Hi! My name is Steve Bell and I approve this message.
Just in case anyone thinks this photo comes unsolicited from casual observer who happened to capture me walking thoughtfully through a wood… sorry, but have to disappoint. Before this shoot, I got my hair cut, carefully selected and bought the jacket, and then drove out to a pre-selected sight where I was met by assistants who did some light make-up and offered several scarves for me to choose from.
After the shoot – I went over every picture with my staff and we chose the photo that was (in my view) the least unflattering, and in everyone else’s view, a suitable promotional image for my new CD, Keening for the Dawn/ Christmastide.
And it’s a nice shot: It looks like me. It evokes a certain mood. I like the colour pallet a lot. Yet I have to admit I’m uncomfortable with the pretense. But in our day of relentless market conditioning, it’s a necessary pretense. One must “create and manage” ones image, or brand, or go by the way of artists like….hmmm…I forget. It’s all rather silly.
After the shoot I needed to oversee the development of our print promo-copy, which speaks of my “sonorous tenor vocals” and “melodic song-craft.” All well and good. We are actually trying to sell this thing after all. And it simply won’t do to say, “Steve sings good and writes nice songs.”
- We worked really hard on this project and if I may say so, I think it’s pretty good.
- I hope folks buy it because it cost me a lot to produce and I’d really do need to recover some of that money.
- I think it does have some social value. It documents my own pilgrimage through what I believe is a meaning-drenched universe made sensible by deep traditions worthy of reverent observation. I’m starting to realize that I am, at heart, a conservative. Not the ideological type one might observe in, say, a presidential debate, but one who resonates with GK Chesterton’s insistence that “reform” implies “back to form.” And for whom healthy “progress” is always incremental, respectful of the past, light-footed and self-correcting according to the law of love.
- Finally, I hope folks discover, and delight in (as I have) the work of English poet Malcolm Guite whose influence and imprint is all over this record.
Ok… thanks for letting me purge. Back to the fray! To view and purchase Steve Bell’s groundbreaking new album, Click HERE…