My somewhat substantial collection of LPs – long-playing (vinyl) records for you young’uns – spent much of the past eight years in boxes. Last fall I said to myself, “Self, this is ridiculous. I want to hear my music.”
I dug deep and bought an industrial-strength shelving unit, a state-of-the-art turntable, and a separate tone-arm shell, cartridge and stylus designed to play 78 rpm records. The records came out of the boxes, and I set up the turntable and an amplifier next to the computer desk where I spend most of my working hours.
With music thus restored to its rightful place in my life, I am a much happier soul.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Well, a great deal of my treasure has been invested in recordings of music, and a majority of those recordings were created using the dominant technology of most of the 20th century. I was a late convert; I only bought cassettes and CDs when I seemingly had no other choice.
A character in the audiobook I’m listening to said yesterday, “What’s the point of collecting things if you don’t use them?” Exactly.
I don’t understand why people collect things that were designed to be opened and enjoyed, seal them up, and never use them for the joyful intended purpose. Comic books, records, toys … One of my favorite movies is Toy Story 2 for that very message. Are you building a museum or gathering objects you love?
I don’t mind pops and crackles, although of course I have always treated my records with enough care to avoid that kind of wear as much as possible. You do want to preserve the music, after all.
I admit it may simply be because it’s what I knew first, but I vastly prefer listening to music on vinyl, perhaps holding the one-foot-square album cover and reading the lyrics or just enjoying the artwork as the musicians do their thing.
A day without music is … I have almost no words for a day without music. Just … indescribably sad. To have all this music at my fingertips again is indescribably sweet.