To the reader
I started a journey many moons ago, before my maturation into an adult, even before I even knew what career path I even remotely wanted to follow. This journey has encompassed a significant portion of my life. It has become a hobby I am proud to interact in its community and it contains a familiar sanctuary I visit. My attachment to music goes beyond wallpapered consumption in a space I can call my own. Performing it has created memories in my head I hope to never forget. Critically analyzing it has caused emotional rollercoasters more thrilling than those at the nearby amusement parks. Indulging in music has included tragedy that unfortunately has scarred some of my past. This broad-strokes paint brush of my connection to music can create the backdrop for the mural I look to create with my colleagues. My hope is any one person who stops by can enjoy the whole body of work, no matter the author.
The origins of my journey start with a summer trip to a handful of national parks and a portable compact disc player. A Sony D-EJ106CK, whose product name rolls off the tongue just as smooth as a tongue-twister, and a gifted disc of Linkin Park’s “Meteora” were the instruments to this immortalization. I recall the flight back to my hometown to be that little bit easier to stomach after hearing some of these soundscapes that I wasn’t used to in my daily life away from this experiential detour of my youth. I started consuming music in a variety of avenues. Sometimes, I would be practicing for a musical performance and I would listen to the source material. I wanted to discover the songs that weren’t on the radio anymore, especially so with top 40 radio soundtracking my bus rides to school for an hour each morning and afternoon. My interests shifted towards singer-songwriters, critically-acclaimed albums, and the sub-genres of rock that gave my mind its own anger room to cathartically vent in. Music was no longer about hearing a song’s melody and recalling information about the artist/album, it was a type of journal I could keep and confide in.
A checkpoint along the way is my discovery of the iPod, iTunes, and algorithms. One tiny glorified mp3 player in the form of the second generation iPod Nano gave me the vehicle to listen to anything I could safely get my hands on. I remember spending the entirety of a 5-minute class change enveloped in the songs that would soundtrack my days. iTunes was the way I could ask for an album or handful of songs as a gift from family around the holidays without having them pick a specific gift that my immature eyes would consider a colossal failure. The related albums and artists helped me branch out to discover projects that formed my music tastes today, and bring back San Junipero-esque playgrounds relative to my intake in the modern age.
My final stop highlights me opening the door into the audiophile world when I started a product design project at my university. I used the project to learn about headphones, their basic functions, and why so many folks around me were gravitating towards one brand over another. I stumbled upon “InnerFidelity”, a website that has since been retired to a featured column of articles at stereophile.com. At the time, InnerFidelity was a staple resource for so many people to introduce themselves to personal audio on a deeper level in a digestible hub. Without the resource of InnerFidelity being available to me, I do not feel I would still be involved in the audio community like I am today.
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