Archive for 2001-01

Old – New Tech

02001-01-31 @ 21:01

It seems to me that whenever any technology reaches the end of its life cycle the following happens:

The technology becomes less expensive and therefore more accessible to smaller companies while the large corporations develop the next technology.
Example: Compact Discs were sold starting in 1981 and as a result LPs (Vinyl) became cheaper and cheaper to produce. LP pressing plants were sold as manufacturers switched to the new CD technology. As LPs became less expensive to make, more independent record companies sprung up and were successful – of course the Punk and DIY movement had something to do with that as well…..

It seems to me we are at a similar crossroads now. CD is relatively old tech and has become cheaper to produce. The major labels are working on DVD Audio in order to sell the Beatles and Pink Floyd to the public for the umpteenth time – it’s always easier to release proven oldies than to find new artists – and small labels are cropping up everywhere producing amazing albums on CD. In the last year I have discovered a lot of small labels I had never heard of before. Some create great compilations, and some release music by original artists that wouldn’t fit into the roster of a major label or the very restricted playlist of radio.

Bad Smell

02001-01-21 @ 21:01

Looking at press clippings about our last Christmas album I notice that many newspapers around the country don’t have their own music critics anymore. They simply re-print a review they get from a clearing house such as AP and thus the same review gets re-printed a few dozen times across the country. While there seem to appear more and more voices on the net there are less and less voices in our papers. A natural progression, I suppose.

One reviewer wrote that I must have been holding my nose while I recorded the music for the Christmas album, as he suggested would any listeners. While I don’t mind people telling me that I have bad taste, I do resent people suggesting that I am dishonest by recording music I don’t believe in. I like the album “christmas + santa fe”, I really do. Well, I wouldn’t have recorded it otherwise. Tell me I suck, but don’t tell me I held my nose while making this music.

New Age Pop Tarts

02001-01-20 @ 21:01

Yesterday Morning I was toasting some Mochi for breakfast before heading into the studio. Mochi are brown rice cakes and I like the ones with cinnamon and raisins. My engineer came into the kitchen and I asked him whether he had tried Mochi before and he took a look at them and said: What are they, New Age Pop Tarts?

We are currently working on radio mixes for the new album. These radio mixes for “Little Wing” and “The Girl from Ipanema” and a new song called “The Pearl” differ from our album mixes by being slightly compressed and limited, which increases the volume and sounds better on radio. We also created slightly different drum arrangements for these radio mixes and some of the intros and endings differ.

Over the next few days we will also create a dance mix for “The Pearl”. These alternative mixes will go on a special CD to be distributed to radio stations, but I hope Epic will decide to eventually release these mixes on a commercial CD or via MP-3.

Valleys and Hills

02001-01-04 @ 21:01

I think of the chords and the rhythm of a piece of music as the valleys and hills on a map of unknown terrain and think of the melody as the guide that leads you through this. The melody is the line the seduces the brain. It’s the bait. It’s the man that leads you through dark cobblestone alleys to the house of a friend. It is the scent you follow through the streets until you see the beautiful woman that wears it……

Music transcends language

02001-01-03 @ 21:01

There is no complete translation, only intuitive understanding is possible. “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” How can the intuitive understanding of music be enriched and improved? By opening oneself to the sound one can glean its meaning. As water flows down the brook and fills the bucket, meaning flows from music and fills us with emotions. I feel that there is no bad music, only music made with bad intentions. There is no good music, only music made with good intentions. Clever music can be boring because it was created with the intention of impressing people. The simplest music can be captivating because it was created from joy. I would like my music to originate from the depth of my emotions, from the joy that playing guitar gives me, and not from a need to impress.

Movie: “Under Suspicion” – riveting film with Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman.

Thought: Mother Theresa regarded herself as a pencil in the hands of God writing a love letter to the world.

Irresistible

02001-01-02 @ 21:01

For me the goal is to make my mixture of musical styles so delicious, so attractive as to be irresistible. Yes, I get hatemail from people who think I do something to ruin Flamenco, but most listeners are seduced by the music and enjoy this new mix of tradition and cultures. The most bitter people are American guitarists who perform Spanish Flamenco pieces faithful and to the letter and…..that reminds of a little story.

In the first half of this century an American Jazz big band went on tour in France. They checked out a local Jazz band and found that the French drummer was using a woodblock instead of a kick drum and the trumpet player had a “funny” sound. American drummers used woodblocks only for recordings because in those days the sound of a big kick drum could sometimes propel the needle out of the groove it was cutting. The French drummer was playing the woodblock because he was immitating what he heard on record and because he didn’t know that American Jazz drummers used a kickdrum for live-shows. The trumpet player had a funny sound because he was reproducing the sound of a trumpet as it came through the grammophone……

 


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