My earliest musical memories include watching a spinning 45 rpm record of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” with my mom, RIP. I was a wee lad and had no idea what life would do to me. The whistling part makes me miss her.

Later, there was Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, loaned to me by my sister. That’s what got me into rock music. An 8-track of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, loaned to me by my older brother, RIP. A scratchy 45 of the Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin.” And a loaner from my dad, RIP, of Leonard Bernstein conducting Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony with the New York Philharmonic. That’s what sparked my love of classical.

The first LP I bought with my own cash was the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was then a young boy with allowance money, taking regular trips to Spec’s Music in West Palm Beach. I bought albums like Kansas’ Leftoverture, the Star Wars soundtrack, and Electric Light Orchestra’s Out of the Blue. And there were 8-tracks of Boston’s first album, Queen’s News of the World, and Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti.

My vinyl collection was destroyed in a flood before I could pay to have it shipped from Florida to L.A. The albums have been converted to CD and streaming over the years, and I’m still listening to them. I’ve supplemented them with many forms that nestled into my ears, like birds in ever-growing trees: jazz ranging from Miles Davis to Pat Metheny, djent, prog-metal, electronic, techno, electro-jazz, ambient, and whatever sounds happen to drift over my aural transom. Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Allan Holdsworth, Bjork, Radiohead, Rush, the Beatles, Steely Dan, Foo Fighters, Brahms, Bach, Mozart, Satie, Holst, Debussy, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, and so many more. Gods, the music that has soaked into my brain!

In the years since, I’ve found I begin inexplicably weeping whenever I hear Kate Bush’s “Hello Earth.” I don’t understand why. It just happens. The closing section of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring ballet suite is still sublime. It’s about as close to a definition of spiritual transcendence that this agnostic can offer.

What are your earliest musical memories? What got you started on the music you’ve carried with you through your life?