Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where particular people congregate

Composing is usually a solitary activity (for some exceptions, see here) and composers compete with one another for gigs, commissions, attention, so it's no wonder that most blogging composers blog as solo acts. But there have been a few attempts at collectivization (Sequenza 21) and a few more attempts to install composers as columnists in magazine-like blogs. The latter include the ArtsJournal, staffed by print journalists, including at least two composers who do criticism on the side (or vice versa), and the NY Times, which tried it by inviting four composers to write for a blog The Score (which appears to have been inactive since April, although access is now free).

There would definitely be some advantages to joining a group effort -- the pace for the individual contributors could be slower*, but if they shared the discipline of writing at regular intervals, it would probably make the blog a more attractive daily read -- but no one is exactly inviting me, and I suspect that my fourth grade teacher got it right: highly creative; needs improvement in getting along well with others , so my act will remain a solo.

* Pace seems to be important for readership: if I stop writing for more than two days, Technorati will drop my "authority" number, recently from 48 to 39; but if I write too frequently, a similar effect takes place.

1 comment:

Elaine Fine said...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a nice cafe in Vienna to hang out in? Maybe, like Brahms and Joachim, we could all exchange counterpoint exercises (I guess Joachim never actually did his, and I guess there are a lot of people who aren't actually interested in counterpoint anymore).

I really enjoy reading what other living composers have to say about music. The world of composition is kind of a parallel play world, but in many ways the 19th century cafe in Vienna was too.

What I really crave is someone like Mitrofan Beylayev's quartet-reading gatherings on Fridays at his home in St. Petersburg, where composers like Glazunov and Liadov could gather inspiration from readings of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart quartets (played in order, week after week), and have their work played by fellow composers.

That would be the life.