Last February, I attended the first 'Music into Words' event, an evening symposium - if you will - that focused on writing about classical music. The whole affair combined a satisfying number of my favourite things: fascinating talks and discussion; the chance to meet in person a few people I'd previously known only 'virtually', through admiring their writing; and, of course, some excellent ale at a nearby pub afterwards.
A year later, 'Music into Words' is back, in deluxe format: two panels for the price of one, stretching across a Sunday afternoon - 12 February to be precise, at Morley College, London. From my perspective, there's another, even more important, difference - I'm one of the speakers.
I'm genuinely thrilled to be a part of this. While I can vouch from last year that the atmosphere is totally informal and welcoming, I will be - a little nervously - taking my place among scholars, experts and generally rather brilliant people, many of whom routinely add to my knowledge and boost my enthusiasm online. In my talk, then, I will be deliberately covering the role of the amateur blogger - what drives me to keep posting here, and who I think might be out there, reading and listening.
It would be fantastic if any of you in the London area on that day could come along - not just to support me (as monumentally welcome as that would be!) but to hear and meet everyone else. Especially - I would say - if you are quite interested in writing about your cultural passions online but haven't quite managed it yet. I'd love to meet you.
Thank you to this year's hosts and chairfolk Frances Wilson (nom de blog: The Cross-Eyed Pianist) and Simon Brackenborough (Corymbus) for inviting me to take part.
Please follow this link to the 'Music into Words' site for all the event and speaker details. Here is the brief agenda for the afternoon, taken from the Facebook page:
1.15 - Registration & welcome.
1.30 - Panel 1 with Tom Hammond, Katy Hamilton, Adrian Ainsworth, Neil Fisher (of The Times) and Peter Donohoe.
A more wide-ranging panel covering concerts and concert reviews, musicians and reviews, writing in an accessible way for the non-specialist audience, programme notes and blogging on classical music.
3.00 - Break (the refectory at Morley College will be open for refreshments).
3.30 - Panel 2 with Ian Pace, Kate Romano, Leah Broad and Peter Donohoe.
A more specialist panel looking at academic writing and the use of jargon when writing about music, writing about musical theatre and curating sound.
5.00 - Event ends (we will continue in local pub if people want to keep talking/socialising).
I've had the pleasure of writing some pieces for the Cross Eyed Pianist - if you'd like to read them, they're here:
- X is for... about the piano music of Xenakis.
- If you listen to one thing this week... about Jo Quail's 'Five Incantations'.
- Follow the Lieder... about the art of the accompanist.