Ashes To Vinyl, Dust To Discs, and Other Interesting Ways to Recycle Human Ashes

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2013 02:01pm | Post a Comment

I have long been aware of records, especially 12" vinyl, being transformed into other things  including a lot of artists using them as the basis of their work, and have even written about some of vinyl artists on the Amoeblog (here and here). I have also been well aware of many innovative folks who use other materials besides vinyl, such as wood or cardboard, to make a record with grooves on it to spin and play sounds. However taking ashes - as in the ashes of human remains - and flipping them as material for pressing up records was a total surprise to me. But, as reported last month by BloombergBusinessweek in the Lifestyle section and consequently picked up by such other sites as The Strut, there is a company over in the UK called Vinyly that for the past four years have been making records out of the ashes of human remains mixed in with vinyl. This they do sprinkling a deceased person's ashes into raw vinyl at the record pressing plant - the vinyl ratio has to outweigh the ashes for practical purposes. Then they press up a record with music/sounds either from supplied audio tracks or this unique record making company will bring in session musicians to record a customized track as specified by a client. Noteworthy though is the high cost in comparison to regular vinyl pressing. It's kind of costly at a tag of approx $5000 for a run of 30 copies of one record. Then  original artwork by the company is not cheap either amounting to an extra $4000 or more. But Vinyly is no ordinary record company. In fact they even offer product distribution to select “reputable vinyl stores worldwide.” From visiting the Vinyly website, where they sell some related merch, I saw that they will also recycle your pet's ashes into records. Read the full report from Bloomberg here  and find out more or to contact the UK's Vinyly click here.

In the same thread of recycling ashes of loved ones and thanks to my friends at WFMU I also learned about some other most interesting uses of human ashes. One was for mixing them in with gun powder to make bullets. Operating under the business name of Holy Smoke LLC this Alabama based ashes to ammo company offers customers, "a way to honor your deceased loved one by giving or sharing with him or her one more round of clay targets, one last bird hunt, or one last stalk hunt."

Meanwhile fellow WFMU'er Bronwyn C, who has worked in publishing for many years, knew of a Marvel Comics editor who died and whose last wish was that his ashes be mixed into the ink for a particular comic book he'd worked hard on. "The company and the family complied with his wishes, and sent the ashes to the printer. But printing is actually very sciencey: There's a lot of chemistry involved in colored ink and how it works on the particular paper stock, etc. So the ashes were throwing off the whole printing process, and it was kind of a mess," Bronwyn C reported. But at the end of the day some of the late editor's ashes made their way into the unnamed comic book's ink. Wow! And to think I once found it weird that Keith Richards allegedly snorted his father's ashes!

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