When hard sounds easy

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I was marveling at the skill of my tongue. It rarely gets in the way, it hardly ever gets tied, and it nicely punctuates speech without a great deal of effort. In fact, I never think about it, which is all the more amazing given its critical role.

I often think of weird things.

Thoughts of underlying hard things that make life easy leads me inevitably to the art of reproducing music. Think of all the thousands upon thousands of brilliant minds, inventions, breakthroughs, miracles, brain scratchings, and just plain hard work that went into any part of your stereo system. Even something as simple as the turntable/arm/cartridge has consumed multiple lives of brilliant innovators to get where it is: Joe Grado, Ivor Tiefenbrun, Garrard, Sidney Shure, Arnold Poulsen, Axel Petersen, Harry Weisfeld. Hell, might as well throw in Thomas Edison while we’re at it.

And a turntable, arm, and cartridge are relatively simply electromechanical devices. Imagine what it took to invent the vacuum tube, transistor, or a CD player.

What you and I have in our possessions are miracles unimaginable just a century ago. We’re moving quickly, and we have much to be thankful for. Music at the touch of a button streamed from anywhere in the world, from any composer or artist. Most of the major recorded works available in our homes with a glass of red wine and a bite of cheese by our side.

When our impossible technologies seem easy. These are wonderful times, indeed.