|Artist||Pat Metheny Group|
|Notes||This is a very special possession of mine. The design itself by Dieter Rehms is incredibly resonant, particularly for anyone who loves to travel – all those roads and all that light: dawns and dusks and rain and sun, places glimpsed in a moment and gone.
I was given this album for my 20th birthday. At the time I was working as a kitchen porter in a hotel in Munich having run out of money travelling back from spending some time living on a kibbutz. It was a present from the chamber maids, cleaners and other people I worked with in the hotel – their signatures are there on the inner sleeve. Many of them were gastarbeiter from what was then known as Yugoslavia, I can’t help but wonder what happened to them and their families. When I took this album out to photograph I discovered a piece of paper that I must have slipped in there 20 years ago. The note was written by my friend Robin a couple of years after I got back. It’s such a cheerful note and combined with the signatures and little messages from my hotel friends it makes this album priceless.
I’m no enemy of mp3s. I listen to them extensively just as I now read books on my iPhone, but how will digital media accrue these traces of time and memory that I value so dearly? Text and images can be added to mp3 files just as digital books can be annotated, but neither possess half the power that the handwriting of these notes does.
If anyone has something similar, please get in touch in the comments or by email (hardformat – dot – org – @ – gmail – dot – com), we’d love to feature a gallery of sleeves treasured for their marks or the messages they carry. We wouldn’t need high quality pics and it doesn’t have to be personal to you – see this old blog post as a non-personal example.