TECHNOLOGY AND MUSIC

What follows is Facebook post from my brother, Rev. Eric Park, about some things I’ve also had to deal with over the years. This rang a lot of bells with me….

Tonight, while looking in a drawer for something, I paused to stare for a while at the two towers of music CDs that we have in our basement. It hit me (with substantial impact) that I have not pulled a CD from these towers for at least three years—since I have lived in the Butler District parsonage, in fact. I have made the move completely to digital music, the technology of which brings a world of music into the confines of my iPhone.

These CDs will probably not travel with us the next time we move.

They are my last remaining connection to an age of musical tangibility—an era of reverently flipping through categorized albums in side street music stores, when album art mattered deeply and when listeners scoured album covers and liner notes with a sense of urgent curiosity. Throughout those days, music, tactility, and visuality were fused together in an artistic amalgam that captured my young heart. I can still smell the vinyl.

Very young people will not even understand my references.

Slightly young people will be sympathetic, at least for a moment.

But people who lived through the decades of the 60s, 70s. and 80s will smile with a sense of nostalgic recognition.

This is not a lament. Like most of you, I am grateful for the conveniences that modern technology has made available.

At the same time, I remember with warm fondness the days of yesteryear, when “album” meant “album;” when “new releases” involved an elaborate artistic concept and not simply a few downloaded songs;” and when the search for music involved a physical excursion, not a cyberspatial transaction.

Attached are three photos.

The first photo captures our current CD towers.

The second photo reflects what my music searching looked like in my youth.

The third photo contains what may very well be my favorite album cover of all time: Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (1975).

Onward and upward, buddies! Let the music continue to resonate, no matter how we access it.

I wrote this in response — A great piece, Eric. Very much agree with it all. Enough to quote it all on my blog. I converted my CDs to digital and stored on phone and multiple hard drives a few years ago. Donated CDs. Now I don’t even go to the digitalized CDs! — I purely stream on Amazon, Spotify, or Pandora. I miss a lot of what you talk about here though. But not enough to go back — there’s something to be said for traveling light at this new age. Even the album covers are digital and online whenever you’re nostalgic to look at them. Or you can go to a thrift store or flea market. My daughter is buying vinyl records now. Go figure.

And he came back with this — Thank you, David. All of those vinyl albums that you so graciously bequeathed to me back in the day ushered me in to a new artistic world to be sure–musically, visually, and poetically. I remember spending long hours, first in my bedroom in Grove City, then in my bedroom in Indiana, moving ever more deeply into whatever atmosphere each album generated. I am grateful to you, as always, for being my gracious mentor in those various “rumbles in the jungle.”

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