Vinyl Fetish? The Music Never Stops


Not too long ago we told you about some ecologically friendly ways to go – literally, as in how to do away with that pretty corpse of yours in a manner that’s best for the environment. Some of those options were for those of you interested in the eco-ashes to eco-ashes route. But this begs the next question: What to do with those cindery remains? The Answer is clear (cue music”¦ no, really): Turn them into a record album for your loved ones to spin and spin and spin again – forever and ever! (Okay, maybe not so clear. But funky, though, huh?)

Meet And Vinyly, my vote-getter in the run-up-to-Halloween race for most macabre and inventive company. What these twisted, though seemingly respectful Brits do is take some or all of what you leave behind and press it into “a vinyl recording your family with cherish for generations.” Your last expression can include anything you like, such as a final personal message (your last will and testament, for example), your own “soundtrack,” or nothing at all – “simply press your ashes to hear your pops and crackles for the minimal approach.” (I wonder if you would need to buy rights to the music you use. Could you get sued? Would you care? What would an aggrieved record label do? Confiscate your record and, um, burn it?)

The basic package is for up to 30 discs and includes standard “R.I.V” cover artwork and record label with your name, birthday and deathday. You supply the audio and get someone to bring in your remaining remains (they require personal delivery, so make sure you leave a trip to London to some lucky pal in your will). You only get 12 minutes a side, so if you’re rushed for time, well… The cost? Basic starts at about $4,800. I know. Cold.

That said, if you’re willing to throw down about twice that fee, you can up your in by having National Portrait Galley award-winning artist James Hague paint your portrait with acrylic and ash (yes, yours) on canvas. Your album covers will then be made from limited edition prints of the original portrait. To do this, you can simply supply a photo or “arrange a one hour sitting with James, before you die.” (Lord, I love the English.)

Here’s how it works (and in this order, by the way.):

  1. Confirm your location and the viability of these services in your area.
  2. Identify a family member or chosen rep who will accompany you (your ashes) to the pressing.
  3. Establish audio content and cover art.
  4. Attend the mastering of your record.
  5. Receive playable proof sample of your record and cover.
  6. Die.
  7. Get cremated.
  8. Your family member or chosen rep books and attends the sprinkling and pressing of your records.
  9. Your chosen recipients are sent details of where to collect their copy of your personal record.
  10. Live on from beyond the groove.

In a recent e-mail exchange with And Vinyly’s “Undertaker,” Discovery News asked him how he came up with the album concept: “The idea came through personal considerations about the inevitable,” he said. -¦ I began to get glimmers that perhaps I wasn’t invincible after all. I saw a story on an American chap who had his ashes put into fireworks for his family to enjoy. I loved this idea. I began to see that death does need serious consideration, but that this could be done in a light-hearted way. Our concept provides immortality in sound.”

There are way too many silly puns on And Vinyly’s website to even begin to try to compete with them here for some clever close. I’ll just punt to their tagline: “Death to Vinyl.” Sounds like a plan.

Image: Wouter de Bruijn

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson is EcoSalon's Senior Editor of HyperKulture, a monthly column that explores opening cultural doors to initiate personal change. He is also the author of InPRINT, which reviews and discusses books, new and old. You can reach him at