I just wanted to draw attention to colleague and friend Lisa Bielawa’s new blog, which I think is a good example of the kinds of things composers should be doing more to stay in the public eye. Lisa won the American Academy’s Rome Prize this year and has taken the opportunity to write about some of her experiences in Italy and elsewhere.
The blog is hosted by classical music station, WQXR, in New York, which puts it into the radar of people who would potentially be interested in what composers do and how they think. It’s also an example of reciprocity in content creation. For artists like composers who tend to be relatively obscure, it helps make them more accessible to those who might be interested. And for the readers, it’s a source of quality, genuine content. I’m certainly not big on self-aggrandizement on the web, or ads disguised as stories. But people create music because it is valuable to other people, so if we can find ways to create secondary materials—in this case a blog—that increase the value of our musical work for listeners (through greater understanding, providing of context, etc.), then that is a good thing and everybody wins. Composers increase their audience base and audiences have more fulfilling encounters with new work.