FROM THE SHELVES : ROOTS
Revisiting classics from the shelves.
We all have a passion or two. There is also a first time for everything. Whether it’s something you’ve done your whole life, or something you picked up later on. Whether you absorbed it from someone, or you discovered it entirely on your own. There is always a point in which you make the conscious decision;
“I am going to do this one thing”
“This brings me joy and I will do it indefinitely.”
Vinyl is one of my strongest passions, it has always been a part of my life. I grew up south of the continent, in a household of artists and musicians. Named after a song by Pink Floyd, my parents figured I would pick up a thing or two from them.
My parents freelanced and always had a home studio. Beauty of working from home is that you get to pick the music. As a child, form time to time, my father would ask me from the studio, “Vera, pick a record” (mostly, or a cassette, CDs were expensive at the time). Do you ever chose a record solely based on its cover? I remember looking at the album covers and thinking, “I want to be friends with these faces,” “I want to live in that world,” “I have no idea what this music will sound like,” (hint- lots of cosmic synth, weird time signatures that often are not divisible by 4). Slowly but surely, i developed a fascination with 70’s prog(*)
(*)prog /präɡ/informal -noun
(also prog rock) A style of rock music popular especially in the 1970s and characterized by classical influences, the use of keyboard instruments, and lengthy compositions.
So did I inherit any of my collection from my parents? No. When I moved to the states as an early teenager, I felt like something was missing, I couldn’t figure it out. It was the records. I began to build my own collection, starting with the early prog classics I would come across at swap meets and yard sales, then working my way across genres. My collection is meticulously curated by now, but it is those early ones that I could never part with. Vinyl is simultaneously what inspired me to be a visual artist. I’ve always been fascinated by the imagery of sound. Why vinyl? It naturally guides you from start to finish, being able to open that gate fold, and immerse in a fully analog audiovisual experience. You cannot replicate that.
If I were to give advice to anyone looking to start a collection, I would say, do not hesitate or think too hard about about your potential first one, just go ahead and pick one out, go with your gut feeling. Also, record stores are not meant to be intimidating. Find one that makes you comfortable and feel free to ask for suggestions. What’s your vinyl story? Leave it in the comment section. if interested in being featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org