Will Ackerman

02005-01-31 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

In recording Returning my primary objective was to be sure that every note I played would have a real emotional connection to it. If I played well, but failed to find the emotion I would scrap it. The songs proved to be surprising to me.

I just read Jamie Bonk’s December interview with Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill records. It is a great interview and makes me wonder whether it was actually easier for Will to be that open (click on the title of the post and read more!) using email as the medium? Jamie Bonk does good interviews.

Tangent: around 1987 or ’88 I made a cassette tape of my music and sent it to Alex DeGrassi. He was kind enough to to send me a letter, basically stating that I needed to become more original. A year or two later I recorded another cassette that contained Heart Still/Beating, Barcelona Nights and Waiting 4 Stars to Fall and led to Frank Howell asking me to do the album Marita: Shadows and Storms, which became NF. To me the seeds of NF where right there in that cassette I sent to Alex DeGrassi…

In case you are wondering why DeGrassi? I remember hearing an album of his at a friend’s house. I liked it, but I still don’t own any of his recordings. Strange, isn’t it?

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  1. Borya

    Ahem, this tape won’t pop up at ebay or somehwere else by coincidence … ?
    Poor Alex DeGrassi tough, he missed the point.

  2. Carol

    I think that’s one of the best interviews you’ve had. You can tell that he being a musician himself, knows music and musicians and what you go through. And he was sincerely interested in knowing you better, so we all know you better..thanks, and I do like the way there are so many links for people to find more about you. It was greaat!

  3. Flavio

    Well, right now I am very tempted to say that DeGrassi my have missed the biggest opportunity of his life by being kind enough to send OL a letter asking him to be more original. But realistically is it right to think that way? Probably not.

    I prefer to believe that it was not meant to be – kind of like the Beatles and their original drummer – the one prior to Ringo Star; U2 and their first audition, and many other examples. DeGrassi may have indirectly helped OL to find the way to actually becoming what he is today . . . The universe has its own way to make us find the right path to success – not necessarily the most pleasant though . . .

    Great interview by the way. And for the records I do have a few of DeGrassi’s songs because I have a couple of Windham Hill CDs – I always thought he needed to be more original :-)

  4. djalisgypsy

    One thing I strongly believe in life, not only through experiences of my own, by also being watchful of other peoples experiences is… Timing is everything…Also being in the right place at the right time… Although these quotes may seem a little bland and oversaid, I really believe in them. Although Alex seemed clueless stating your music needed to be more original, he maybe did you a karmic favor. He may have helped you to create your springboard to your future which makes you the musician/artist/person you are today. It is however, very unfortunate for Alex that he didn’t pick up on the Ottmar Liebert we know and love for his original, highly creative music. However, it could have changed the whole course of your groove and your destiny. Ohhh my… I apologize I got a little carried away here. I have done alot of deeep thinking in my almost 40 years. To make my point, I honestly have to say you are highly original, I can only think of a very few musical artists that are even close in originality.

  5. Yumiko

    Alex DeGrassi (1987/1988): Meant well, missed it.
    Everything is the way it was supposed to be.

    Frank Howell (1989/1990): Saw it, supported it.
    Again, everything is the way it was supposed to be.

    Ottmart Liebert (2005/ongoing): Own boss, still original
    Everything is the way it is supposed to be.

  6. djalisgypsy

    Isaw Alex DeGrassi is playing on Valentines Day at the Stone Church in Newmarket NH, not a very big venue, but close to my house about 15 miles from me. Never heard of him before until your blog, very strange!

  7. Kiyomi

    Windham Hill… Ah, a part of my happy memories :-)


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