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Re: A negative review for 2002
Hooo-boy... Let me see here.
> So, here are two reviews -- one more or less negative and one
> more or less positive
> --and neither one of these guys really
> seems to understand what he's listening too --
I actually felt that both reviews exhibited a pretty significant
understanding of the general area that you're operating in. Obviously
the first one had a pretty jaded, sarcastic angle on it, but it came
across to me as more of an issue with the "genre" (such as it is) of
independent solo avant-guitar experimentalists than with you or your
music personally. (He actually seemed to approve of what you're doing
*in spite* of that element.)
> or at least neither
> one really seems to understand what caused the music to be
> made in the first place (me).
I think that's inevitable -- they weren't presented with "you," after
all, but with one particular example of the fruits of your own musical
work. For them (or anyone else) to have the same understanding of the
material (and its origins) as the guy who single-handedly saw it from
inception to execution isn't gonna happen.
> Did I make a mistake in being rather
> stingy on the liner notes? Should I have said more?
Did you want listeners to identify the material with any specific
ideas/ambitions/concepts that you had in mind? Is this music "about"
something in particular, and is knowing about that fundamental to people
enjoying it, in your mind?
Frank Gerace's band Dreamchild is a good exmaple. Their albums are very
well-written and performed, and definitely stand on their own without any
additional background. BUT... their music (and lyrics in particular)
are so heavily based on specific (and often obscure) allusions to
history and mythology that their background annotations are essential
for getting the full meaning behind each tune (at least for an
unschooled luddite like myself).
> how does one go about handling liner notes? The press kit that
> went out with my CD had more info about the label pfMENTUM
> than about me. Was that a mistake?
I have next to nothing about myself personally in my CD press
kit; it's mostly about the album specifically, and what I was trying to
accomplish with it conceptually. Even with several paragraphs of
explanation, though, you never know how some people are going to react
(Example: one guy, to whom I had sent my in-depth treatise on the "why"
of the CD, essentially said, "Hopefully one day LaFosse will leave this
programmed jungle stuff behind and find some other musicians to make a
really good album with." Never mind that such a suggestion completely
misses the point of the record in the first place...)
My advice? Approach any press you get, good or bad, with both an open
mind and a grain of salt. Sometimes a review can shed some light onto a
valid element of the work that the musician in question might not have
considered. And sometimes it can totally misinterpret it.
For my part, if there was a specific "thing" I wanted people to get, I
probably wouldn't try and express it through abstract instrumental
music. I personally am always intrigued by the different ways in which
people react to the same music, but I try not to take commentary too
seriously either way.
And while I still haven't been able to spend the time with your CD that
I want to, I've been enjoying the hell out of it!