I vividly recall the first time my brother let me hold one of his most beloved possessions, a record. He carefully instructed me on the proper handling- how I was to cradle the album by the edges. That it was sacrilege to touch its surface, as the oils from my skin would ruin it. I was genuinely scared, as if record moguls would come snatch me up for such a heinous infraction.
He called it respecting his albums. Even now, I’m mesmerized by watching a record spin around and around. I always pause before placing a needle on a track’s groove.
And I’m happy that it’s called a “groove” because that’s exactly what it is! It’s truly one of the best technologies ever invented. In fact we should have a national Vinyl Day and to celebrate, we should peel the label off an album, because it doesn’t matter what song has been recorded, the art is in the vinyl. And we should gently carry it by the edges, carefully place it on the spindle, and as it begins its 33 1/3 spin (what a cool speed:) we should lift the needle above the midpoint of the album’s grooves & set it down and we should settle into it. Just listen.
I listen to jazz, Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Whew, I love that sound, the crackling goes deep and inspires me while I paint.