State of the blog address: A Musical Spring is coming

Posted on July 28, 2011

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Hello, friends and family. As you probably know, I started this blog a little over a year ago. Like many who have blogged and burned before me, I started it with the intention of introducing new people to the wonderful world of classical music. I wanted to convince my Facebook friends from high school, college and church that classical music had something to offer them; that I was once distant from classical music and its magic as well and that The Repertoire had wonderful and spectacular things in store for them. All they needed to do was consider what I had to say once a week, and listen to the music I suggested.

But the truth is that not very many people listened. In retrospect, I think what I was asking from people was more time than they were willing to dedicate to something they didn’t already care about. Fewer people than I had anticipated were willing to read my blog posts, and the ones who did read them as far as I could tell were either heavily invested in me as a person or people who already loved classical music anyway. I had started this journey dreaming of taking my message to the world and watching a Musical Spring change music forever,  but I was left preaching to the choir (and a small one at that). I stopped including musical excerpts in my posts because people obviously weren’t listening to them, so I started trying to write in a way that I hoped would challenge people’s thinking about their views towards certain kinds of music. That never really caught on, either.

At one point in the year, I started gaining a little traction on Twitter among classical music’s social media savvy folks, but it didn’t last long. They would retweet my more music-related blog posts to friends which was flattering at first. But as time went on I think that I started to realize that in some cases (not all, but some) those retweets were strategically doled out not necessarily because they liked what I had to say but because they wanted something from me. (That being said, I am thankful for some of the incredibly kind and gracious classical musicians I have met on Twitter that I would never know existed otherwise; people like Erica Sipes, Emily Wright, and Andrei Strizek to name a few.)

As my readership dwindled in recent months, it bothered me to see how few people cared about what I was saying. I know I’m not the greatest writer, but I felt like I was actually getting better and more creative as time went on. I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that writing this blog has been really good for me. It’s been time consuming at times, but it’s really helped me to clarify my positions on certain things that I believe trouble the classical music world, and what I think my role is and should be in creating change. I thought it was to call out Musical Pharisees and put them in their place. I thought it was to bring a more human, “normal” feel to the classical music world. I thought it was to make classical music more accessible and be the guy that finally bridged the gap so new people could begin enjoying classical music.

You might find this weird since I’ve told you that my blog has been so unpopular, but I still believe I’m capable of those things. But what I’ve learned through my dabbling and experimenting with social media is that my dreams will not be accomplished in the ways I thought they would. A Musical Spring of the masses is no longer what I dream about, nor should it be what I dream about. Now I dream about community. About fellowship. About artists from all genres and backgrounds in Denver and everywhere else having mutual admiration for each other, a genuine respect for each other and a willingness to support each other however they can WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Now I dream about deconstructing everything I’ve ever learned about how I view music, art and artists in hopes of rebuilding a framework for experiencing them that is inclusive, just, fair and loving. My dream no longer strives to put the cart before the horse. Before Spring can be sprung among the masses, I must first allow it to Spring in me.

I love you my wonderful Authentic Cadence choristers. I really do. But I’m done preaching to the choir. It might feel good sometimes, but it doesn’t do either of us any favors. I’m taking my message out of the blogosphere and into the streets and the clubs. Not by blog, pamphlet, megaphone or iPod mind you, but by learning to be the best supporter of local artists and their fans that my city has ever seen.  I cannot ask for something that I am not willing to give myself. And neither should you.

This next year at An Authentic Cadence will be dedicated to telling the most important stories and reflections I have from my attempts to do that, but I’ll be cutting that blogging back by about 75%. If you know me, you know that the force and experience of who I am and what I stand for in real life doesn’t fully translate to a blog post or a tweet. Maybe that combined with my poor grammar is why the blogging never really took off. From now on, I’ll blog once a month (as close to the first of the month as possible), with a couple of “And 1” posts thrown in here or there.  If you don’t want to miss anything from this next year, you should subscribe to the posts.

I almost didn’t write this post because I didn’t figure many people would read it. I was just going to tweet something like, “Cutting back my blogging to one post a month. I hope you’ll check it out.” But then I remembered: I should write this one for “my choir.” Thank you for truly taking an interest in my thoughts. It means so, so much to me. See you again in early August, and then not again until September. Until then Planet Earth…well…you know what to do. 😉

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Posted in: Faith, Life, Music