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Music

I’ve got a good collection of recorded music – about 500 music CDs and a large number of audio tapes (I like the tape sound) plus several hundred record albums.

Living in Melbourne over the last decade I have enjoyed live classical music at the Melbourne Arts Centre (Melbourne Symphony, the youthfully, magnificent Australian Chamber Orchestra and Musica Viva). I mainly listen to classical music these days (all the standard stuff but with a particular fetish for the weirdly grandiose Anton Bruckner and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, for Arnold Schoenberg) but I also like the contemporary music I enjoyed in my youth in the 1970s (Dylan, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe and the Fish, Rolling Stones, Leo Kottke and the really errant perversities of this era Nico and the Velvet Underground).

Its a weird mix of musical tastes that has, as far as I can see, no sensible rationale at all. On a typical evening of listening to music, I might follow up what I regard as Bruckner’s greatest work, his 9th symphony (an astounding piece of music dedicated to Bruckner’s beloved God) with Dark Star by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead and then revert to a stunningly complex string quartet performance by Beethoven or Bela Bartok.

I cannot make sense of these diverse tastes to myself, other than to say that, with respect to music, my tastes are decidely convex – I like diversity. In other words I cannot explain my own preferences at all. Richard Wagner gets my blood up (lets all go on a military march) while Donovan makes me nostalgic for youthful days surfing on NSW’s beautiful north coast.

Anyway, to get somewhat towards the non-point of this meandering post, I today purchased a 320 gigabyte external hard drive on which I intend to record (in MP3 format) my entire music collection over the coming months. I am stunned at the cost of this storage device – at $450 I can store nearly 10X the data stored on my home PC and over 300X the data I could store on my office computer a decade ago. It is a buzz – technology has delivered unbelievable power, pleasure and convenience in the pleasure as well as work-oriented aspects of our lives.

5 comments to Music

  • Tom Davies

    Is it the hiss, loss of treble or the distortion you like about ‘the tape sound’? (My apologies if you are using 1/4 inch at 7 1/2 ips 🙂

  • hc

    Tom, No just cassette tapes so your comment a fair enough dig – I don’t have a good explanation for my preference. Probably just acquired some of the music I first enjoyed in tape format and grew used to listening to it in that format. My main complaint is that, like LPs, the format is destructible.

    I am not an audiophile and have never owned a really top quality audio system.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got a pretty eclectic collection too, and I’ve started copying my favourite CDs onto itunes so I don’t have to lug a whole bunch with me when I go to work in the Office. It’s now about 70% jazz and classical but 30% popular/bluesy/funk.

    It goes from Miles (I like both his acoustic and electric) and Coltrane and Monk to Keith Jarrett to Bach to Ella Fitzgerald to Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams

    Jason

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