It’s a question that has been taxing me for months. As one who makes his living by writing for profit (none but a fool would do so otherwise, said Doctor Johnson), I feel as much reluctance at doing it for free as any blue-lipped sex worker on a busy intersection.
On the other hand, I see esteemed colleagues taking to the blogosphere like birds to worms and some of the amateurs out there stealing our thunder by reporting events and conveying opinion on their blogs faster and more furiously than we do in print.
So I thought, hey, give it a go – at least for a while. But do it my way.
Let’s have a set of rules.
1 No personal pictures – no cats, babies, sofas, work desks.
2 No access to my interior life.
3 No response to those who slag me off for paltry infelicities, a slip of the finger here or there that eludes my built-in sub-editor.
4 No response to those I don’t respect.
5 Stick to the topic – and the topic is what is happening to our fragile sound world now that the steady flow of classical recordings has died to a thin trickle.
The decline has been so swift, so precipitate, that many are unaware that we have lost the equivalent of a public library of musical civilisation. There is still some activity in the rubble, and some entertainment, and I shall try to give a sense of them as the weeks go by.
All of this is much on my mind as I launch a book called (in Britain) Maestros, Masterpieces and Madness, (in the US) The Life and Death of Classical Music and (in Germany) Ausgespielt. Aufstieg und Fall der Klassikindustrie, a title which is closest to my heart, having resonances of Brecht, Weill and the whole Weimar decadence cat show.
For those who want more, there are links below.
For the rest, read on.
dropping the needle