Monday, May 12, 2014

My Musical Library

My iTunes library contains 13,764 songs and continues to grow. The foundation of my vast collection is twofold: CDs and the original Napster.

I spent some years in the music business during the transition from vinyl to CD. Oh, the feeding frenzy  when that new format was introduced! The precious silvery discs were kept in locked closets and doled out wherever they would do the most good for those who held the keys.

I left the music business and my "content" collection became more virtual, especially when the original Napster started up in 1999. There's never been anything like it and I still mourn its loss. Every night I went online and downloaded outtakes, live and bootleg performances, obscure disco hits, and esoteric vintage cuts that somehow hadn't made it onto Rhino Records collections that filled my living room.

Yes, in addition to the virtual, my house also contained an extensive physical inventory. After I left the music business, I married back into it. I'd been happy enough in the '80s to collect a few hundred CDs but my (now ex-) husband brought home stacks and stacks of them over our two decades together, and they filled an increasing number of special cabinets in our living room. By the time we split up, there were thousands of them.

I was happy to see the whole lot move out when he did. But before they left, I spent months ripping stacks of them into my computer, increasing the original Napster collection exponentially. Now I add songs on a small scale and burn my own CDs - compilations to play in the car or take to parties or give to a friend with a broken heart.

Music inspires and provides a soundtrack for my writing, whether a period piece about the '70s like The Cusp of Everything or something more contemporary.

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