Thursday, September 2, 2010

Return of the Mix Tape

When I first met my husband, and we were engaged in an oh-so-romantic-yet-slightly-painful long-distance relationship (sigh!) between Melbourne and Perth, I made him a mix tape (well, CD), an act which I personally consider the pinnacle of you rock my world gestures.

There was a time, in the halcyon days of my late teens and early twenties when mix tapes (actual tapes, back then) were flying about all over the place. No friendship was quite complete without a mix-tape exchange. Mine were famous for their wild mood swings as well as the clunking sounds, when I didn't manage to press the combination of play/record simultaneously. Despite their shortcomings, I like to think they conveyed both the intensity of my friendships and my passion for music.

Then, somewhere in the nineties when indie pop fell down the hole between grunge and electronic music, I lost my faith. I declared all new music to be an insult to the very concept of ears and embarked on a journey back through time. I was ridiculed by all and sundry for being lost in the music of ye olde days, right back to the 1920s. No one would have wanted my mix tapes, so I gave up making them.

Many years passed... the tape player in my junkheap of a car finally gave up the ghost, forcing me to listen to the RADIO, my idea of hell in a sandwich. And yet, what was this? Vampire Weekend were singing Oxford Comma, and by golly, I liked it! So began my musical renaissance, which has gradually gathered intensity, to the point where 7 of my 10 toolbar bookmark are music blogs, and I literally cannot leave home without my iPod.

Then, lately, all around me, have been references to mix-tapes. In an homage to the Celestine Prophecy I have interpreted these as divine reminders to share the thrills and spills of my new musical adventures with the ones I lurve.

And how does this connect to the sketchbook project? I hear you ask. This particular sorry I forgot you is an apology to music in general, to myself, and to my friends, long overdue for a mix tape. Well, here they come...


  1. My lovely Annabel,
    I adore the words you choose on this blog, I am in love with the sketchbook idea in general and I love your work.
    We were sitting in Old Town Antibes tonight with my parents, talking about "mix tapes" of another kind...the ones that my brother made for us when I was little. Each holiday trip in our car - was it to France, teh UK or some other madly long drive - was accompanied by one "theme singer/band" for the whole holiday. Usually just daggy stuff, but God it brings memories back! And I still have that one CD Jon made for me so many years ago...

    Love your work and miss you xxxx

  2. awwww, thanks Ina, i'd love to know what's on that first mix Jon made you x x x