Rewind to the Future

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times:  there are advancements to technology, but they aren’t always advancements to the quality of our lives.  Yet every day I find myself more dependent on some form of technology, and I must admit that a few have become quite the convenience.  Take my laptop, for example.

About six years ago, my parents surprised us with a laptop because our son had reached the stage of his schooling where he needed one to complete his homework.  Then there was the fact that the school insisted communication with students and parents be conducted mostly, if not solely, via e-mail and homework sites.  We had an old desktop model, but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

Since the generous gifting of the laptop, I have come to enjoy it for online banking, communicating with friends (although I still argue that social media makes people who once met for socializing somewhat lazy), watching movies, and my favorite, ripping CDs into custom-made playlists.  And then one horrific day, the DVD/CD drive thingy stopped working.

At first I couldn’t open it.  Not even with the cool trick using a paperclip the guy at the store showed me.  And when I placed a DVD or CD inside and shut the drawer, the laptop no longer read it.  Imagine my dismay.  My playlists would grow no more, and worse, it may be time to look for another laptop.

There was the option of an external drive, but even the sales clerk thought the price his employer was charging to be a little outrageous.  He suggested I try shopping online if I absolutely needed one.  At least he didn’t try to sell me a laptop I wasn’t prepared to buy at the moment.  Our finances aren’t ready for that commitment yet.

I’m not exactly technologically challenged, but I’m not savvy either.  Perhaps with all this streaming, DVDs and CDs were going by the wayside.  One day while running errands, I consulted our in-house IT geek also known as our son.  When I posed this thought to him, he agreed that an external drive would simply be a convenience for old-schoolers like me.

“You could rip all your CDs, Mom.  They even have external connections for those other things you and Dad have.”

“What other things?”

He cupped his left hand with a U-shaped slot between his thumb and fingers and inserted his other flattened hand inside, mimicking something.

“You know, those square things.”

Images of 3.5-inch floppy disks sprang to mind, but they had nothing to do with our discussion.

“What things, Joshua?”

Again, and with much exasperation on his part, he mimicked some bizarre function by rotating his index fingers in circles going the same direction.

“Those things that are square and go ‘round and ‘round.”

“You mean…cassettes?”

Let the laughter begin.  I rarely get one up on this kid these days.  He’s a titch smug from time to time with all he knows technologically, so when I have the opportunity to laugh (and I’m talking Precious Pup, wheezing type laughter as I’m driving) I take it.  Joshua is a good sport, though, and after turning beet red, he joined in the hilarity.  Still, he’ll never know the satisfaction of saving a favorite cassette from destruction by rewinding it with a pencil.

Sounds Travels for Your Mind

UnearthedI’m a huge fan of television and movie music, so a couple of years ago I surfed YouTube in search of the theme from the show, Cold Case. I had become a fan of the reruns and the song used for the opening credits. My hope was to find a video of the song, uploaded by another fan, that I could add to my list of favorites. What I discovered was even better.

E.S. Posthumus is the name of the group responsible for the ethereal music used as the Cold Case theme. The actual title of the song is “Nara,” and it is featured on the 2001 album, Unearthed.

Helmut and Franz Von Lichten are the brilliant creators behind the music. The group hasn’t been active since 2010 due to the passing of Franz Von Lichten, but what they left behind is remarkable.

Their music has been listed in the genres orchestral, ambient, modern classical, and symphonic rock. All are accurate. If you’ve never experienced E.S. Posthumus, I recommend starting with their first album, Unearthed. The tracks are titled after ancient cities no longer in existence and have been featured in movie trailers and television shows.

Cartographer

Cartographer, their second album, is a two-disc collection featuring vocals by Luna Sans. All pieces are stories telling a fantasy tale about the imagined creators behind the ancient “Piri Reis” map discovered in Constantinople. The made up language sung by Sans is beautiful and haunting.

The third and final album, Makara, seemed the most different to me with pieces that are intense and power driven. I find it great for driving or housework because of the high energy quality whereas Unearthed and Cartographer are more suited to writing for all for the inspiration they lend.

Whichever album you start with, I highly recommend listening to all three. They are timeless classics one will return to again and again.

Makara

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