2013年11月6日 星期三

Music and Memory 2 音樂與回憶2 (中)

I used to spend so much time looking for CDs.  Who would do that now?  Who would bother?  我曾經花很多時間尋找CD.  現在誰會這麼做?  誰會以這樣的方式找音樂?

At the present time, only people with money to burn would think of amassing a CD collection.  Everything can be downloaded now, and to find an actual CD copy of most albums would be either prohibitively expensive or altogether impossible.  It is not surprising that so many of the old CD stores have either closed down or changed their focus to DVDs.  In DVDs, there is at least a glimmer of hope.  目前, 只有很有錢的人會買那麼多CD.  現在從網路可以下載所有的音樂, 而且大部分的CD不是很貴就是很難找.  難怪很多舊唱片行封館或是改賣DVD為主.  賣DVD比較有可能賺錢.

But back when I first moved to Taiwan, at the end of 1999, the music-listening public was still very much interested in buying CDs.  Our internet connections were slow or non-existent, and the file sharing sites and software were a new thing, as yet undiscovered by most.  我1999年剛搬來台灣的時候, 大部分的人還是喜歡買CD.  那時候我們家裡不是沒有網路, 就是家裡的網路很慢, 而且P2P軟體跟網站還不是很受歡迎.

On the weekends, I would drive my scooter down to the intersection that leads into the Feng Jia Night Market in Taichung.  I usually did this late in the afternoon or early in the evening to avoid traffic.  There used to be a big CD store on Fu Shing Road, and another just up the street from there, closer to the night market.  周末時, 我常常騎摩托車到台中逢甲夜市前面的大路口.  為了避免塞車, 我通常選擇傍晚的時間去, 不然夜市開始後交通很亂.  那時福星路上有一家大唱片行, 靠近夜市的地方還有另外一家.

In the first store I could find newer music, though nothing too obscure.  I was 25 when I first discovered that place, so "new" was closer to what I was listening to back then.  There were also more girls in the first store.  At 25 and unattached, the presence of beautiful women was always a reason to go anywhere.  在第一間店可以找到比較新的西洋音樂.  我25歲的時候比較喜歡這種音樂.雖然說"新" , 但那是指我到台灣之前常聽的音樂, 這家店的美女也比較多.  25歲, 單身的我喜歡到這種地方.

The second store was more male-oriented, but they had more music that I liked.  Almost the entire second floor of that store was porn, but behind all the porn there was a wall dedicated to Western music.  Most of this Western music was rock-oriented, and some of it would have been hard to find even in the States.  I can remember buying a lot of Deep Purple there, and also a fair amount of other hard rock bands.  They didn't have a lot of metal, but their jazz and classical selections were pretty good.  第二家店比較適合男性, 可是它們有比較多我喜歡的音樂.  他們二樓到處都是A片, 可是A片後面還有很多西洋CD.  這些CD很多屬於搖滾樂, 也有很多CD連在美國都很難找到.  我在那邊買很多Deep Purple跟其他 hard rock樂團的CD.  他們那裡的heavy metal不多, 可是他們有很多jazz跟classical的CD.

When I think about it, those stores (especially the second one) introduced me to a lot of good music.  Because they almost never had my first choice - the easy, obvious choice - I usually ended up buying something that I didn't know existed.  These stores were the reason I started listening to artists such as Keith Jarrett, Strauss, and some of the more obscure prog-rock bands.  These stores were the reason I now listen to Sibelius and the Rolling Stones.  Sure, I would have discovered some of this music eventually - with or without these stores - but their selection (or lack thereof) - put them on my radar that much sooner.  現在想起那段時間, 我發現這兩家店介紹我很多我沒聽過的音樂.  因為他們常常沒有我要的第一個選擇, 最後我只好買我沒聽過的CD.  這兩家店就是我開始聽Keith Jarrett, Strauss, 和很多prog-rock樂團的原因.  我現在聽Sibelius跟Rolling Stones也是因為這兩家店.  就算這兩家店當時不存在, 我還是會發現這種音樂, 只是因為他們, 讓我比較早接觸這種音樂.

And besides all of this, hunting for CDs was a pleasant activity.  It was something you had to take your time with.  It was something that you could easily spend an afternoon doing.  It was, moreover, something you could also do in Taipei and Kaohsiung, if not Miao Li or Taitung.  找CD是一件好玩的活動.  它須要花點時間, 很容易整個下午就在找尋的過程中度過.  這個活動適合在台北高雄做.  在苗栗台東等鄉下地方則沒那麼合適.

I miss hunting for CDs.  For that matter, I miss playing arcade games, visiting libraries, and many other activities that computers have since obviated.  These are activities that have shaped me as a person, and I am sorry I have no reason to do them any longer.  我很想念尋找CD這件事.  我也很想念玩電動玩具,去圖書館, 還有很多因為電腦的存在而消失的活動.  這些活動都是養成我個人的重要養分, 我有點傷心, 因為我不再有從事這些活動的理由.

I often wonder what other activities I will grow nostalgic over, 15 or 20 years hence.  What other activities will become obsolete?  What other pastimes will fall by the wayside?  Will we still bother with laptop computers in 15 years?  Or will we only use mobile devices?  Will we still use cellphones?  Or will we have some as yet undiscovered technology that serves the same function?  It can be amusing to make predictions, but the truth of the future will undoubtedly be both more mundane and more fantastic than we, creatures of the present time, can imagine.  All we can do is gather bits of information from our own individual histories, review this information in light of recent developments, and make an educated guess.  我有時想15年, 20年過後我們會想念什麼活動.  哪些行為會令人懷念?  哪些活動會不見?  15年後人們還使用筆記型電腦嗎?  還是我們只用瀏覽器?  我們還使用手機嗎?  還是用什麼還沒發明的通話器?  這樣的想像很好玩,但是未來無疑地會比我們現在所能想像的更貼近生活也更精彩.我們所能做的就是收集我們自身以往的生活經驗, 藉目前的發展進步檢視這些訊息, 對未來的世界做一番推測.

Perhaps, in 15 to 20 years, I'll hear some younger man wax nostalgic about downloading music.  Perhaps at that point we'll have music piped directly into our brains, and we won't need to search for it anymore.  Or perhaps by then the recording industry will have completely collapsed, and the only way to find new music is by finding out about it the old-fashioned way - by seeing it performed live.  可能15或20年後, 我會聽到年輕人形容下載音樂這件事.  可能那時候音樂就直接輸入我們的大腦, 不用上網找了.  或是那時候已經沒有唱片公司, 所以要找最新的音樂就要回到以前的老方法---看現場演唱會.

I might like that future.  I only hope that in that future people still know how to play their instruments.  By that time, we might have all forgotten how.  我有可能喜歡那個未來.  我只希望未來的人知道怎麼彈奏他們的樂器.  到那時, 有可能我們都不知道樂器的彈奏方法了.

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