Vaundog

My dear friend Vaughan would have turned 40 this year.

Vaughan and I bonded through music and basketball. We sat for hours with a Dr Sample SP-202, a Tascam 4 track, and an old hi-fi record player with a paper towel ‘slipmat’, creating loops and beats and experimenting with sound.

loops

Some time around 2000, Vaughan bought a Pentium computer with a decent sound card, which upgraded our musical noodlings from 4 tracks on tape to 16 tracks of digital thanks to a free version Cool Edit Pro. Over the years Vaughan wrote and recorded many songs in his various Auckland flats, on the farm in Kaihere, and alone in the Coromandel while renovating his parents’ new house. I’ve had a collection of his tracks backed up for years now (first on old data CDs, then an iPod and now in the cloud).

Since Vaughan’s passing I’ve struggled to listen to his music at all. Attempting to do so has brought on a deep sadness which conflicts heavily with my enjoyment of his music and those golden memories of hanging out.

But this changed for me in March when his sisters celebrated his memory on his 40th birthday in a Facebook post. Listening to his music now I still feel his loss, but the sadness has diminished over time. I’m able to enjoy his art again. I miss you Vaughan, but I’m glad I can still hear your voice in your music.

Karl Smith is a New Zealander living in Melbourne, Australia. He's an art and design, tech, and pop culture enthusiast. Previous gigs include musician, concierge, picture framer, designer and product manager.