Rest in vinyl
UK-based And Vinyly lets you press your loved ones’ ashes into a record, for posterity
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For some, a love affair with vinyl can continue to the grave and beyond. Jason Leach of And Vinyly offers this unique service. And for those who don’t find the idea too morbid, this is an interesting iteration of the whole idea of “dust to dust”. It is also something that imbues the sombreness of death with some humour and a little bit of music and memories.
“Originally this was an idea for myself and a bit of a joke and not something I thought of commercially, but as people started taking an interest in it, I thought it was a great way of coming to terms with the inevitability of death,” says Leach, who started the website way back in 2006. It is in recent times, however, that the business has picked up. From musicians to those with a sense of humour, like John Hobson, who had preserved his mother’s ashes for 20-odd years before he finally decided to turn them into a record. Hearing Madge, a short film on the website, describes what Leach does and why people use this service. Hobson had recorded her speaking about the family and he put this on to the record. “I’m sure a lot of people would think it was creepy...it was sacrilegious, but I know my mother would have thought it was a hoot and would have encouraged me,” says Hobson in the film.
And Vinyly offers everything from the actual ash-flecked record to artwork for the sleeves and even bespoke recordings by music artists associated with the company. The basic package with about 30 discs and standard artwork starts at £2,000 (around Rs1.6 lakh).What Leach’s clients seem to love that they get to keep an aural memory of their family and actually pass it on to the next generation. Sometimes it is just a blank record with crackles, while some actually have music, voice recordings and other things. The vinyl records are pressed with a small amount of ash. When played, there are plenty of pops and crackles and these imperfections are actually the ashes on the grooves. Irreverent, touching and wonderfully appropriate for a lover of music, this is one way “to live on from beyond the groove”.