Lift the Needle

Lift the Needle

I want you to think about an old record player for a moment. These old record players are making a bit of a resurgence of late. Because of this, I’m sure there’s no need for me to worry, about explaining what a record player, actually is.

Perhaps it’s wise to explain about the needle and the record itself

The term needle really belongs to the very first versions of record players. Nowadays, the part that comes into contact with the record itself, is called a stylus. At the very tip of the stylus is a cone shaped material, ideally, this is made of diamond. Sapphire is sometimes used instead.

Records have grooves. Within these grooves there are peaks and troughs. These peaks and troughs, formed during the recording process – through converting sound waves into electrical waves – are what the stylus reads. When the record is turned, at a particular speed, the stylus moves in an up, down, backwards and forwards motion. This movement of the stylus ‘reads’ the information within the groves. The record player and its speakers then convert this information back into sound waves. Hey presto we now have music. Magic!

If we happen to scratch a record, the stylus can tend to get stuck, in a particular groove

This is where CD’s have a slight advantage, in that they’re much more durable. The downside being, there’s a slight loss, in sound quality. When CD’s are read, there’s far less mechanical movement involved. Some say it’s because of this that sound isn’t reproduced, to the same standard or quality, as vinyl. After all, sound, is a physical thing. We need the movement of air for it to be there at all. Does a falling tree make a sound if we’re not there to hear it? And so on.

Anyway, keeping our minds with thoughts of records and record players, consider how the groves of a record are made. The initial recording is made through converting sound waves into electrical waves. As already mentioned, the stylus of our record player, then reads this electrical signal, for the record player and its speakers to convert it back into sound.

Now, when the stylus gets stuck in one particular groove, the same sounds are produced over and over again, meaning we fail to hear the complete recording. If we physically lift the stylus off the record, and then move it forward very slightly, we’re able to hear the rest of the song.

Most people are living their lives as if the stylus were stuck

In order to experience life’s song in its entirety, we do need to physically move. The part of our mind – that reads our recordings – can become stuck in particular grooves. Often this is due to the grooves, created by our most prominent memories, being cut the deepest. If you feel trapped, depressed or despairing, you cannot always expect the stylus of your mind, to lift itself out of these deep-set, grooves. You will need to physically do something about it.

What can I tell you? It’s a bit shit sometimes? Yep, but the thing is, once we realise what creates physical movement (converted electrochemical energy) it works both ways. Your physical movements can form new memories and new experiences, that will get you out, of stuck. We must move beyond the scratches that life invariably inflicts. Lift the stylus of your mind, and make new recordings, now.