Planet Harmonica is not dead ! Our silence has been long, way too long, and no doubt it was unbearable to wait for this issue, but here we are, more lively than ever !
So, why have we been so late ? There are many reasons, of course,
the main probably being that the editor of this website (yours truly)
has had less and less time to devote to Planet Harmonica. My family
has recently seen the adjunction of a little harmonica player, and
my day job has been very hectic, which explains most of it. The positive
consequence of this is that I can now say that we really are a team,
between those who, here in France, contribute actively to the magazine
and those elsewhere who write, transcribe, translate and generally
contribute to making Planet Harmonica what it is. This is probably
a good time to thank all of those, Laurent,
One of the main insights following the work on this fourth issue
is that the current "issue" model does not work. Originally,
I wanted to create an event with each new release, and I wanted to
avoid the feeling of working on the site continuously. The truth of
the matter is, I still have that feeling, and the wealth of material
now makes each update more complex and heavy, and hence slower to
release. For these reasons, issue 4 will be the last "issue"
update. In the coming months, we will reorganise the site to migrate
it into a portal of information on the harmonica. The nature of the
content (interviews, transcriptions, reviews, etc.) will not change,
but they will be added and updated as we go rather than massively
in one stroke. We hope you will like it just as much !
Let's talk about the content for a minute. In this new issue, you will meet with a new diatonic killer, Jason Ricci, who plays tough blues with a fluidity and chromaticity that boggles the mind. You will also meet at length with Bill Barrett, a harp player who is really elsewhere in the Chromatic landscape. I strongly encourage you to discover his stuff. You will also find all the usual content and a few articles besides. Before I say goodbye for now, I wanted to mention a few things about our new Harmonica Therapy section. Many of you know that the harmonica has been used as a tool for certain medical therapies, especially concerning respiratory diseases. The subject seemed important enough to warrant a permanent section. For now, we describe a program with asthmatic children in Strasbourg (France) and we hope to decribe other experiences and programs from all over the world and interview medical specialists who have had a chance to use the harmonica in their therapeutic programs. Unfortunately, we have little visibility on what happens in this respect outside of France, so if one of you knows about a program and wants to talk about it or put us in contact with relevant people, please contact us !