Tue 10 Feb 2009
This week I’ll begin blogging in earnest again (look for a preview on this years SIMF in the next day or so) but before I do I thought I’d clarify my current thinking on this blog. I began this initially to archive posts that I was making elsewhere but shortly began to shift my online writing focus to here. For me writing about music, especially live music, has been part Aide–mémoire and in part wish fulfillment. The first part is easy; I wanted an accessible method of recording which shows I’d attended, when I visited galleries, what CDs I was listening to and the like. I’ve always kept written journals for this, but they are almost as useless as not if you wanted to see if you attended a show five years ago. Online search excels in this type of recording searching, a quick search by month, artist, venue or whatever would refresh ones memoir.
As for the second, more nebulous desire that will take a bit of explaining. I’ve always written these shows up as I’ve wanted to read about them myself. I want objectivity and honesty: tell us what was good, what was bad as an impartial observer. It should be pretty easy to note when things are not to your taste and thus you aren’t qualified to judge, likewise it should be easy to spare friends feelings when their performance wasn’t up to your standards. There are risks of course and there are basically no benefits, but I for one don’t understand why one would bother if one didn’t feel that serving ones readers was the goal. Beyond basic standards I also liked to read about how something sounds and I usually would go to some lengths to try to describe the flow of a piece of music. Finally I hoped to spur some conversation about ideas in music that I find of interest, ideally beyond mere likes and dislikes.
To me the ultimate goal would be if there were people in every scene blogging like this: objective, descriptive and part of a dialog. This is because one really only gets to experience the music in ones areas, plus the occasional trip and one would like to experience more. While reading is no substitute for being there, it does add details to the picture and helps one keep track of what is going on. There are a couple of other writers that I think have been doing this, but alas most of the scene is “uncovered”. Nothing I can do about this though, besides keeping up my end and supporting those who are doing this work.
Okay so that’s the background, what is going to change you ask. Basically I’m going to focus this more on the aide–mémoire side of things. That is I want to continue to have a record of shows (galleries, film, events, etc) attended with details to bring them to mind. But I no longer feel compelled to be a “reporter” on these events. I’m not going to drop my unfiltered, honest opinions, no I’m mainly going to adjust the scope of my “coverage”. It has come to light that in general people aren’t that interested in longer descriptive posts and furthermore that they aren’t willing to take a description of an event as a springboard for discussion. We always say that the best music is more about questions then answers so in the future I’m going to raise these questions directly.
I still intend to serve my readers with a record of what is going on (at least in my sphere of interest) but I think I’ll follow the cues of the readers more. So if you want further information, or clarification or what to address any questions raised feel free to ask. For this I ask that you use the comments section, I’ve always had a (heretofore unpublished) policy that issues about the blog need to be raised on the blog. I may not make corrections when errors are pointed out (in general I’m recording impressions and that the impressions are wrong doesn’t change the fact that that was my impression) thus a record in the comments is useful addendum to the post.