Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 11th 2015 Contents SHEREEN ALI
"...Wait, do I know you?" asked Simeon
Sandiford, cracking a smile, his
salt-and-pepper hair and jovial
laugh-lines the only visible signs of a man who is ageing
Simeon Sandiford, known by many simply as Sanch, is a
veteran in the TT music business from a technical, recording
and local business point of view.
Sandiford is managing director of Sanch Electronix Ltd,
and a voting member of The Recording Academy (for 25
years), a US organisation of musicians, producers, recording
engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to
improving the quality of life for music and its makers. Sandiford
spoke to the Guardian in an interview last month at the
International Conference and Panorama (which took place
August 4-9) on how we can improve T&T s music sector.
A former student of St Mary s College, Port-of-Spain,
Sandiford studied the sciences, maths, Latin, Greek and
French at school, and went on to earn an MSc in Applied
Physics at the University of the West Indies in 1975. Sandiford
is also a lifetime member and distinguished alumni awardee
of UWIAATT (2011).
But Sandiford has eclectic interests: arts and culture, eco-
nomic empowerment, education and science are just a few
of his long-held causes. For decades now, he s been a pas-
sionate advocate for TT music. Indeed, his business, Sanch
Electronix, has as its mission statement: "To produce, promote
and market the music of T&T and related multimedia products
and services within the global community."
Started in 1979, Sanch Electronix originally made loud-
speaker systems to supplement high-end imported audio
equipment. But with the economic downturn of the mid-
eighties, the company started selling indigenous cultural
products, including music. In 1995, Sandiford started the
Sanch CD label.
More recently, the business has shifted emphasis to services,
offering on-location and studio recording, mastering and
mixing, editing, archive transference, audio restoration and
CD replication. It also offers two ICT-derived products: the
Pan in Education Business Model, and Pete the Panstick
interactive software to teach music literacy through pan.
'Archive and commercialise our repertoire'
Sandiford was emphatic about one point:
"We need a structured music industry, with a purpose---
to archive and commercialise our repertoire."
Looking at TT s music sector, he commented: "In TT we
have pockets of insularity, and we won t penetrate the global
marketplace like this."
He proposed a simple approach:
"All the music producers should get together---because we
have the repertoire---with the Government (though MusicTT),
which has the capital, the outreach and the contacts. We
can then concentrate on what we can do best (which is
making music), and they can find the leverage to get it out
there. It s collaboration, and we split the returns equitably.
"So then, we can actually invite the big players. And there
are only four of them: Sony Music Entertainment (Japan-
ese-owned), Universal Music Group (French), EMI (now part
of Universal) and Warner Music Group (US-owned). We can
invite them to come and bid for our repertoire."
'Cott must crack down on pirates'
Sandiford said Cott and the relevant authorities must find
a way to crack down on copyright infringements:
"The biggest problem in the arts is that no one has any
respect for intellectual property. So pirating, or buying one
piece of music and giving it away to 50 people, is the norm.
But every time you do that, you affect the artist, to the point
where he might ask: why even bother to make a good product,
when it will hit the streets even before it s released? That s
the reality of it.
"If we don t make good quality products, we are going
nowhere. So you have to encourage the artiste to spend a
little more time in the studio to make quality products. This
is not a now-for-now thing.
"So we have to tighten up on the copyright protection
laws," said Sandiford.
"With the advent of digital rights management, there s a
whole other ball game going on out there: look at the chaos
that exists in the digital domain now, with Internet radio,
digital downloads, YouTube, Facebook, and other posts just
going up in Cyberspace, and no-one seeing any returns on
their investment. So Cott has to get its act together in terms
of: How do they manage the digital domain?"
Digital streaming: One Caribbean Voice
Meanwhile, means of experiencing music have radically
changed from the days of buying vinyl records and CDs, and
even from downloading mp3s; today, the streaming of digitised
music via the Internet has become the new norm, ever since
Spotify became available in the US in 2011. Spotify offers
access to more than 30 million songs. In the US, streaming
revenues have now overtaken CD revenues, according to
With audio streaming, people can access music from their
PC, mobile device or home audio system. A monthly flat fee
gives access to millions of tunes. This flat rate often includes
additional features such as creating a personal radio, sharing
playlists, or reading reviews about newest releases. Streaming
services today include Spotify, Beats Music, Rhapsody, Google
Play Music, Tidal, Apple Music, Deezer, Quobuz, Rdio,
MySpace Music, Pandora, Rara and Slacker.
Streaming offers great convenience and affordability with
mp3-type, lossy formats---but it can also offer CD-quality,
lossless audio services (eg Quobuz, Tidal and Deezer Elite)
at higher monthly subscription prices.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Continues on Page A30
Stephen Colbert says he came awfully
close to not making his much-
ballyhooed debut on The Late Show this
Colbert, opening his second
programme on Wednesday night, said
that a combination of an overstuffed
show that needed to be edited and a
technical glitch temporarily prevented
producers from sending the finished
product to the network.
"At 11.20---and this actually
happened---no one in the building could
give me a guarantee that the show was
going to be on the air," he said. The
show airs at 11.35 pm.
"You could imagine how exciting that
was for all of us, after CBS had
plastered my face on every flat surface
on the planet," he said.
The problems were corrected just
"As I felt the oxygen begin to drain
from my brain and all of my organs
shutting down, I thought if we actually
made it to air, this will be a pretty good
story," he said. "And if we don't, it will
still be a good story at the theater camp
I will be running in Idaho."
Good thing for CBS that it was fixed,
because viewers were curious. (AP)
Colbert: First show almost didn't make it
...poised to launch streaming music service
Simeon Sandiford shows his chart for One Caribbean Voice.
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