I’m beginning an occasional series – the category tag will be “favourite things”. First up, blogs.
Classical Convert: A beginner’s guide to classical music, by someone who switched at 23
I just love it when really bright, intelligent people get into classical music as adults and begin exploring it in their own ways. That the Classical Convert (Ben) chooses to share his journey and discoveries with others is wonderful.
I’m reminded of concert intervals spent in the corporate lounge of a former orchestra. One of the regulars, the spouse of a staff member, had no formal musical training, but he was as observant as they come and possessed a very discerning ear. He often didn’t have the conventional vocabulary for articulating what he’d noticed, but he sure as anything could zero in on what was working or not in the performance. I often wondered whether he heard and noticed more because he wasn’t encumbered with the theoretical training that most classical musicians receive. Just a thought.
The next two blogs form a pair in my mind: two lawyers, two musicians, two concertgoers, two insightful writers with wide-ranging interests. There’s nothing better than when MK of Tonic Blotter and Marcellous of Stumbling on Melons go to concerts. MK, from Chicago, also captures birds with his camera; Marcellous has the advantage of attending concerts in Sydney.
Then there’s Inside the Classics from the Minnesota Orchestra. This is, so far, the very best “official” orchestra blog I’ve come across. I love its candour – the two contributors are very open about the process of making music and preparing concerts and their thoughts about the music world; I love that it’s really well written and the tone is just right. I don’t live in Minneapolis (sometimes I wish I did – their music director is one of my favourite conductors and the weather’s colder there right now) and I’ll never attend one of their concerts, but it’s still compelling reading and that says it all.
In case you think all I care about is music, here are some other blogs that have earned a place high on my feed list:
A Dress a Day – lexicographer Erin McKean wears and makes dresses [see her redefine the dictionary in one of said dresses on TED]. I do neither of these things at present, but she’s a super-engaging writer with a great sense of humour so I follow her blog. She also tweets words of the day and naturally I stole the idea.
Swiss Miss is a Swiss designer in New York. Her discoveries make me smile.
Futility Closet is my refuge from productivity, ’cause every girl needs one of those.
Indexed is a simple concept cleverly and diligently executed. A model to us all.
And Andrea Joseph posts exquisitely detailed drawings on her sketchblog. Never again will I sneer at the humble biro.
This is barely scratching the surface. And especially in the area of music and the music business there are many more blogs that I follow assiduously and admire greatly – I really need to get my blogroll assembled!