Saturday, 21 January 2017

Music into Words - 12 February 2017

I don't often manage to preview events on this blog - I'm usually trying to catch up rather than get ahead - but this is certainly a worthwhile exception.

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:
However, please spend some quality time roaming all over Frances's site - she's a brilliantly thoughtful, inclusive and informative writer. Again, I am very lucky in the company I keep!

1 comment:

  1. Adrian,

    If you have a few moments I would like to know if you strongly agree or disagree with the following statement.

    >"Why do we listen to music, how do we listen to music, and what is the main source of our satisfaction in listening to music? The answer to those three closely related questions, I believe, is to be found in the phenomenon of following music, that is to say, of attending closely to, and getting involved in, its specific movement, flow, or progression, moment by moment. That is to say, it is not so much a matter of thinking articulately about the music as it passes, or contemplating it in its architectural aspect, as it is a matter of reacting to and interacting with the musical stream, perceptually and somatically, on a non-analytical, pre-reflective level. The important thing is not what is listened to (i.e,, what aspect of the overall structure), but how one listens; a) how unity and organization are perceived; b) how one appreciates and imaginatively participates in music; c) how one relates the preceding parts and anticipates the future ones; d) how ready one is to respond to music's expressive dimension, to be alive to its human content.... Here is the plain truth: Every time we attentively listen with focus and patience, we find different properties and qualities of the musical work. Our ear becomes more acute and sophisticated and we understand the piece to a more complex degree. And we have more evidence which suggests that listeners without musical training do have an implicit knowledge of things that musicologists and scholars can talk about explicitly."