Author Kurt Vonnegut once said, “No matter how corrupt and greedy our government and our corporations and our media and Wall Street and our religious and charitable organizations may become, the music will still be perfectly wonderful. If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: ‘The only proof he needed of the existence of God was music.’”
For some of us, music is just part of the daily atmosphere. It holds neither existential meaning nor consequence. It’s just there for our occasional amusement.
For others, music holds a power. It leaves us spellbound long after the last note rings out.
If you fall into the latter category, you could have your remains engraved into a piece of music forever…or until the vinyl record starts to skip and buckle.
One of the newest trends in memorial art comes in the form of pressing ashes into vinyl albums. The company Vinyly takes a loved one’s cremains, mixes them with more typical vinyl ingredients and presses them to form the grooves of your choice.
You can get your cremains pressed into a vinyl record featuring a final recording of your voice so that your friends and family can listen to you whenever they want. You can record your last will and testament to send to your family after you die. You can even record your own music, or simply give the company a playlist of some of your favorite songs.
Vinyly offers 30 vinyl pressings per order, and has options for just about everything you could imagine. Want someone to write a song for you? For an extra fee, one of their musicians will write an original song about you. Want an original portrait for the sleeve of your record? They have an artist on-staff to paint it. Want to have a burial without a full cremation? The company accepts cremains of body parts as well as whole body cremains. They even offer a service for pet owners mourning the loss of their furry companions.
What people get for their money are 30 tangible ways to listen to their loved ones long after they are gone.
As you can imagine, the process can be spendy. Vinyly charges more than $3,000 for the service, not including extra fees for additional perks. What people get for their money are 30 tangible ways to listen to their loved ones long after they are gone.
Founder Jason Leach started the company after he watched a TV show where cremains were shot out of a cannon during a funeral, according to Vice. He thought musicians and music fans would want something similar built in their memories. Leach was originally a major label representative for a techno record company before founding Vinyly.
For people who view music as a passing hobby, the idea of spending thousands of dollars to be memorialized on vinyl seems absurd. But when music forms the backbone of your life, and when it has brought you to higher existential heights than anything else, it’s only natural to give your body fully and literally to the art form.
If this seems like a modern concept, it’s not. It mirrors old traditions that go back centuries. Buddhist monks who dedicated their lives to Buddhism would practice self-mummification to become the physical embodiment of meditation. The Kaplica Czaszek chapel is made from thousands of human bones to represent a devotion to Christianity and the idea of eternal life. In both of these instances, they gave their bodies to an idea.
Music might not be a religion, but it brings many people the same joy and reverence for the beauty around them as any organized place of worship.
Music might not be a religion, but it brings many people the same joy and reverence for the beauty around them as any organized place of worship. When someone has their ashes pressed into vinyl, they show their dedication to the craft.