The roaring silence

January 21, 2010


I don’t remember ever not liking music. One of my earliest music memories is from when I was probably about four and my mom parked me in front of the console stereo (you know, the big hulking piece of furniture with AM/FM tuner and room to store some records all under a lid or sliding doors) to listen to Peter and the Wolf.

My parents held on to first that, and then a newer, console stereo. It was at least the mid-1980s, perhaps later, before they bit the bullet and got components instead.

As a kid, I was glued to the transistor radio. Initially, I listened to a small turquoise model that lived on the kitchen table. That was eventually supplanted by a larger (though still single speaker) model. This was during the time that “shoebox” portable cassette recorders were popular. I would cozy up the cassette recorder to the front of the radio and record my favorite songs. When I was a kid, I listened to CKLW on AM from Windsor, Ontario, during its Top 40 days. They tuned The Big 8 in at the swimming pool, too.

The radio/cassette pairing gave way to record albums of my own. I don’t remember doing too much recording off the radio once I got into records. That took me through high school.

Then I got my first stereo components. I still have the gigantic floor speakers. Generally gigantic, not guy audiophile gigantic. I was never much of an audiophile. I just enjoy listening. That’s sort of why I was never a good English major either. I like reading, but I don’t have to analyze every nuance to derive pleasure from it.

I returned to recording off the radio, this time FM and in stereo. I still have a lot of those tapes. I continued to buy records, but I never embraced the prerecorded cassette tape.Then compact discs came along. I rebought many of my favorite record albums on CD, though many more simply were never manufactured. It is for that reason that I must acquire one of those turntable-to-digital deals one of these days.

And, of course, I made the inevitable migration to mp3s on first my iPod and now my computer and a little bit on my iPhone. Most of my music listening is done on either my work or home computer, and these days, it’s just as likely to be a music streaming service such as Pandora or the streaming audio of a radio station, as something my lowly mp3 collection (the majority of which is, by the way, all of my CDs ripped).

The devices I have listened with the most all of these years are my good old ears.


One Response to “The roaring silence”

  1. someToast Says:

    Mine was this Panasonic, in red.?? : )

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