The Miracle of Recorded Music
I've been listening to Warren Zevon's posthumously released album Preludes: Rare And Unreleased Recordings, which his son Jordan edited from a huge stash of demo tapes he found after his father's death. Somehow hearing these raw but beautiful recordings from a dead man's past--they were all made before 1976--reminds me once again what a technological miracle, and cultural blessing, our wealth of recorded music is. We take that blessing for granted, and we shouldn't. In the late 19th-century, I noted in this 1999 article, on-demand music was still the stuff of utopian science fiction, and even then it depended on live (not to mention, living) musicians.