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Poetry of the Air: A Collection of Love Letters from Musicians to Music written by Gary Hill

Review by Greg Olma

I have known Gary Hill for a while now and the one thing that I can say with complete certainty about him is that he takes his music seriously.  Whether it is prog, rock, metal or a multitude of other genre, his knowledge of not only the music but of the artist who created said music is second to none.  So, when I was given the opportunity to read (and review) his latest book, I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek, but at the same time I was a little worried of having to write a not-so-glowing review.  When I first checked the table of contents, I noticed that many of the artists in the book were new to me.  This can make it difficult for me to read because when it comes to music books, I tend to read about artists I already know.  Given that little bit of trepidation, I still proceeded with an open mind.  Upon reading the introduction, I realized that this was no ordinary book on music but more of a collection of interviews from a wide range of artists answering the same questions.  The book is unique in that it is less about the artist’s output and more about the “fan” within the artist.  Like our solar system, with music being the sun, each musician tells his story about how they began to orbit around this thing called music.  You would think that many of the answers would be exactly the same but while there are similarities, their journeys towards music all have a very unique flavor.

Like I mentioned earlier, I was familiar with some of the artists, namely Albert Bouchard, Jon Anderson, Bun E. Carlos, Ted Leonard and about a dozen others but with a collection of over 80 musicians, there were bound to be many I knew nothing about.  Strangely, it was those unfamiliar musicians that I found most interesting.  Reading that Tracy Hitchings was a fan of the Osmonds just goes to show you that no matter what type of music, it can inspire you and form your passion for the musical arts.  This book also inspired me to research some of these people to see if I can hear their influences in their music.  Gary Hill really touched on a unique concept with Poetry of the Air that is not only informative but also a fun book.  It will make a great addition to any music fan’s library.

Editor's note: Yes, the "Gary Hill" who wrote this book is the same one who is editing this review. Whenever I submit my items to my writers for review, I always make it clear (as Greg Olma alludes) that I want an honest review. 

This book can be purchased (in hard copy and paperback) at


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at

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