With the appearance of two major articles which include the word 'World' in their titles, you may detect something of an ethnic influence making its presence felt in the magazine this month. And indeed our coverage of Peter Gabriel's Real World Recording Week and interview with guitarist/producer, Michael Brook, do reflect the importance we attach to music from all points of the globe - irrespective of the sophistication of the instruments on which it is produced.
In fact, I've always found it fascinating the way that instruments at both ends of the technology spectrum co-exist so effortlessly. From this, perhaps, has come the mutual respect that exists amongst musicians and producers working at both extremes - and of course, the whole ethos behind Real World. Certainly, as more and more diverse instruments are 'discovered' and become the common currency of musicians, the potential for cross-cultural development increases dramatically.
An interesting point to emerge from the Michael Brook interview is the contrasting views on 'sound' and 'performance' expressed by western artistes and those from other cultural backgrounds. Musicians outside the west simply cannot understand our preoccupation with the use of sound as a creative entity in its own right. For them, the music played on an instrument almost always takes precedent over the way it sounds. And sound quality appears to figure rather less highly, too - which is perhaps why the humble compact cassette is overwhelmingly the most popular form of music media in many areas of the world.
On a somewhat more irreverent note, this month sees the start of a regular contribution by noted columnist, Brian Aspirin - who up until recently was music correspondent for the Wisbech & Dungannon Echo and president of the UK Association of the Musically Challenged. Brian's incisive style will, I'm sure, provide much stimulating comment in the months to come.