2020: The Year In Rear-view

Live in the moment. Be kind. Sometimes the simplest of notions are the most difficult to maintain and 2020 was a stress test for every caring human being.

2020 was also a year of change and I hope change continues and moves in a more positive direction for us all. Music can be a powerful unifying force as well as an agent of change so I like to think that our hifi endeavors, which bring us closer to music, can thereby help bridge divides that aren’t nearly as meaningful.

On a personal note, I started the year as an employee, and Teamster member, of a multinational package delivery behemoth and spent 6+ months inside semi-trailers turning boxes into ‘walls’. As I told hires newer than me, the majority of whom were younger than our daughters, thinking is your worst enemy when building walls from boxes inside semi-trailers. I’ve worked a number of manual labor jobs throughout my life and I find the break from mind-work rejuvenating. Of course the physical strain and monotony present different challenges and thanks to a good friend and a phone call, I was convinced that I’d put in enough package handler time and a return to hifi was not only sensible, it was more than welcome.

I want to thank everyone for the very warm welcomes I received upon my return to Twittering Machines. I am deeply touched. Hifi is a wonderful community filled with fascinating people and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

When noting the passage of time, we inevitably reflect on loss and the loss of Art Dudley removed a big piece of HiFi’s heart and soul. I often find myself composing an email or phone call containing questions only Art could address.

As regular readers are aware, I’ve made some meaningful new HiFi connections. My friend and colleague John Darko publishes some of my reviews on Darko.Audio and I’m certain TM readers already follow John’s work in writing, video, and podcasts. I know of no other publication that maintains such a high degree of quality across multi-media.

Speaking of quality, I am also very fortune to call Ingo Schultz a friend and colleague. Ingo is one of the people behind Germany’s print publication FIDELITY Magazine and FIDELITY International, an English language PDF publication. If you’ve never seen, held, read, or browsed through an issue of FIDELITY Magazine, I can tell you it ranks among the highest quality print magazines you’ll ever have the pleasure to peruse. So I could not be happier to publish select reviews from FIDELITY International here on TM and I am proud to have some of my reviews appear therein.

You can see our Product(s) of the Year, Best New Tech in 2020, Best New Tech of the Decade, and 20 Favorite Albums of 2020 which do the job of highlighting my TM highlights. Followers of our Instagram history book are treated to a daily reminder of life’s larger-than-HiFi-ness through the celebration of birth days of people across time and areas of interest. I’ve come to enjoy this daily ritual and its ability to direct my focus backward, forward, and outward, the last being especially welcome these days.

My plans for the new year are to continue the work begun in 2018 and ideally have Twittering Machines be a welcoming place where people can learn about interesting HiFi gear, discover new music! and art, all with an overriding focus on the joys these pursuits can bring.

Life is fragile. Live in the moment. Be kind.

Happy Holidays & A Happy, Healthy New Year!