Friday, January 24, 2014

Culture does not die - it reincarnates


Those who value wisdom and insight will be saddened that John Terauds's Musical Toronto blog is lapsing into silence. John's decision to break the news and then go out blogging - which he does so well - is a model of humility in an age of histrionics and remorseless self-promotion. In another post Musical Toronto describes classical music as "an artform in profound transition" and the same applies to blogging. It is pleasing that in his valedictory post John says he is taking "a prolonged break" from music journalism rather than abandoning it completely, and I suspect he will be back in the future.

John Teraud's musings on an artform in transition were sparked by the continuing tiresome announcements of the death of classical music, announcements that are being joined by pronouncements on the death of the blog. All of which are, of course, nonsense: culture forms do not die, they reincarnate. Blogging is being reincarnated in two different forms - soundbites on Twitter, Facebook and other micro-media, and long-form writing on tradional blogging platforms, and there is evidence both of ennui with the vulture journalism that prevails in music micro-blogs and a revival of interest in online non-partisan long-form writing. The latter is an art form that has been effectively exorcised from the mainstream media, and my prediction is that Boulezian, Entartete Musik, Musical Assumptions, The Rambler, A View from the Podium, Where's Runnicles? and other informed online long-form writing will replace the mainstream classical music media, while the micro-blogs will be drowned by the white noise of Twitter. Impermanence prevails in blogging as it prevails in classical music. Change is a constant in all culture forms, and classical music's biggest enemy is not death; its biggest enemy is an establishment which preaches change while covertly pursuing a self-interested agenda to maintain the lucrative status quo - an agenda that has so successfully infiltrated a number of first generation music blogs.

Have a great break John Terauds, and come back when you are ready. I do not know if On An Overgrown Path has a place in reincarnated blogging. But one of my next posts will continue to swim against the tide with an example of extreme long-form blogging offering some heretical thoughts on how classical music can reincarnate itself.

Header image shows Wisdom & Insight CD from the Tashi Lhunpo monks who featured in my Forbidden Music post. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Gavin Plumley said...

Thank you Bob. Swimming against the tide, as you do, takes a lot of energy. I admire it hugely.