I found a bunch of my old albums the other day. Not my parents’ albums, the ones they played on the Bang & Olufsen, but some from the collection my little sister and I destroyed on our Fisher Price turntable. Every scratch made with love.
But soon enough they were replaced by a record/tape player hybrid, and by middle school my collection of cassette singles and mix tapes were being overtaken by CDs. And now, well, now they’ve all sort of disappeared and the music I buy is invisible, which is really crazy when I stop and think about it.
I love the ways memories attach themselves to music. I love the fact that after Paul Simon’s Graceland came up in conversation the other day on twitter, I turned it on while I worked, and with it came all of these incredible memories. Memories of the summer where it seemed to play on a continual loop morning til night.
An entire summer of my childhood where every memory of jumping off the diving board or running around the backyard or Valley nights in my dad’s convertible going for frozen yogurt at Penguin’s is accompanied by You Can Call Me Al and Graceland and Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.
That album is like being wrapped in a great big security blanket with a wafting smell of chlorine and night blooming jasmine.
On that note, five great things someone else said/wrote about music:
Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. – Charlie Parker
People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. – Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
Without music life would be a mistake. – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
If we communicated with something like music, we would never be misunderstood, because there is nothing in music to understand…… But until we find this new way of speaking, until we can find a nonapproximate vocabulary, nonsense words are the best thing we’ve got. Ifactifice is one such word. – Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing. – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan