It might seem sacrilegious, but a group of creatives in the United Kingdom have taken to memorializing their lost loved ones, not only by photographs, recorded voices, or scattered ashes, but a combination of all three.They've used pressed human ashes to create vinyl records. Jason Leach's company, And Vinyly, first gained media attention for this practice in 2010, as a way to literally preserve a part of the deceased along with something that reminds you of them.
This Youtube video called Hearing Madge by Aeon Video portrays how the practice of pressing ashes of the dead onto records is either an "odd novelty" or a "tender remembrance." Rather than scattering a loved one's ashes out at sea, for instance, they get pushed into the grooves of a raw vinyl record right before it comes into contact with plates at the pressing stage.While doing this does compromise the sound, making it less clear, that's just the point: those "pops and crackles" one would hear are the pieces of ashes, the deceased person making their sound on top of whatever the record itself is playing.The company also offers RIV—Rest in Vinyl—art that includes the name and lifespan of the cremated loved one, or a portrait of them, illustrated with ashes mixed into the paint."It's a bit more interesting than being in a pot on a shelf," Leach told Wired in 2010.Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.