A reader’s thoughts on sorting out CDs

A reader's thoughts on sorting out CDs
A reader's thoughts on sorting out CDs
A reader's thoughts on sorting out CDs

[Says reader “Love”, from Texas:]

I also found that organizing helped me understand the collection. But it’s still in the works, and also I didn’t have time for more than a few photos, but this gives some idea.

Actually, the section labels are for the benefit of my housemates. They were always asking me “what was that we were listening to the other day?” b/c, being my collection, I already know what I have & where it is: LPs, CDs, audio tapes, DVDs, VHS, Mini-DV, actetes, reel-to-reel, space-molecule-teleportation paradigm sound thought fossils, etc…

Anyway, I pulled a few of the more popular (with the housemates, that is… not popular like “pop”) titles and put them into the labeled bins, about 1/10th of which are represented in the photos. The ragas section is organized by time of day & I’ve since also incorporated the various Iranian dastgahs (you can see “homayun” there, for instance) without bothering to update the markers.

The Yoruba section says “& various Nigeria” which is no longer accurate. It is 100% Yoruba and further subdivided into Tradl. Perc.; Barrister Fuji; Ayinla Omowura Apala; Yusuf Olatunji; lastly ‘other Apala/Fuji/and Sakara.’ Every so often, you can see a thick-cased CD whose job is to make a section marker. NO highlife in there — if I want to hear western influence I’ll just turn on the radio or tele… (just being provocative, don’t mind me— of course in the archives we have some Orlando Owoh and even KSA/Obey)

Further sections for ga music, tons of ewe music (again, subdivided with thick-cased cd’s into specific genres)…

Making all of the labels was a lot of fun & did make me remember stuff buried in the vaults, stuff which was mislabeled, tons of stuff that cuts across categories, etc. I’d recommend everyone try it! The collection also grew in some new directions as the housemates’ preferences (and spiffy new labels) influenced things… So I guess the labels weren’t just for the housemates — they were/are for me, too. They’ve really sharpened and accelerated the development of ears/brain/perception/consciousness for all involved…



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7 Responses to “A reader’s thoughts on sorting out CDs”

  1. 1 continuo April 4, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for your contribution, Love. Can’t agree more with your last sentence: labels simply allow deeper understanding of music, generally speaking. Labels like yours would really make me want to listen to CDs again, I realize.

    The way you organized the Raga section is particularly awe-inspiring, and so fitting since raga music is so much time-dependent (time of the day and complex music meters, or Tala). I wonder how many Indian music lovers care to implement the same practical categorization. As far as I know, in Hindu philosophy, time is conceived as a wheel, instead of our linear conception. So, maybe your next move would be to build a spinning wheel on which to browse laterally through early morning to late night and back to early morning ragas.

    These labels clearly show how much you care about the origin and meaning of various music traditions. Mixing music genres carelessly is sometimes pure non-sense. For instance, devotional, ceremonial and healing music are made for special occasions, something one should keep in mind when listening in our Western living-rooms. If we are to understand anything about these musics, a good place to start is not to mix ceremonial music with dance or festival music, for instance.

  2. 2 love April 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    nice comments — great ideas!!

  3. 3 love April 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    oh, yeah — forgot to mention that i’ve also got [growing] sections specifically for the seasonal ragas (like Bahar & Basant right around now & like the Monsoon season ragas which will be spinning in a few months)

    thanks again for the post on organizing your LPs!!!!!!!

  4. 4 love April 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm




    ..thanks also for taking time to make the links to owoh, ade, obey. thought i’d follow suit & contribute a few links for some of the more obscure artists, the ones whose collections i’m most proud of. after all, why not? i really don’t even listen to orlando “dr. ganga” owoh more than once or twice a year, anymore. but i’ve never tired of Barry in almost 20 years of acquaintance. takes a while to understand his different tonalities, rhythms, formal structures, etc. which might be the whole point? long live LOVE, especially the love of music & love of exploration/growth/change… 3 cheers for your blog & thanks again for everything!!


    ps. one of the housemates saw the post & loved your comments on my pics, and also wanted me to mention that the CDs organize nicely in shoeboxes, using old envelopes (the kind you always get for free with junk mail) for the section divider labels.

  5. 5 continuo April 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    One can not overestimate the importance of shoeboxes in organizing our beloved 45rpm, cassette and CD collections the world over!

  6. 6 love April 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    thank you, Super Continuo Lifeform!!!!!!!!

  7. 7 Nate Rabe February 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Alas, I thought I was finished with such boxes but it seems I get rid of one collection (digitize same) and then I find my shelves are filling yet again with vinyl and CDs and tapes. I do like this idea though and agree it is a good way to ‘understand’ what one has collected.

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