Thursday, December 18, 2008
Notes on blogging SWAG
OF LATE, I've received an increasing number of requests from web sites, radio stations, concert organizers, and recording companies to mention or review a program or product on my blog. These requests often include an offer of comp tickets or a perusal copy of a cd. My apologies for not answering the emails, but I just don't respond to these offers, however attractive they may be. For me to get involved in that particular exchange of goods and services, I'd have to identify as a critic, and that'd be less than honest These blog items are the working notes of someone who writes music for half-a-living, and I prefer to write about topics connected to my immediate compositional projects. Praise or criticism here for the work of other is thus selfishly and intimately connected to those compositional projects and, consequently, I don't have the necessary distance a critic can — and ought — bring. (This is above and beyond the fact that I just don't have the particular set of writing chops that a critic needs.) THAT SAID, I do really value getting to know the work of other musicians, and I treasure links to sound files and — especially — scores sent by individual colleagues. In fact, the happiest moments in blogging have been those in which I've been able to link readers to strong online materials, connecting or contrasting in useful ways with my own work. A perfect exchange of gifts, as far as I'm concerned.