Author Topic: Overrated Ambient  (Read 16181 times)

Bill Binkelman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2012, 09:25:03 PM »
I think that telling an artist how much you liked/loved his earlier work should be taken as the HIGHEST of compliments. Think about how powerful that comment is...an album that had a significant impact on an individual that the artist turned out early in his career. To minimize that by inferring "hmmm...this person might not like my later stuff..." is (1) belittling the individual who praises the earlier work and (2) assuming that the artist's later work IS, in fact, "better." How many people here think Brian Eno has ever approached the brilliance of Music for Airports, Apollo, or Neroli (if you like that album, that is)? Rich can think whatever he wants about Rainforest...that's his right, of course...but I think his remark, however innocuous he MEANT it to be, is a slap in the face , to a true fan of his work. I think a lot of artists over time don't achieve the brilliance of early work. Hell, Tangerine Dream's earliest work is easily their best, when compared to later works. Anyway, it's not about whether or not Rainforest is great or not, but more that, TBH, the ultimate appraisal of an artist's work should be made by the audience, not the artist. To reply to a compliment of Rainforest as Rich did makes me feel like somehow I am ignorant or "missing something" if I still like it. Do I think some of his work since then is good? Yes. But I still think Rainforest is one of his best - if not my FAVORITE disc of his. When the artist gives the impression that it was less than his best work, as I think can be inferred from his comment, I feel...well...icky.

OTOH, I could've predicted that his reaction had to do with the business practices of HOS (the label). Why am I not surprised about this revelation (since I have heard the same from some other former HOS artists)? Now, don't go tattling to Mr Hill about my saying this since this is what got me in trouble with him back in 2001!  ::)
May the odds be ever in your favor.

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2012, 10:37:04 PM »
I think it's possible for both the listener and musician to have completely different perceptions of the same work many years later.  Neither one's opinion invalidates the other's, for they are approaching the music from opposite ends of the experience.

Over the course of a career, there can be many hits or misses, but I think that comes with the territory.  I respect an artist for that-it's much harder to do than simply playing it "safe."

Forrest

doombient

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2012, 04:27:13 AM »
I for one hate most of my early stuff and I advise everyone not to buy it. I dont get tired of saying how much I hate some of it. Which is no bad thin IMO because I dont believe these albums were of any significance, neither to myself, nor to anybody else.

After all, Im the one who created it and who has every right to value his own work, positively or negatively, because I know exactly what I was striving for -- and where I failed.

What drives me particularly mad is the implication of "your earlier work was much better than what youre doing now" because I guess I know best what my personal quality standards are and to what extent Ive evolved since the recording of album XX or XY in 199X.

Record companies influencing the empetus of an album in a way that suits the label would be an entirely different story altogether.

Stephen
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 04:46:57 AM by doombient »
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2012, 06:11:58 AM »
I have this idea that and artist is given......a gift which is the creative force that makes the person an artist in the first place.  This "gift is not defined to begin with but is so powerful it drives the artist constantly to give this source shape and form until often with much struggle, frustration & failure it is born.  What is created early on is the purest conception of this "gift"  after that it is developed, explored & refined.  However this source energy contained in the artist first or early offerings can often be the most honest.   Perhaps this it what people hear.

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6997
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2012, 08:24:22 AM »
So then... it's OK that Julio comes up to Robert and, intending to offer a compliment, asserts that Rainforest is a favorite... but it's not OK that Robert replies by asserting that he himself thinks he's done better work later on, and hopes that lower-profile work wont be ignored? I suppose the idea is that the artist must always be in "public relations" mode, must not ever offer genuine opinions or interact with listeners like a human being.

I think the listener has the right to their opinion of a given piece of work, as well as the right to prefer an artist's earlier work over their later work. They even have the right to tell the artist that, if they want.

It doesn't necessarily follow that the artist is WRONG to say, "Hmmmm... your favorite is not my own favorite."
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2012, 09:26:50 AM »
It doesn't necessarily follow that the artist is WRONG to say, "Hmmmm... your favorite is not my own favorite."

Yes.  I think it's presumptuous in the extreme to second-guess an artist's opinion of his or her own work.  If you don't know how that person got from 'A to B' or from 'A to X,' how can you presume to have walked a mile in their shoes?  You may have your own opinion, but it is no more "right" or "wrong" than another's, or the artist's own opinion.  If the listener's opinion were the only opinion that mattered, would that mean that unreleased music would have no value?

Forrest
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 09:30:49 AM by ffcal »

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2012, 10:23:48 AM »
To reply to a compliment of Rainforest as Rich did makes me feel like somehow I am ignorant or "missing something" if I still like it. Do I think some of his work since then is good? Yes. But I still think Rainforest is one of his best - if not my FAVORITE disc of his. When the artist gives the impression that it was less than his best work, as I think can be inferred from his comment, I feel...well...icky.

Excellent points, Bill.  And if I said "Rainforest really made an impression on me" it was meant to be taken as a compliment for sure.  I guess in hindsight maybe I was more surprised the way he reacted rather than the fact that he had his own opinion.  If there is to be more nuance added, I could have said how I was a teenager and had hardly heard anything like it at the time, adding to the "mystique" of the music I still like to this day.  That is why I think certain earlier albums get rated so highly sometimes.  Surely Robert Rich would understand and graciously accept a more fleshed out thought than at the moment.  Also I could've added that while some of his early work truly could be valued higher, so could some of his later work.  Rainforest >Electric Ladder, but Echo of Small Things > Geometry, just as examples.  I didn't want to personally rate his music in front of him as I think that could be totally insulting.  It's just Rainforest= signpost to wonderful music then and later on...and I'm at your freakin' concert so I must still highly value your work damn it!  >:( ;)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 10:28:53 AM by judd stephens »

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2012, 10:31:24 AM »
I'm at your freakin' concert so I must still highly value your work damn it!  >:( ;)

Maybe Robert, like Obama last night, had an off night.  I liked what Brian Eno said about feeling uncomfortable about being approached by strangers who knew more about him and his work than he knew about them, and about not knowing how to respond.

Forrest

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2012, 10:40:55 AM »
Actually Forrest, I'm a pretty shy person myself.  Jesse was my first big celebrity so I don't know why I bombed so much the 2nd time with Mr. Rich .  I didn't really approach him conventionally like an obtrusive fan.   Jesse put me up to it...  ;D

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2012, 10:42:40 AM »
I hate all of doombient's stuff, early or otherwise!  ;D

judd stephens

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 506
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2012, 10:44:40 AM »
Doombient's wack, but that Stephen Parsick can rip shit up...

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2012, 11:56:20 AM »
Jesse was my first big celebrity so I don't know why I bombed so much the 2nd time with Mr. Rich .

Hi Judd,

If it makes you feel any better, I remember being really excited about meeting one of Steve Reich's soloists, who happened to be staying in my school dormitory during a new music festival.  After telling her how much Reich had influenced me, I gave her a copy of my second album, which she promised to give to him.  I never heard back from him, which was really a bummer.  I once had the chance to approach John Cage (at the same new music festival), but lost the nerve because I couldn't think of anything to say to him that wouldn't sound lame.

Forrest

drone on

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2012, 12:15:59 PM »
I think if you're open and honest, a compliment should be received well.  First thing I said to Steve Roach was "you're awesome" and it wasn't awkward at all!

Bill Binkelman

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2012, 12:54:15 PM »
I never meant to infer that I was (quoting Forrest here) "...second-guess[ing] an artist's opinion of his or her own work." if that's what some folks here think I was stating. My point is that while an artist, obviously, has every right to evaluate his/her work from his/her own perspective (as does the fan of that artist), it's ungracious (IMHO) of an artist to reply in a way that deflects or minimizes the compliment. It's not about allowing the artist to be human, here quoting Mike who wrote "...[the artist] must not ever offer genuine opinions or interact with listeners like a human being." There's being a "human being" and being a dick. If someone came up to me and said "Bill, Wind and Wire was AWESOME." but didn't say anything about my subsequent work at Zone Music Reporter or Retailing Insight, I'd STILL say "Gee, thanks a lot. I appreciate it. Really glad you liked it. Say, have you caught some of my newer stuff? I'd be curious how you think it compares." Because that is EXACTLY what I would want to know. And if they said, "Yeah, your reviews are still okay but Wind and Wire was the bomb." I'd still be polite. It's not about my "reaction" because, sure, I'd be disappointed that this fan didn't care for what I was doing now, but so what? Truthfully, I might ask "What do you see is the main difference? I'd really like to know. Is it the music I review now or are my reviews not as well written as before?" If Robert thinks Rainforest is not that good, maybe he could ask "What was it/is it about that disc that moved you so much?" OTOH, maybe he just didn't care, which is fine too.

I met Robert at a show here in Minneapolis and he is a shy and reserved person, IMO. In the situation recalled here in this thread, I don't think he was wrong or being a dick, but I do think what he said was a little insensitive...no big deal - just a little insenstive. It's not that I think fans' opinions outweigh an artist's...but an artist should be, IMO, appreciative when a fan says anything nice. Just because an artist thinks his/her earlier stuff is of lesser quality, that's no reason to not accept the compliment with grace and humility. As my Wind and Wire example stated above showed, merely engage the fan in a conversation, if time allows, and find out what he/she thinks of your newer stuff. And if he/she (fan) doesn't like it, well, that's just the way it is. There is no right or wrong in this issue, except that politeness would dictate, IMO, that the artist receives the compliment graciously without the need to deflect the praise or infer, even subtly, that the praise is unwarranted when compared to other work.
May the odds be ever in your favor.

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2012, 01:10:04 PM »
Hi Bill,

I'm glad you clarified your position.  The reason I thought you were second-guessing Robert's opinion of his own work is that you stated that "the ultimate appraisal of an artist's work should be made by the audience, not the artist."  I couldn't disagree more with this statement.  If this were the case, then chart position would be the equivalent of aesthetic merit---which really begs the question.

Forrest
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:12:03 PM by ffcal »

APK

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
    • View Profile
    • DataObscura
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #75 on: October 04, 2012, 01:22:15 PM »
I'm glad you clarified your position.  The reason I thought you were second-guessing Robert's opinion of his own work is that you stated that "the ultimate appraisal of an artist's work should be made by the audience, not the artist."  I couldn't disagree more with this statement.  If this were the case, then chart position would be the equivalent of aesthetic merit---which really begs the question.
Forrest

This is a fascinating topic. In academia the drift has been towards the audience, not the artist, and towards the autonomy of the artwork ... meaning the artwork once let loose (released in the case of music) is on its own, and has its own history within a community. The original artist is just another member of the audience for the work, and is not necessarily the most perceptive of its virtues or place in the genre.  And later the artist dies, but the work continues on its way ... speaking anew to new audiences.
www.dataobscura.com
www.dataobscura.com/apk
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 882
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2012, 01:31:14 PM »
APK,

Maybe the reaction you would get to that question would depend on the metrtic you are using.  You might get a different answer if you are talking about sales than if you are talking about longevity.  That said, I've never bought into the idea that a piece is necessarily a "classic" (at least to me) just because it is still around several hundred years later.  The fan/listener in me may still be saying that the piece sucks ("take Mahler, please!'[cue rimshot])..

Forrest.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:34:54 PM by ffcal »

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #77 on: October 04, 2012, 03:41:23 PM »
So then... it's OK that Julio comes up to Robert and, intending to offer a compliment, asserts that Rainforest is a favorite... but it's not OK that Robert replies by asserting that he himself thinks he's done better work later on, and hopes that lower-profile work wont be ignored?

I would love to have such a conversation with the man......and hopefully a genuine one.  I think when we meet people that are an inspiration we tend to want to let them know what and how they have been so and then they can hopefully except the complement and next elaborate and express how they moved in new directions.....in the light of Rainforest.

This is a fascinating topic. In academia the drift has been towards the audience, not the artist, and towards the autonomy of the artwork ... meaning the artwork once let loose (released in the case of music) is on its own, and has its own history within a community. The original artist is just another member of the audience for the work, and is not necessarily the most perceptive of its virtues or place in the genre.  And later the artist dies, but the work continues on its way ... speaking anew to new audiences.

This says it all...well put APK

Julio Di Benedetto

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 708
  • Life is a privilege, not a right!
    • View Profile
    • Digtalvoices
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #78 on: October 04, 2012, 03:44:19 PM »
And clearly Rainforest is not overrated?  Ive not heard it.....need to change that.

doombient

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Overrated Ambient
« Reply #79 on: October 04, 2012, 04:25:19 PM »
I hate all of doombient's stuff, early or otherwise!  ;D

See, this man is what I would call an educated listener  ;D.

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)