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Onwards, or How Bob Belden Helped Shape a Vision for the Future

A remembrance

Producer/musician/arranger Bob Belden, Jazz Connect Conference, NYC Jan. 2015
Matt Young, Roberto Verastegui, Bob Belden, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells and Pete Clagett at Abbasi Hotel, Isfahan, Iran
Bob Belden
Bob Belden (l.) and RareNoiseRecords' Giacomo Bruzzo

“At some point in time, or was it time at all, it became within the soul of the machine that the accommodation was not essential to achieve the perfection of the primary memory, the child’s dream. So the pure machine began to feel as a child, loneliness, fear and to understand what it is like to cry.” (Bob Belden, Animation: Machine Language, “Soul Of A Machine,” 2015).

This, but a short snippet from the lyrics Bob Belden wrote for Animation’s forthcoming album Machine Language, embodies several of the qualities I came to associate with Bob Belden over the few years I had the honor of working with him via his association with RareNoiseRecords-encyclopedic, interdisciplinary knowledge, boundless curiosity, boundless visual imagination, steely determination to see things through no matter what the odds, deep humanity, humor, elegance and generosity, and a gaze always fixed on the future, cultural and political, beyond the immediate.

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