October 2017. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of my unfurnished living room, unpacking another moving box. Old records I have not listened to in years. I pull out Teaser and the Firecat and melt at the remembering of Cat Stevens’ sweet nasal voice. The music fills my head…I know every word, every note. I embrace another album, and another, and…a splitting headache suddenly squeezes my brain. My throat closes, my breath wheezes.

I am allergic to the multicolored molds blossoming on the old album covers. Decades of abuse have taken their toll. Cat pee, spilled drinks, West African humidity, and later, forgotten in cardboard boxes in one garage after the next. We have always been a nomadic family.

The records are fine after a good cleaning, but the covers are destroyed. And with that, a project is born. My family and friends are creating beautiful new cover art for the albums and breathing fresh life into much-cherished music. The old covers are authentic, but the new ones tell unique and precious stories.