The gift of a mixtape was very personal. Often they were made for exactly one person, no one else. A radio program with one listener. Each song, carefully chosen, with love and humor, as if to say, “This is who I am, and by this tape you will know me better.” The song choice and sequence allowed the giver to say what one might be too shy to say outright. The songs contained on a mixtape from a lover were scrutinized carefully for clues and metaphors that might reveal the nuances and deeper meanings secreted in the emotional cargo. Other people’s music—ordered and collected in infinitely imaginative ways—became a new form of expression.
How Music Works, David Byrne