Sunday, October 31, 2004


I blame opera-l.

I've been a member since 1996, though I've been reading very selectively via the opera-l archive since about 1998. I just haven't got the bandwidth to read 80 postings per day, especially since opera-l's signal-to-noise ratio has deteriorated badly since I joined.

Sometime in September or October, 2004, browsing opera-l, I found the URL to an interview with Alex Ross of The New Yorker. The review mentioned his blog, The Rest is Noise, and my heart sank. I'd been carefully avoiding the blogsphere, which looked like a huge potential time sink. I could be practicing to take my sandan exam, or working on the Eva Turner biography, after all. But I followed the URL, which led to a few more URLs, and an interesting correspondence with Greg Sandow, and, well, here I am.


This blog is a place for me to write about classical music issues that don't fit so well in the other forums in which I participate.

I've been a member of the Well since 1990 and I co-host the classical music conference there. The Well is members-only and you have to pay to belong ($5/month for Web-only access, $15/month for telnet/ssh access). The Well is also mostly conversational; think pieces don't always fit in with the flow of discussions there.

I've participated for even longer in a paper forum called an amateur press association, or apa. Apas originated in science fiction fandom. The apa I'm in focusses on relationships of all kinds, so classical music is off topic. Most of the other participants also aren't especially interested in the kinds of musical issues that interest me.

I wanted someplace more public than either the Well or the apa. So: a blog.


By academic training, I'm a musician, with an undergraduate degree in music from Brandeis. I spent two years in the graduate program in musicology at Stony Brook. My academic interests at that time were primarily in early music and what I think of as musical detective- and archeological work. I wasn't very happy at Stony Brook, and when I left, I moved to California, for love and jujitsu.

I'm still doing jujitsu. I'm a second-degree black belt (nidan) in the
American Judo & Jujitsu Federation. I teach at Laurel Jujitsu.

About a decade ago, I started collecting opera recordings seriously. I blame Eva Turner (and I'm writing a book about her). One thing led to another - a dozen recordings of Tristan und Isolde, a subscription to San Francisco Opera, trips to Seattle for the Ring. I don't only collect opera, though. That's just where I started.

I write reviews for San Francisco Classical Voice, which does its best to fill some of the gaps in classical music journalism in the Bay Area.

By day, I'm a technical writer, at Documentum, which is part of the EMC Software Group. (Well, that USED to be true. I work elsewhere now.