Giving the Gift of Music this Valentine’s Day- Revival of the Mix Tape

Giving the Gift of Music this Valentine’s Day- Revival of the Mix Tape

As children of the 80’s and early 90’s, many of us can remember those times spent in front of our cassette player, carefully crafting what we believed would be the perfect Mix Tape. We got it down to a fine art. The well-timed release of the pause button while simultaneously hitting the record button. It was a juggling act that required perfect hand eye coordination, but when it worked it was almost epiphanic. 

Every mix was a labour of love, each track moved on seamlessly from its predecessor. No pauses, just a simple fade into the next song. The theme was equally important, you couldn’t deviate. Song choice and order had to match the story and evoke the emotions of that tape and its intended.

Each mix became a way of saying the things we struggled to put into words, as awkward youths. Often, they were our first love letter for that girl friend we fancied but were too afraid to say so. Boys to Men, Celine Dion and The Beatles thrown in for good measure. Yes, it was a bit of a strange combo but it worked.

To this day, few things are as romantic as the notion of someone taking the time to put together a list of music just for you. Knowing that each song holds special meaning, that each chord and song lyric was specially selected to tell you a story... Heart-warming, to say the least.

That is why this Valentine’s Day, we say let’s revive the sadly forgotten Art of the Mix Tape.

Technology has made life a little easier. Gone are the days of painstakingly recording each track. A simple visit to your iTunes library makes the task a lot simpler. However, you still need to fine-tune the right soundtrack for the occasion and that is no easy task but with these tips you should be good to go in no time.

There are essentially 3 things to consider when creating your mix or playlist. Theme, Story and most importantly: Recipient. These elements are all mutually dependent and the perfect mix is nothing if not holistic practice. The theme dictates the style of music and genre, so because this is the month of love consider some soul and a little funk. Or perhaps, go really old school with the classics and throw in Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Funny Valentine’ for good measure. The story of your mix should focus on the lyrics of each track so find songs that speak to you and, more importantly, speak to your loved one. The recipient of this musical experience should always be top of mind when selecting both the theme and the story. So take the time to find songs that put the sparkle back into your loved one’s eyes, and you will be golden.

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Once your playlist is ready to roll on that docking station, you have the option of queuing it to play over a romantic home-cooked dinner for two… But if you are a particularly crafty romantic at heart you could always upload the playlist to your loved one’s iPod the night before with a mysterious little note that reads: Play Me. Just saying.

Happy romancing and may the Mix Tape live on!

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