and whether we like it not,it just goes to show just how diffusive and defining radical ideas can really be when made concrete.
His most transformative concept was how he changed the listener’s (end user is a horrific term) experience of music on the go.
Before the iPod and a thousand songs in your pocket , you had essentially two usable choices for perambulating to Punk or Puccini (yes I know there were mp3 players, but my God ,they were terrible).
The first,clunkiest,and most anti-social was the “ghetto blaster”/“boom box”.More likely to be seen in Ireland across the shoulder of a skinhead than across any member of the Sugar Hill Gang.It also had one fatal weakness-batteries.
The second option was less cumbersome, cunningly concealed by a belt clip, garishly given away by fluffy round orange over-head headphones, and that was the invention of the Sony Walkman.This advancement really was the first of a long line of listening devices that made music a personal, private but un-shared, non-communal experience.
Both of the above cassette-tape holding inventions were in my head as I wrote today’s offering on Behind the Lines-“The Mix Tape of the Soul”,especially the concept of obsolescence of once ubiquitous technology, and in particular, what happens when the technology of ourselves, that of the human body, also ceases to function?
What happens at the time when the soul is “ejected by a clunky unfamiliar button”and does death mean that we will “never be played again?”
They say that underneath all fears is a fear of death if you use Socratic reasoning and this may have lead to the opening of today’s piece:-
“Are you afraid of dying or the unknown collective fate in it’s wake?”
Maybe it’s also a question of where to put the music of the soul when the device for giving it voice has been taken off the market.