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  • PERSPECTIVE: Curation of Life = Curation of Music

         Although I enjoy the experience of listening to vinyl, there is a common idea that the medium legitimizes the music, which discourages the consumer from taking accountability for their experience. In most cases, the trouble of pressing and storing vinyl is not worth it. Honestly, the listening sessions I remember most fondly are similar in the level of physical and mental investment that was brought by the listeners, regardless of the format. Our listening is characterized by the people who listen and what it means to them. When listening collectively, we should either do so on a medium that is shared or let the availability of the music dictate.  This idea makes the digital medium most reasonable.

         On the other hand, when I mention to a certain type of personality that I listen to music on CD, I am often met with a look of confusion, as if I am stuck in a state of nostalgia. The look gets even more severe when I show my vinyl or cassette tapes. Other times, talking to a different person, I am congratulated. This perceived nostalgia draws contempt from the working person, who resents the idea of leisure. It draws praise from the preservationist, who appreciates an interest in roots. It draws respect from the elitist, who values its exclusivity. These are generalities, but I do understand their origins. I find it necessary to quantify my reasons for listening on certain formats when there are now others that are easier to navigate. I would not want to get trapped in the act of arbitrarily resenting, preserving or elevating a format. Although I am not opposed to creative exclusivity, I abhor the lack of creative reasoning.

         I certainly do not favor one medium over the other. I do not simply curate my music according to any guiding principles. Rather, I curate my life with a certain set of principles and those principles carry across all parts of my life, including my listening and playing practices. You do this too.  Certainly, if you have no system of discernment, you have accepted the loaded one that has been provided for you. Yes, loaded like a gun.

         However, once again, pressing a new piece of music to vinyl does not legitimize its content or connect it to any particular lineage, especially if that is what is intended. Those ideas exist outside of intention.  If we focus on the content and how it is integrated into our lives, we will find more understanding in our experience and our methods of discerment will be more clear-minded, based on forging strong relationships.