Monday, June 18, 2012

The Power of a Playlist

One of my favorite books/movies is High Fidelity.  It's eminently quotable, like so: 
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
To me, making a tape is like writing a letter. There's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention...and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch...and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules. 
In fact, it was High Fidelity and the compilation tape methodology that came to mind the other day as I held an October Afternoon cassette tape die-cut in my hands. A moment later, I had an idea for a layout.  
The layout itself is for this week's October Afternoon challenge, which is to "circle back around" in multiple ways, including: (1) revisiting those high school days and documenting a memory from that time, (2) using a series of circles on a layout, and (3) unifying the elements of a layout by enclosing them in a circle or loop, as I did here by machine-stitching around the clustered elements several times.

The journaling reads, 
Before the days of iTunes, before we were even a realwe, before we could look each other in the eyes, we found a way to speak to each other and make each other listen: the mixed tape. Its an artform, really -- the perfect mixed tape. A series of songs, carefully selected, does not just send a message; it sends an entire self, and that self finds a way into every song, every line a coded message, every feeling my feeling, every song, our song. 
Today, alas, the mixed tape is no longer the primary form of communication for angst-ridden teenagers.  Now we have the digital playlist.  Still, there's still just something about receiving a cassette that was tailored just for you, by someone who was thinking of you the entire time.  The digital playlist can be personal, but it is also functional and easy, a matter of dragging and dropping.  It can be done within minutes. A mixed tape, on the other hand, is nearly an artform, a labor of love.  It isn't convenient, but despite this, someone put it together all the same, spent time with the music as if spending time with you.  Someone actually sat there, listening to each song as it was being recorded, experiencing the music just the way you are as you listen to it, this gift, this message, this shared something.

Gosh, now I'm feeling schmaltzy. Methinks I'm off to create a playlist. :)  

1 comment:

  1. those were the days! I LOOOOVE this layout--eye candy deluxe! :)