Photo: Stephanie Bassos
I told myself once I finish music school in Boston, move back to NY, and get an apartment in Manhattan to call my own, I am buying a record player.
I did just that. Apartment- Check; Record player- Check; Records…umm in progress? I only have 6 records to my name, but tens of thousands of cds and cassette tapes. It seems I am doing things in an order completely opposite than I should be, working backwards in time through the progress of recording media.
Music has always been a scenery thing to me. You should be able to listen to something and picture your own perfect music video without there ever being one. That reason alone is why I decided its time to go back and start collecting vinyl. You can feel it all, the room, the era, the vibe, the players, the equipment, the mistakes - that perfect piece of time captured in the engraved grooves on this big plastic disc.
When I told my parents I bought a record player they were so excited! "We will go back to Odessa this summer and bring you back all of our records" my father told me. As much as I love my heritage and Soviet background I wasn't to keen on getting back classic Russian pop of their generation. But have no fear the BEATLES are here! Apparently, my parents were big fans, it seems they own everything that would typically be in an American record collection from the same era. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Who, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Rolling Stones…and so much more.
Whats music today without the music of yesterday. Give me some Chopin on vinyl, yah I'll listen to it. I love taking from all parts of the world, all different time periods. Listening to the "pop" music of any era.
I look forward to helping my collection of vinyl grow, but most importantly just my collection of music. All sound has a purpose, and I love exploring them. When I decided to record I knew I wanted it to be as raw as possible. Now, I'll listen to my own tracks and am instantly brought back to that great studio, to those extremely talented musicians, to that moment of creation. Some tracks you can even hear the cracking of the chairs from the string players, and I wouldn't want to change that for anything. That is something that only vinyl can offer, this unique ability to transport the listener into the studio and hear the music as it sounded in that room on that day.
Vinyl offers the juxtaposition of an ephemeral moment that can be listened to over and over again while hearing nuances of each instrument every time. You can hear each musician on the album playing with depth and feeling while trying to listen and coexist within the room and not what would have to mix well. They played till it was as perfect as it could be…no need to press a button and manufacture a sound.
Don't get me wrong, there's a time and place of all of that, it's just not what I'm trying to create. I want people to listen to my music and be transformed to a scene where you watch toys come to life when all the customers have left the store at night. Whimsical Alt Indie Pop, whatever you'd like to call it. Taking those rich elements of thirties to late-forties composition, combining it with a just a flavor of the current.
I listen to newly-released vinyl of bands today, and the way it captures both the organic air of the past as well as the new sounds of today is just incredible. It just transforms itself through speakers and is simply magical. The warmth of vinyl is something that the laptop speakers playing mp3s can't even imagine.
To date, I am not on vinyl. One day I will be, but right now a CD, or iTunes download has to suffice. I just ask, please listen through good quality speakers! So much sparkle is lost when you don't hear things properly, and a lot of effort went into making sure my recordings trigger the memories, sensations and imagination of my listeners.
I really can't see myself doing anything else in life, so whether it's live, radio, digital, tape, or vinyl, thank you all for continuing to so enthusiastically support the arts.
Sveta Bout - From Me... (Mp3)
Sveta Bout - Oh, These Bones (Mp3)
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