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December 28, 2011

B-sides

Affirmed but not forgotten

Nathan Salsburg’s first solo album, Affirmed, is a collection of mostly solo guitar compositions, performed by an archivist, radio presenter and LEO columnist who spends much of his time interacting with music old and unjustly forgotten.

LEO: Why make your first record now, at the advanced age of 30-something?

Nathan Salsburg: The short answer is that I’ve wanted to make this record for a long time, and it took this long to make. The long one is that some years ago, I got really burned out on playing music with the fairly paltry tools I then had at my disposal, and instead devoted myself to becoming a better listener. Over time, that devotion increased my attentiveness, adventurousness and sensitivity as a listener, which started expressing itself in my playing, and in the development of a style that felt like mine. The style started begetting tunes, and the tunes begat the record.

LEO: You work in the music industry, working with digital files all the time. So why do I have a CD in my hands?

NS: I wouldn’t say I work in the music “industry.” My livelihood doesn’t rely on how much music I can sell, but rather the efficacy with which I make music available. And as people, including me, interact with music in all forms of media, I’m glad that Affirmed is available in as many formats as the label saw fit to produce: CD, LP and MP3. I love cassettes, and if they had been a feasible medium to produce, I would have been happy with that, too.

LEO: What should people do while listening to your record?

NS: I would hope people would be satisfied just listening to the record. If they are, it’s a success.

Learn more at noquarter.net.