BMW

While those of us who love concert music keep the deathbed vigil, the body continues to show surprising signs of life.

Here in Erie, PA where I live, we have two professional orchestras. One of them, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, is an inspiring story, a true labor of love. This doughty little band — which presents a full season of concerts, and all of them free — is the lengthened shadow of one man, founder and music director Bruce Morton Wright.

Bruce has many treasurable qualities, musicality, geniality and energy among them (he’s Erie’s version of Bruno Walter), but his modesty works against him. For Bruce, the focus is always on the music and the musicians, never on the podium. Fortunately, my colleague at the Erie Times, Dave Richards, wrote a profile piece on this generous musician.

His light is no longer under the bushel. Long may it shine.

Countdown

The first post on the first day of my new blog. That would seem to call for something portentous and annunciatory, a grand statement of purpose. A fanfare.

But doesn’t everybody have a blog these days? And hasn’t my vanity domain, johnchacona.com, almost become a joke among those who have seen its URL on my correspondence and searched for it in vain (it hasn’t been up for six or seven years, though I always figured I get around to it someday)?

So, a very small toot of a very small horn might be more appropriate. Or a silent rolling up of the sleeves and getting to work.

It’s what I do, after all. I’m a writer and on one level, let’s call this is just a good place to put stuff (the top desk drawer of the title).

What kind of stuff?

Most of the content here will be my music writing: previews of events, most of them written for the Erie Times-News’s ShowCase entertainment tab, and CD reviews, those written for Signal to Noise and CODA magazines, but also unpublished reviews or musings on the many CDs I receive that will not receive a published review. And on the odd occasion when quotidian committments allow me to attend live concerts, I will post my thoughts about them (one of them is coming tomorrow, a concert by the Waverly Consort).

And, this being a blog, much of the content here will be whatever is on my mind at the time (though no politics, religion or ad hominem attacks to inflame the sensibilities of potential future employers).

One convention I will observe as I kick this thing off is an acknowledgement of the people who got me to this point, either through their inspiration or direct assistance. So, a tip of the hat to patrioti Alex Ross, whose wonderful The Rest Is Noise is a direct inspiration, to Tom Hull whose mind-map of a reviewer’s work you will recognize in my own posts on the subject, to my friend, Rick Lopez who has been blogging for years without the benefit of the Internet, and to Mike Gorski, who led me stumbling through the thicket of PHP programming, tags and DNS servers. You are all my blogfathers and I couldn’t have done it without you.

But that’s enough of the head. On with the solos