10 September 2010

Interview with The Silent Ballet

Interview with Tom Meagher for TSB.

Another lengthy one. Here are the main topics covered:

- Scott Cortez / Meridians / three:four Records
- Album themes
- The Montreal music scene
- Live performances
- The ambient music genre
- Visuals
- TQA Records
- Future releases

Thanks to Tom & TSB for this coverage!


On a side note: TSB is a pretty active webzine that covers all genre of instrumental music & more, and I really appreciate them. They've always treated me well, all my records I've been involved in have been given fair reviews and great scores even though I have been hearing bad things about their reviews from peers, as I mentionned in a previous entry, which is unfortunate.

Perhaps "hateful" is an exaggeration and I'd gladly re-iterate the term since "hateful" isn't exactly from my point of view, but rather from the resentment I've been feeling from other artists and labels that get bitter when they get a bad review, understandably. I won't name any names, and I do feel bad for them because sometimes I also don't agree with the reviews that were given. But as usual, I find myself in this neutral zone as I understand their hostility as hard working artists & labels as much as I understand the reviewer's right for opinion. Thus, "harsh" is a more fitting term for their overall reputation. On the other hand, I do approve of the need for harsh reviews, it filters the mediocre out from the over-saturation of material that there is out there. As long as everyone plays nice and is respectful of each other!

A TSB writer recently contacted me to discuss about it and has pointed out that most people who read the site don't pay attention to their scoring breakdown. I am also guilty of this, and I think it's pretty enlightening:


The Silent Ballet uses a 10 point scale with .5 increments. 5 denotes an "average" score, and anything above that is considered generally positive, whereas anything below is generally negative. The Silent Ballet editorial staff respects the views and opinions of its reviewers, and due to this practice exact scoring will differ from reviewer to reviewer. However, reviewers are asked to rate albums with the following goal in mind:

* The 5-5.5 range denotes an "above average" release.
* The 6-6.5 range denotes a "good" release.
* The 7-7.5 range denotes a "great" release.
* 8 and above marks a cd of exceptional accomplishment.

The bottom half of the scale is a mirror reflection of the top, completing the idealized bell curve, but TSB reviewers are notorious for being unable to tell a "horrible" album from one that is just plain "bad."


This is like the french high-school system (from France, but in Quebec) that I went to. Everything was graded on /20, but 12/20 was considered good and you needed 10/20 to pass. However, there was rarely anyone that received a grade above 16/20, especially in French literature classes. It was pretty harsh grading, but everyone who went through that school wrote in french a hell lot better than most people. Something to think about...

1 comment:

tno said...

Thanks for that. The comparison to the French system is perfect.

And really enjoying the Meridians LP. Cheers.