05 Apr The Collector Series: Laura Norton’s vinyl records collection
The Collector Series: Laura Norton’s vinyl records collection
The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl records collectors in their most natural and intimate environment. Want to get featured on #vinyloftheday? Send us a photo of your records collection and a few words about your records collection to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have Laura Norton (@doc_nornor) for this week feature, read below.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Size of collection: Our collection is still a baby, currently composed of just north of 150 records. But it’s growing steadily and is quickly escaping our control.
Tell us a bit more about yourself:
I’m a career scientist with a passion for puzzles. I’m a nerd about most things I love, including movies and music. I’m always looking for the perfect song to fit the moment, my life always has always had a soundtrack.
What started your interest in music? Is there any interesting story or history behind it?
Ever since I can remember, music has played a central part in my life. I’m naturally drawn to people who love listening to and talking about music, which has meant that I’ve always had someone around who has influenced my musical education and introduced me to something new. When I was little, my parents always filled the house with the likes of Queen, Fleetwood Mac, The Beautiful South, or Dire Straits, a great foundation to build on! My brother, who is 9 years older than me, introduced me to grunge and all things 90’s (I was 10 and the 90’s were coming to a close). Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Skunk Anansie and Blur propelled me into puberty. I started to develop my own tastes then. I worshiped Blink-182, New Found Glory and Weezer. At 15, I met a boy. He introduced me to music I had never heard before, Led Zeppelin (I know, don’t judge), Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Manson. And I was in love, with the bands and the boy. We have been hunting new music together ever since.
How long have you been collecting?
Collecting records is a new thing for us. A beautiful turntable, amp and speakers were my 30th birthday present. So we’ve been collecting since August 2017. But how long I’ve been collecting music for? Now that’s a different story. I’m a music hoarder. I’ve always had to have every album released from my favourite bands. First with cassettes, then CD’s (my massive CD collection was the bane of my mother’s existence, especially when we had to move countries!). In the digital age it was even worse, they didn’t make an iPod big enough for all my music. Now records are filling that need, and our home! And it’s the most satisfying collection I’ve ever had.
What does your collection mean to you?
We started collecting during a very difficult time in our lives and it brought us closer together, like only music can. In a way, it represents the most important relationship in my life. It must be nurtured and cared for and spent quality time with. I’ve also found it’s something that makes me feel truly present in the moment. Listening to records is an entirely immersive experience. It’s one thing to play an album or playlist on your phone, or a CD on the stereo, but putting on a record is something different altogether.
What’s your philosophy behind collecting records and how has that evolved since you started collecting up until the present day?
Well, in a way we are still working out our philosophy. It’s important to us to have all the formative albums from our lives, the ones that mean the most to us. We are slowly branching out and getting more of the all-time classics from bands that we haven’t listened to much, but know we love. We are also really keen on supporting local Australian bands and buying vinyl at gigs we go to.
Share with us your current top records and tell us a bit about them – why they are your favorites?
Obviously picking 3 top records is impossible. I’ll talk about the 3 with the most sentimental value.
The Pixies – Doolittle
This was the first record I ever got. It was given to me by a very good friend just before I moved to Sydney 9 years ago. It has been a prized possession even though I didn’t have a way of playing it. We became friends at high school through a mutual love of the Pixies. It wasn’t always easy to find friends in high school who liked music from the 80’s and early 90’s, but when you found them, you knew they were forever.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
This album is what made me realise how important music was going to be in my life. I’m pretty sure the song Funky Monks rearranged my brain somehow and changed the course of my life forever. It was one of those musical awaking moments.
The White Stripes – Elephant
This was one of the first CD’s my husband and I bought together when we were teenagers. Every song on this album transports me to being 16 and madly in love with all the intensity of adolescence. It’s a really incredible feeling. We play it often and we play it loud.
Was there ever a record which you regret not buying?
A few months ago, we were at the Glebe Record Fair. There was a beautiful pressing of The Jimmy Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland with the banned nude cover. It was a bit out of our price range, so we walked away. I still think about that moment sometimes, and how different my life might be if we had bought that record.
Any tips for other record collectors out there?
I’m new to this. I’m the one who needs the tips! Hit me up on Instagram if you have any! I would only encourage people to support their local artists and their local record stores and buy music that they love!
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