Zia Hassan

I Bought A Cd Player

I found it on Amazon for $50. It was a cool looking one that seems to stick on a wall.

It was a little bit for me – I had a stack of CDs from High School that my parents had kept at their house until recently. It felt nice to pull from a CD wallet instead of going on Spotify or some other app and letting its algorithm influence my choice of what to listen to.

But it was mostly for my son. Everyone cultivates their own taste in music, and no one ever dismisses music altogether (do they?), therefore I feel that it’s important that he has a finite collection of music to explore instead of a universe of smart tags and metadata rewiring his brain.

It would also allow me to introduce him to bands and artists. He may not enjoy them as much, but at least it’s there if he ever needs it.

There’s more wisdom, more than you realize, that can be found in a 12-track album that had a one-hit wonder. There are songs there that were never meant to be fully played. Where artists could be at their most vulernable, for better or worse. Try listening to the other tracks on a Bush album, or on a Verve Pipe album.

But in today’s music industry, people release singles with the same gusto we used to reserve for full albums.

And surely my son will find his way to online streaming music one day, probably sooner than I realize.

But to start with music, everyone could use a walled garden to live in for a time. To sit in the grass and learn every piece of dirt.

That’s what the CD collection offers – a chance to sit down and observe. Not driving, not mindlessly listening on the subway, but actually paying attention. Also, a compact disc also integrated artwork, that is part of the physical disc itself. That physical disc that you put into a player, that you watch spin and melt into a pond of colors. A disc that has actual tracks where the songs live, that you can see when you look closely.

We keep searching for the infinite because we don’t realize just how much beauty is in the finite.