Anyone reckon they can’t live without music? Well, now you don’t have to. Jason Leach, founder of And Vinyly, has announced a new option for those who’d rather die than live without it: have your ashes combined with 24 minutes of audiophile-quality vinyl.
Although being incredibly expensive (cop $4,600 for 30 copies of a record, each one containing a bit of ash), for those who have lived their lives through music and want their legacy to be remembered by music, what better way than to actually ‘become’ music when you die?
The process is pretty simple: ashes are delivered to a pressing plant and sprinkled into raw vinyl, and you can also get your all-time favourite track pressed onto your ashes for a cool extra $760. So all-in-all, you can essentially become your favourite tune when you die for $5,360. That’s a fraction of the cost of a typical burial, which the National Funeral Directors Association in England ballparks at around $6,560. Oh, and as another cute add-on, James Hague of the National Portrait Gallery in London can create an original painting for the record sleeve for around $5,470 if you feel like paying big money.
The idea from Leach comes as he remembers the failure of his father trying to scatter his grandfather’s ashes from a boat; “it went terribly wrong, and they ended up sweeping him off the deck.” Tough break. Things didn’t turn out much better at his own grandfather’s memorial service either, “there was a strong breeze…and the ashes blew right into my face.”
It’s not the most conventional final resting place, but for Leach—a 20-year veteran of the U.K. music business, as a producer, performer, and co-founder of such independent labels as Subhead and House of Fix—it was the only logical choice.
He remembers when he started And Vinyly in 2009 (rhymes with ‘And Finally’…lol) and how he didn’t expect much from it; “it was just for fun.” He’s still only processed four vinyls, but he says he’s “up 24 hours taking calls” sometimes, and his most memorable so far is for a DJ whose parents wanted their late son “to be played at his favorite clubs a few more times”.
But he does recognise there are some flaws in becoming a vinyl forever. “People over-think it,” he says. “This tends to become a very long process with people changing their minds constantly.”
Understandably, too. With each record having just 24 minutes of available audio – 12 minutes on each side – it’s not much to sum up a lifetime. And it gets even more complicated when Leach explains the infinite possibilities. “Just because it’s a record doesn’t mean it has to contain music… it might be nice to have your own voice on there. I’d like nothing more than to listen to my great-great-grandfather say something on a record.”
So far he’s recorded people telling jokes and talking about their family history, and even confessing their biggest regrets. One of his favorite And Vinyly records, he says, ends with laughter on a closed loop. “It just repeats over and over until you remove the needle.”
As for his own eternity, he explains how making music himself has made it hard to choose his soundtrack. Some tracks like Bust Rucket and Spaz ‘n Rave are set to make the cut, but lately, he says, he’s been more interested in what he calls “aural photographs,” which could include anything from a dog barking to the creaking of feet on floorboards to a muffled conversation in the distance.
“Whenever I’m listening to field recordings, I’m always fascinated by the surrounding sounds we usually tune out. Those things in the background that create an atmosphere, that’s what takes me back to a specific time and place.”
Cool stuff, huh. If you were audacious enough, what would you get?
via Business Week