Podcast: For the Record(ings)

featuring Bob Lord, available here or in iTunes

The record industry is dying, right? And people have stopped caring about classical music right? And what actually is ‘classical music’?

Bob Lord is CEO of PARMA recordings and a collection of other labels, recording and producing a wide variety of music. He’s also bassist of his band Dreadnaught.

My conversation with him came at an interesting time. I’d been reconciling a recent live music experience, having heard the Quatuor Diotima perform Boulez’s Livre pour Quatuor recently in Taipei (there are podcast episodes and articles about that), and what it’s like to hear that live. The composer’s sole string quartet was a work I’d grappled with trying to understand and get to know, and listened over and over and over to it on recording, thinking we’re so fortunate to have recordings so available nowadays.

But then I heard it live, and in one swift listen, I felt I understood the piece better than I ever would be able to from a recording, and a fellow concertgoer, who admitted to lacking an interest in modern music, seemed also to be convinced, or at least not opposed.

So that was part of my big question for Mr. Lord: what’s the role of the CD (or mp3 or vinyl or whatever) in making new (or old) music happen, resonate with people? And he (obviously) has plenty of insight into that. Also, what should we be calling ‘classical music’? And also how does a progressive rock bassist of an “experimental rock trio” find himself not only listening to but producing classical music? It’s all very interesting.

Aside from Lord’s business acumen and operations, his ideas about approaching music are compelling. His discussion of ‘entry points’ into classical music is something I think most people can identify with, having more in common, or understanding more about, Stravinsky or Bartok than Bach or even Mozart. So why not start there?

In our discussion, Mr. Lord speaks of his own musical background, how he came around to appreciating classical music, where it’s going, what role the recording plays in presenting and preserving new music, and even the importance of failure.

Our episode actually isn’t the longest so far, but I thought it was. But it’s close. And it’s a great conversation. Go listen, and check out PARMA and their upcoming releases.

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One thought on “Podcast: For the Record(ings)

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