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What is Spark Tower Music?


Cuban percussionist Pancho Quinto.

Since we began work on Spark Tower Wilson?s Silent Song, we?ve thought of it as an outerspace blues fable. The blues is a dying tradition, its greatest masters dead and its and the peak of the artform rapidly fading from living memory. Unlike so many lesser genres, it was tied too firmly to its place and time to flourish over continents and centuries, and its influence ? which touches everyone from the Rolling Stones to Nas ? has long since superceded its practice.

The blues has such a presence in the story it?s almost a character. The icon of the blues is the lone man with his guitar, and its themes are those of his life whether it?s the high times or face to face with the blues itself? but the story which was a key inspiration behind both the plot of the story and behind the character of Spark-Tower Wilson himself was the life of Pancho Quinto.

First finished sketch of Spark-Tower Wilson.

Quinto was a founder member of the Conjunto Folkl?rico Nacional after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, but when it was up and running he went back to work at the docks. Over the years he played with many different groups, from small combos to festival comparsas, as lead percussionist and sometime singer, as well as being a solo performer of great range and charisma? and while his chosen field was defined by Cuban music, he exemplified the qualities which made those old-school bluesmen so damn cool.

Robert Johnson, Howlin? Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willy Dixon, Taj Mahal, Champion Jack Dupree, Lightnin? Hopkins, Big Bill Broonzy, Leadbelly? recordings from the ?20s to the ?60s which still crackle with life and passion forty, fifty, sixty years on.

You don?t need to know the blues or love the blues to get into Spark-Tower Wilson?s Silent Song, but everyone has music they play in times of bad luck and trouble.

Sometimes you play something to get you in a better mood ? sometimes you need to hear someone who?s feeling worse than you. But wether we?re listening to Parliament doing "Up for the Down Stroke" or Diamanda Gal?s doing "Let?s Not Chat About Despair", it?s still music we turn to when we feel in need of something for the soul?

Discuss this in the Progressions blog . View the SPARK-TOWER WILSON VIDEO TRAILER (11 MB WMV file)

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Isaac Priestley Stephen Greenwood-Hyde ||    External Homepage ·  Blog · 

Isaac is the creative powerhouse behind the artwork and design of PROGRESSIONS. Stephen is the writer, Minervan journalist, and stylish romancer of the team. ... full profile