In 1988 the sales of compact-discs exceeded those of vinyl records for the first time. The digitalisation of recorded music from the mid 70s onwards had a devastating effect on vinyl records, with the format virtually dying out during the 90s. However over the last few years there has been a resurgence in the art form, with vinyl sales recently rising to a record high. Music sales as a whole have been adversely affected by the online downloading generation, with computers allowing unlimited amounts of music to be acquired and stored in virtual computer space. Sales has suffered greatly due to illegal downloading and free streaming through sites like Youtube and Spotify, with people consuming music at a massive rate, but a substantially less amount of money going back to the artists and industry. However over the last few years there has been a resurgence in vinyl buying, with sales reaching a record high in recent years.
One of the reasons for this seems to be an increased longing for physical interactions, in an era in which technology has advanced so greatly in the name of efficiency and practicality that there are very few traditional interactions still present in everyday activities such as listening to an album. The popular music listening experience has transformed greatly in this digital music era, away from the rituals involved in listening to a vinyl record. Processes such as flicking through record shelves, pulling records from their sleeves and physically moving a needle onto the grooves of a vinyl to produce sounds are vastly different to the modern computer simulations of these rituals, with these classic interactions becoming lost behind bright, text based screens and software programmes. This is a subject in which I feel there is excellent scope for a relevant, sound interaction based project and is the area that I haven chosen to base my Personal Honours Project.