That would leave Ottmar Liebert’s The Scent of Light as the winner. He pushed his Nouveau Flamenco sound by expanding his compositions into quietly epic tone poems that are cinematic in scope and contemplative in form. The Scent of Light was an Echoes CD of the Month and I think it should win and I suspect it will.
Here’s my basic take on what really happened: As control of papers and other news sources were consolidated and corporatized over the last decade, decision making was wrested away from editors and publishers who actually know and care about journalism, and into the hands of businessmen and boards of directors who brought the wisdom of the business world to newspapers… and promptly ran them into the ground.
That’s exactly what happened to radio and the music biz. Record companies used to be owned and run by people who loved music, but once these companies became very successful they were bought by large corporations. Musicians and producers (e.g. Arif Mardin at Atlantic) gave way to the suits – business graduates, attorneys and CEOs. Owners gave way to presidents and CEOs who catered to stockholders and for whom it was most important to get the biggest four-year pay-off.
Suddenly, making a cool recording which then became an album and sold a ton of copies turned into maximizing profits and controlling the market.
Once radio stations became giant corporate entities, the accountants took over. After your company spent 115 million dollars on buying a radio station, you had to make sure the debt could be serviced… You couldn’t possibly trust the music director’s taste. You had to be sure. So you ordered research to help the music selection process. You found a company who sent employees to the mall with a stack of forms and a few CDs of music. They would ask people in the mall to listen to 20-30 seconds of any given song and to rate it on a scale… Meanwhile the Program Director jumped out of the window, maybe because he saw that radio had nothing to do with music anymore.
Something awful happened when record companies, radio stations and then newspapers became too corporate. I am all for making a profit, but should one start one’s day focused on profit? Shouldn’t we create music, broadcast music and print news because that’s what gets us excited and worked up?
I find there is a void, a gaping hole that cannot be replaced. A void where good DJs once played a meaningful set of music, combining songs I knew with strange and unfamiliar tunes – instead of merely reading the names of songs and artists, put together in advance by a computer program, from a screen. A void where people in the music business helped artists in their struggle for expression and where journalists were free to pursue news-items that might not be popular…
Maybe the void will get filled again, once these giant corporations go up in smoke.
Thomas Friedman’s Argument For ‘Geo-Greenism’ : NPR Thomas Friedman is a man bent on revolution. In his new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writes about the need for a green revolution â€” and calls upon Americans to lead the charge.
Friedman argues that the U.S. can help revive itself at home and abroad by finding solutions to global warming.
Hot, Flat and Crowded – what a great title. Sums it all up, doesn’t it? Global warming, world-economy, and over-population. Brilliant interview, well more like a talk. Go and listen, it’s excellent.
The Scent of Light-Echoes August CD of the Month The music on The Scent of Light builds slowly, each piece carving out a contemplative space until before you know it, the dynamic has completely changed. A centerpiece of the album is â€œSilence, No More Longing.â€ Itâ€™s an 11 minute excursion that builds from solo guitar, to multi-tracked guitars adding ambient electronics, bass, percussion, and finally unleashing a quiet electric storm from guitarist Stephen Duros.
John Diliberto takes a look at “Scent of Light” against my whole body of work.
You can read the whole piece here and listen to an audio version here. I love the ending of the audio-version!!