SMOKE BREAK #1196 | Service Presses Ashes And Voices Of Dead Loved Ones Into Records

February 17, 2017.


(via) I don’t mean to play macabre, but of all the things that could use a bit of an upgrade, the ways in which we remember loved ones after they’ve passed on are up there. That’s why I like the idea of And Vinyly, a service that presses the ashes of loved ones into vinyl records. When it first launched 7 years ago the discs would only play ghostly pops and crackles, but this short video – Hearing Madge – tells the story of a man who wanted to hear his deceased mother’s voice play…

When it first made headlines in 2010, Jason Leach’s UK-based company And Vinyly – which presses the ashes of the deceased into vinyl records for loved ones wishing to hold onto their memory – appeared to be something of a macabre novelty. But there might be more to preserving the departed (quite literally) on records than first meets the eye – and ear. Hearing Madge explores how Leach’s venture was given new meaning when he was approached by a man looking to save his mother’s recollections that he had recorded shortly before her death.

As a token of remembrance, it’s a marvellous idea with room for improvement. For my part, in the very, very end, I’d want the vocals on my record to be interspersed with some of my favourite songs. I’d also want some album art and some detailed “production” notes (the names of my parents and my date of birth). My interest stems from the fact that there are some powerful songs that I strongly associate with my own father’s life and death. I listen to them a lot, and though it’s years too late to make recordings of his voice, it goes without saying that I would dearly like to hear it again. He was a fantastic story teller, so to be able to put the needle down and listen to him say a few words between songs would be a profound experience. And that’s part of what remembrance is all about, I suppose, reaching back to reconnect with those who have gone before you. I mean, it sure beats a staid urn and basic tombstone, wouldn’t you say? Either way, the video is fascinating to watch if you can get past the inherent solemnity of it all.
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