Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fan Clubs

Promoting music, especially new music, is tough, and especially so when you don't want the noise of the promotion to mask the music. Networking online seems like a good idea, an extension of what had been practiced in the past.

Several of my colleagues, mostly younger, have started MySpace pages. Some composers, usually older and more established, have had MySpace pages organized for them by their publishers, introducing, perhaps, a kind of upper class among the MySpace folk. The networks around composers on MySpace are fascinating, but, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure where that fascination stops being academic and becomes voyeuristic. Just look at all the "friends" that John Adams (3699 of them) or Steve Reich (10829) are making! It reminds me of the official fan clubs that teen idols had in the '50s and '6os. But if it worked for Bobby Sherman, I'm sure that it will be good for Elena Kats-Chernin or Christopher Rouse...

I don't know if it's strictly an age thing on my part, or that my hipness expired somewhere in the late 14th century, or that it's my photo you'll find next to the definition of misanthrope in the latest Webster's, but I just can't see myself trolling about for "friends". Moreover, my rights organization (GEMA) still hasn't figured out how we can put music online and get reasonably paid for it, so I'm pushing scores instead, and they don't really fit into the MySpace format (which is pretty ugly and limiting, as long as I mention it).

I realize that a blog like this is in the same ballpark as a MySpace page, and bloggers link one another with the same zeal and discretion with which MySpacers make and rank their "friends". But this blog is basically the journal that I had been writing anyways, from well before the blogoplan was a pup, so maybe I have some excuse. And if, by making this public, I earn a couple of friends or enemies, well, bully.

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