Sunday, January 10, 2010

Left out of the conversation

I've really been enjoying spending some lazy breakfasts pouring over the San Francisco Panorama edition of McSweeney's.   It is an encouraging affirmation of the potential for print media to be more that it has been, and to do so in times when electronic media increasingly dominate and most of the traditional newspapers are teetering on abysses, both financial and in content.  As a print enthusiast, this is great stuff, great reads by some good writers, a beautiful layout, and, personally, a chance to be nostalgic about one of my favorite cities* and definitely my favorite State (of mind as well as of the Union).  

My own particular print commitments are to the musical score on paper (as a composer and a publisher), and to smart coverage of new music in print media.  Unfortunately, Volume 1, Number 1 of the Panorama doesn't cover new music, which isn't much of a surprise given, for example, the near-absence contemporary E-Musik in the German-language equivalent Die Zeit.  By and large, composers of new music have been left out of the "public intellectual" conversation; while not all composers are interested in (or, let's face it, even suited for) such dialogue, I do believe that there are some among us who might very usefully contribute.  But maybe we can still hope for more in Panorama Volume 1, Number 2?


* Two odd factoids about me and San Francisco: my wife was born there, making it, AFAIC, a place where good things happen; and once, when walking through the Mission, in search of the perfect Salvadoran meal, I got lost, hopelessly lost I thought, only to turn a block, glance up at the street sign, and discover that I was on Lucky St.

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