The Power of DI

There is one album that is very special to me. It doesn’t matter what it is. But whenever I play it on my pro audio equipment or on my home audio system it all comes back to me, feeling the love and desire while I first played one of the songs on my guitar for my first love, then the soft longing I had in her absence when we parted for the summer, the confidence that we would see each other again soon and resume our happiness, then months later the disillusionment I felt while driving through the shrubby brown hills of West Texas on my way back to school and the understanding that maybe she and I weren’t meant to be together, and worse, that everything we had lived together before was just passing the time, and that isn’t that what life is – a giant collection of moments we have to pass as peacefully and blissfully as possible – and then the later memories, of how I played the album and that song again and again months and years later, after the pain had worn off, and those very feelings I first enjoyed became suffused in nostalgia with the richness of time.Look at this

And today, being able to reflect on all those feelings I no longer even feel them when I play the album on my home audio system, but rather a collection of them tied to the album itself, so that it’s the memory of the album holding good memories that I find enjoyable when I’m not actually listening to the deliciously beautiful and melodic songs. The album’s a little more than half an hour long and yet ironically it holds years of my life, which ordinarily I don’t have access to in anything more than flashes and bursts of memories, little snatches of images of her face, and looking out on the road, and feeling sweetly melancholy and alone, and all the realizations from that period of my life being truer than anything I’ve ever known since.

All that from a single album played off a home audio system. I’m almost afraid that the more I listen to it, the more present memories I’ll imbue it with, which will cancel out the old ones, and so I’m reticent to listen to it on repeat the way I used to while I first explored the intricacies of its steel guitar and syncopated cowbell.


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