Our Inheritence

CD(s), the sons and daughters of Eric Clapton, Lucinda Williams, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, Sinatra, Horowitz, Radiohead, Chang, Streisand, Chopin (all of whom I recommend) are better looking than their vinyl counterparts. Their sheen does the merengue to vinyl.

Some long for a vinyl comeback. Vinyl delivers a more authentic sound. Vinyl is warmer, richer, its faithful argue.

. . . And so the beckoning of what was spins.

A world without crackles, skips, scratches, thumps is one I relish, savor and devour. Digitized commands and comforts enrich my symphonies, ballads, scores and remakes.

For me, the availability of CD(s) are a welcome acoustic advance. The technology is boss.

I wouldn’t give up any of the vinyl I have though. Some of it brings Sylvia Plath to my ears. Between 1958 and 1962, Plath was recorded at the Poetry Room at the Harvard College Library and at the BBC. Her record is titled: Sylvia Plath Reading Her Poetry — Boring, but accurate.

I thank the deities of vinyl, the architects of that primitive conduit of sound because I have more than Plath’s genius on page; I have a voice with the poetry.

Plath’s life preceded mine, making a handshake, a friendship impossible. But she has served as a kind of metronome ever since I discovered her in a thing called a book; assisting me with what is authentic, and what is surely not.

I am privileged to know that I can remove her from her record jacket, lay her down and spin her distilled brilliance onto the loom of my soul.

Three months before she devised her own death, Plath said in an interview with Peter Orr: “I think that the personal experience is very important, but certainly it shouldn’t be a kind of shut box and sort of mirror-looking narcissistic experience. I believe it should be relevant and relevant to the larger things — the bigger things. . . ”

Enter, iTunes — an Internet cataclysm giving birth to a digital rights revolution and online music economy whose market muscle was revealed at the 2008 Macworld Conference & Expo: Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the iTunes Store had sold over 4 billion songs.

Jobs’ assertion brings to mind these words by Plath:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth
Our foot’s in the door

© 2008 Julie Holley

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