The pugnacious title did not bode well; leading me to expect a collection of “hey you kids, get off my lawn” screeds about the sorry state of today’s music and music business. I should have paid more attention to the subtitle: The Search for Balance in the Art, Technology, and Commerce of Music.
While the quality of writing varies from a cutesy rambling gumshoe parody to Will Ackerman’s terse summing up of the recording industry’s past and possible future, editor David Flitner has, in fact, assembled a well balanced, readable picture of the current state of the art and business of music.
Less Noise More Soul gathers essays by industry legends like mastering genius Bob Ludwig, and engineer Susan Rogers; as well as qualified but lesser known luminaries like drummer/ former Electronic Musician editor Gino Robair. Robair may be familiar to Guitar Moderne readers as he is becoming an international legend in new music/improv circles. (Full disclosure: Gino and I played in a band many years ago).
Subjects range from “feeling” in music, to the death of commercial radio. The writers know their stuff, but skew older; it might have been nice to hear from some youngsters who are successfully navigating their way in the current “ocean of sound.” Still, those present delineate clearly how we got here without too much hand wringing, offering insightful thoughts on the loudness wars, the rise and fall of audio quality, and the insanity of the need to constantly upgrade software recording systems.
For clear-eyed look at where we are as musicians, how we got here, and where we might be headed, seek out Less Noise More Soul at your local bookstore… oh, wait, they are gone too.