This article appeared into today’s (January 25) Globe and Mail. If you’re thinking about getting back into some kind of physical music media, I highly recommend you read the whole thing if you yearn for meaning in your music.
Lately I’ve noticed some videos making their way through the social-media feeds, featuring kids confronted with late 20th-century technology – specifically, music technology. It’s a good laugh as they try to plug headphones directly into cassettes or stare helplessly at a Discman, searching for the touch screen.
The humour also promotes reflection. I think back to when I grew up, which was long enough ago to have placed my adolescence at the confluence of the analog and digital eras. When I graduated from high school, the internet was in its infancy and vinyl, cassettes and compact discs were our sources of recorded music. For me and many (if not most) of my friends, music permeated our teenage experience and much of our time was spent acquiring, listening to and discussing it. It meant everything to me. Now, years down the line, well into the Digital Age, I can’t help but wonder if modern technology, for all of its benefits and convenience, might be robbing us of a certain depth of experience and connection with music and other arts.