Here's the response, folks.
Personally, I HATE New Age. Any thoughts how to answer?
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Bill Freimuth" <>
Date: December 6, 2007 2:14:10 PM PST
To: "Bernie Krause" <>
Subject: RE: New naturesound category question
As far as establishing a category for natural soundscape recordings,
it's not so much how many NARAS members are affiliated with the field
as how many entries we get that would be a better fit in that field
(are an awkward fit in our current categories). Generally, the folks
who make such calls (our Awards & Nominations Committee) require at
least 25 such entries in one year before establishing the new
category-30-50 would be even better.
I'm not aware of many of these entries being made in the current
year's process. You may want to think of a strategy like this:
encourage everyone you know who releases these recordings to enter
into the process for the 51st GRAMMY Awards. (The entry period is
late June-early September. Entries may be made by Recording Academy
members or registered labels/media companies. Company registration
is free and open from May-August through a link on our website.) As
you know, these recordings don't really have a proper genre home
right now, though you may want to think about categories like Album
of the Year, Best Engineered Album, Producer of the Year, or maybe
even New Age. Then you would have less of an uphill battle in your
pursuit the following year.
Of course, you're welcome to make the proposal this year (due March
15th) by filling out the attached form. Note, however, that if a
new category is rejected by A&N, then it may not be proposed again
for two years.
I hope this helps. Give a call if you'd like to discuss.
All the best,
Sr. Director, Awards
National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.
3402 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
From: Bernie Krause
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 1:04 PM
To: Bill Freimuth
Subject: New naturesound category question
For many years, during my life as a professional musician (1963 -
1991) I was a member of NARAS. In the early 1980s I got my PhD in
bioacoustics and began a new audio career recording soundscapes of
the natural world and have released over 40 titles in that category,
alone. There are literally hundreds of fine, talented field recording
artists now in the running who represent a growing professional
category yet to be recognized by the industry.
In 1990 and several subsequent years, I submitted three different
proposals to the powers then at NARAS hoping to interest the Academy
to include natural soundscape recordings (aka environmental sound,
nature sound, etc.) as a legit professional category, since (1) it is
a clearly established area of recording art, (2) it is a science
[bioacoustics], and (3) it represents a huge - albeit off the
industry radar - commercial success. At the time, we were turned down
for the reasons that there weren't enough representative members who
knew either the difference between the voice of a bird and a fish, or
the difference between a well-recorded stereo field title and one
that was otherwise. Despite my sense that the NARAS authorities 17
years ago were selling their membership short, the response did not
vary over time. Now, things have changed and I'd like to give this
one more shot.
If we were able to produce enough members to justify a category,
what, from your perspective (or that of the Board) would that number
look like? Once part of the NARAS group what, then, would be the next
steps in the process?
All the best,
Bernie Krause, PhD
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Google Earth zooms: Earth.WildSanctuary.com
P. O. Box 536
Glen Ellen, CA 95442