Notes on a Few Americans Finding Musical Jewels in International Waters
by Ian Nagoski
from Arthur Magazine No. 32 (Dec 2008)
Record players are altars. The listener first goes through a repertoire of ritual gestures, removing the black spiral-inscribed disc from the sleeve, holding it by the edge and label and placing its center through the spindle before lifting the tone arm and placing it at the edge of the spinning disc. The air in the room begins to move, and the memory held by the disc of a performance by some living, breathing person is reiterated, separated from its image and corporeality in an angelically invisible space. Some part of the listener enters into that space and goes into communion with the unseen force of the sound.
It is magical and mysterious stuff, this impulse for sound-play that is universal among human beings through all times and places on earth.