual songs on them are quite good, on the whole their instrumental work is rather overwrought. (But Ö is a quite solid album; in particular, I am a fan of “Mit Gott”, “Bist Du Taub”, and “Was Soll Das”, even the verlängerter neumix of the latter.) The earlier albums are much quieter, and I suspect that, once I listen to them more times, I’ll end up liking the lyrics about as much.

Looking through his website, it would seem that he was born in Göttingen; I did not know that.

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