For the last decade, musician Jason Leach offers good vibrations to those seeking a unique use for loved one’s cremated remains. His company, Andvinyly, uses granular remains to create playable vinyl records as cremation keepsakes.
“People willing to grasp the concept will absolutely love it,” Leach said. “It’s the closest thing to time travel available.”
His customers range from those still living who plan this as a final gift for family and friends, to those who decide they want a one-of-a-kind memento with purpose. Customers choose the tracks of the album, the artwork and the liner notes.
The big difference between this and a regular album is that cremated remains are sprinkled into the vinyl during production, creating raised areas on the record. Those raised areas are audible when played on a turntable as pops and cracks.
On the record
Andvinyly produces 7-inch albums for single tracks on each side and 12-inch records for several tracks per side.
Past customers provided audio recordings of themselves or the loved one who passed from sources such as voicemails or videos. Those making the record while still alive can record audio of read favorite poems or messages of wisdom and hope. Some pick favorite songs to include while others choose silence.. “Silent tracks are very popular, because then all you are hearing are the pops and crackles,” Leach said.
Other options include:
- Clear vinyl
- Colored vinyl
- Gatefold covers with a variety of images
- Printed liner notes with photos, writings, etc.
- Custom artwork for the record label
- A folded poster printed and placed inside the sleeve
It’s important to take your time so you can have it exactly as you want it, Leach said.Once all the choices for artwork and tracks are made, Andvinyly takes weeks to produce the finished product.
Producing vinyl is not a cheap process, even for established companies printing dozens of titles. Leach said the cost of producing one of these records averages $2,600. Customers purchase up to 30 copies for distribution to loved ones and friends. The cost difference between producing one to 30 copies is negligible, as the bulk of the cost goes into pre-production.
The inspiration for Andvinyly came from multiple experiences with cremated remains blowing in the wrong direction during a scattering ceremony.
“The fact that I will die one day got me thinking and talking to people about dying. People tend to not talk about it. It’s very much a closed-off subject for a lot of people, Leach said. “That got me thinking, what do I want to leave?”
While this choice of cremation keepsakes won’t be for everyone, it’s certainly a unique option to consider as a keepsake. The video “Hearing Madge” shows how it works and the impact it has on loved ones.