Alanna Clarke,
The TVD First Date

“In 1969, in Montreal, my father purchased a Lenco L75 turntable and a Sony Amp (STR 6050). Sound quality has always been of the upmost importance to my Dad, whether he was at one of my shows critiquing the sound-man, or choosing the best speakers or headphones for listening to music. The turntable was set up in the living room of my childhood home in Calgary and my Dad more than likely told me not to touch it. Both of us vaguely remember a time when I was around four that he showed me how to play a record but it turned into a scratchy noisy experience and that was the end of that!”

“While my Dad was the sound quality expert, my mom had the music collection. Nancy Sinatra records, The Jackson Five’s ABC, a favourite was Elton John’s 2 record set of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. On my mom’s particular copy, the song “Bennie And The Jets” had a certain point where it would skip because the record was scratched—I still think of when I listen to the song.

One of my favourite memories is of a show I played where a fan brought a gift for me and it was a gorgeous vinyl record of Judy Garland’s Collectors Items. I don’t have a record player so I still have yet to listen to it, but it’s one of my most treasured gifts!

Around the same time, my Dad introduced the cassette player to me. He had one of the players that you could use to record directly onto the tapes. As he pressed the record button I waited for the music to start so I could sing along. On the recording you hear my Dad say “Okay Alanna sing a song,” then you hear a little voice say “but it’s supposed to sing the song.” I sang my rendition of “Once Upon A Dream” from Sleeping Beauty and once I heard the playback I was completely hooked on the narcissism of hearing my own voice and now here I am.

There is something so intimate and immediate about the sound of vinyl and the experience of a record player. It doesn’t fit in with the busy-busy-busy attitude of our society. This isn’t listening to music in the car, or pulling it up on your phone, or your laptop wherever and whenever. It’s the experience of settling in and enjoying a full record top to bottom.

I don’t fail to see the irony in noticing the beauty of this experience as I prepare to release a series of singles early this year—I hope to be able to put together a full piece of work that someone can sit down and enjoy beginning to end very soon.”
Alanna Clarke

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