Monday, December 26, 2016

The blog is revived for a third time!

About a year after moving to Columbia SC from Ann Arbor in 2004, I launched a blog titled Mostly Music in the Midlands on the old Blogstream site, in which I wrote about some of the music happenings in town, as well as some posts from gigs on the road (I was doing more traveling at that time), and touched on a few other areas of the arts locally that were of interest to me and, I hoped, to a few others. This was of course in the days where blogging was THE thing, before the advent of Facebook and Twitter.

I did the blog for about 4 years, nearly 300 posts most of which unfortunately vanished when Blogstream did. Many of these are now retrievable via the Wayback Machine, and I will post a link to the lot of them eventually here. Some of them may be of some mild interest to anyone who would like to know more about what was happening in the arts (especially classical and alt-classical music) scene here in Columbia during the 2005-2009 period (warning: the site seems to load really slowly). Unfortunately, even via the Wayback Machine, the pictures that accompanied many of the posts are no longer there.  Perhaps I can reconstruct these aspects of the entries as well eventually.

It was partly Facebook that took over the role for me (and many others) that blogging had filled, a way to more easily and concisely link to things of interest with perhaps a comment or two attached. But primarily parenthood was the nail in the coffin for coincidence that I stopped the blog about 2 years after my son was born. I made a half-hearted attempt to revive it a couple of years later via this platform, but it fizzled out can read those entries from the second incarnation of the blog here in the menu to the side. 

But I've lately been inspired to try yet again, for a third time. It's certainly NOT because I have more free time; most assuredly, I have less! Unlike during the first two versions of the blog, I am no longer completely a free-lancer, but now a duly (and happily) employed member of the piano faculty at the University of South Carolina. So perhaps I have to be a little more circumspect in some of what I write, and certainly with the reminder that anything I write here is done as an individual and does not necessarily reflect any official view on the part of the University or the School of Music.

The reason I'd like to have another go at this is because I think there can always be more voices out there discussing the arts in our town, especially classical and alt-classical music. With the departure of Jeffrey Day (former arts writer for The State) for a job in California a couple of years ago, and now the recent changes in editorship and ownership at the Free Times, it seems that certain kinds of music are getting slightly less attention than they did even a year or two ago, and that seems a shame to me and somewhat ironic, because the state of musical life and its diversity in this city is healthier and more vibrant than ever before, from what I can tell. We have tended to "punch above our weight" culturally in this town and I think that's more true than ever now.

I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post: but my modest goal for this revived blog is to bring a little focus on upcoming musical events in town (and perhaps some other arts happenings of note), perhaps by highlighting some particular aspect of the event that I find most intriguing, whether it be the music being performed, or the performers (whether locally-based or on tour from elsewhere), or something else entirely.

Most of all, I invite comments and conversation on this blog. In fact, a new goal for me this time around is to have guest bloggers post with their own voices and perspectives. The more conversation about art and music in Columbia, the more voices that join that conversation, the better.

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