My name is Theo Rodziewicz. I’m 22, from West Yorkshire, England. I graduated from the University of Hull in July 2016 with a First Class degree in Digital Design.
Throughout my undergraduate degree, I generated mixed feelings towards some of my modules and the level of enjoyment I possessed wasn’t great. It was only when I approached my final-year independent study project that I had complete control over what I could research and subsequently create.
I took advantage of this creative freedom and with my keen interest in music, I decided to base my project around the neurological phenomenon chromesthesia. This is where heard sound and music automatically and involuntarily evoke a vision of colour.
Ultimately, I designed and built a playable experience within a game engine to allow individuals to experience a typical chromesthetic encounter. The success of this project heavily contributed to my final degree classification.
Everybody appreciates music in some way, shape or form. For me, life without music isn’t a life I want to live. I love to listen to music, both old and new, including a variety of different genres. I also love to write about music, essentially through album reviews.
In November 2015, I received a record player for my 21st birthday. A couple of months prior, I developed an insatiable urge to start collecting vinyl. I started to make a wishlist of all the albums I’d love to own on vinyl. Therefore, I was very excited when I was gifted a record player from my father.
Consequently, I decided to create a Instagram account dedicated to sharing my personal collection with mini-reviews on each album. In about nine months, I racked up over 1300 followers. I thoroughly enjoy running the account and it allows me to explore one of my other keen interests – photography.
Visually representing an album through a square image enables and challenges me to constantly conjure up interesting viewpoints and methods to represent a music album.
I adore vinyl as a music format, from both an audio and visual standpoint. In terms of audio, it is music, in its purest form. Listening to a vinyl record is very much an active listening experience as the act of playing a record requires more attention than, for example, pressing play on a digital playlist and having the ability to instantly skip between tracks.
The moment you drop the needle into the first groove, it is as though you are contractually obliged to be in the vicinity of the player for the next 45 minutes or so. Vinyl requires attention; whether it be flipping over to side B or changing to disc two.
From a visual standpoint, I adore album artwork, and with vinyl records, you get the largest available artwork tied to a physical or digital media. I take pride in examining front and back covers, lyric sheets and all the other possible goodies you may get.
With my background in digital design, I like to analyse vinyl record packages and attempt to understand the artist’s intentions and if they fulfilled their intended purpose.
I am happy about the current resurgence in vinyl records. It means a lot of bands are reissuing their albums on ‘audiophile’ 180g records which claim to have superior sound quality to their original pressings.
It could be said that I was part of the recent resurgence, although it didn’t seem like I was influenced by the actions of other people around me, or what I read online. One day, something just triggered within me and I knew that I was going to strive to own a record player and start collecting records.