Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SOUNDTRACKS LEFT BY THE WAYSIDE

While taking a lunch hour walk through Surrey this past March I found this derelict mixed CD by the side of the road. True to my character I couldn't resist contemplating this further.

I imagined at some point that the creator of "Slow Shiz - July 2011" had a purpose in making this. Perhaps it was a mix of more thoughtful and romantic songs made to impress a prospective date and show a more sensitive side?

Of course it is also possible that the maker of this mix decided to take a break from the usual soundtrack of ear splitting and bass heavy anthems in favour of some classic slow-jams to help come down from an evening of unbridled debauchery.

As I continued my walk I began to wonder why this less than one year-old mix was discarded so readily by the roadside.  The first scenario to emerge involved an argument where a jilted lover in a fit of jealous rage threw the once beloved mix out the window of a moving car, "SCREW YOU AND YOUR SLOW SHIZ"

A few other scenarios; some teens going for joy ride sorting through some poor sucker's music collection decided that this mix was particularly shitty,  or perhaps this is merely an impulsively discarded item of some fickle musical neophyte who decided  that slow shiz is "over" and now leans towards some classic rock mixes discovered from a cool uncle's music collection.

 Whatever the case, I am intrigued by the musical collections that lay discarded beside the roadsides of our lives, both literally and symbolically. These mixes that at one point were important enough to take some thought and time to create are now collecting dust somewhere, mostly forgotten or even thrown out long ago.

Unearthing a forgotten mix is an intriguing prospect. Whether it be some premillennial mixed tape, a scratched up CD compilation or a derelict playlist curated for that road trip in '07, these lost soundtracks from our journey might conceivably reintroduce us to an important and dormant narrative arc from our lives. Of course I have to wonder what insights the owner of "Slow Shiz" would gain if he/she were to find this mix 10 years from now?  

Have you unearthed any ancient musical artifacts? Do you wonder where one might be?  Am I the only one who contemplates this sort of thing?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SPREADING THE JOY


Other than perhaps a few elite media moguls, most people understand that the instinct to share music is natural and an essential part of our humanity.  It started at the dawn of humanity when a Neanderthal named Grog invited his pals over to hear the crazy beats he discovered while banging on some mammoth bones in his cave, and continues today with people like myself sharing exciting new sounds over the Internet with friends.

One person who totally understands the pure and unadulterated joy of sharing music is my friend Sean Wraight. I have known Sean for a few years online and had the privilege of being in his company last October. Sean is great, he won't accept that you simply like a song but wants to know the real story behind it, and of course more often than not there is one.

Sean takes sharing music to a whole other level. I have been fortunate enough on a few occasions now to be a lucky recipient of one of his thoughtfully curated musical packages.  The effort he takes to out together a collection of songs and videos is breathtaking.

Sean fundamentally understands not only the joy of unearthing new musical discoveries, but the value of sharing it with others in a way that includes a very personalized finger print . He creates pieces of art that go beyond the functionality of being simply a place to hold your music.

The accompanying photos, sleeves, words and container for the music become inextricably linked with the experience of listening to it. I can't listen to one of his collections without thinking of the greater narrative thread and the aesthetics that are attached to it.

This post is my long overdue way of showing my appreciation for Sean. In age of digital abundance where you can link to a sample of almost anything you want to hear, Sean has reestablished for me a real appreciation for something that goes beyond a collection of files on a hard drive. He has created something that is unique and reflective of a distinct personality, turning a number of smaller components into a cohesive and greater whole.

He has created something truly unique and personal, something you can hold in your hands and engage with on a number of levels as a more holistic sensory experience. Something magical!

Thank you Sean