My quest to listen to my entire Classical CD collection has come up against two stumbling blocks recently – J.S.Bach, in whose company I could probably very happily spend the rest of my listening days, and the latest Soundgarden album, which Bach would probably have detested, but which has drawn me into its lush and heavy soundscapes. Whatever the contrasts between the two, there is no doubt that the filling in of one’s tax return positively flies by with such music in one’s ears.
The Soundgarden album brings me to an I-told-you-so tale about the presumably soon to be defunct HMV chain. As the owner of an HMV voucher I had spent part of last Monday and last Sunday – the two last days I would have been able to spend said voucher – in various HMV shops around London attempting to track down this album which was, lest we forget, only unleashed to the general public in November. It would be difficult to imagine that I would go to three separate HMV shops and be unable to track it down, but that’s exaclty how the situation was. Of course, I could have ordered it via the web, but HMV does – sorry, did – not allow customers to spend voucher credits online, which seems bizarre to say the least. In the light of all this I am not really surprised that the chain has gone down, and various excellent blogs pointed out the possibility of this happening a while back, but, of course, they were not listening in their ivory towers. I feel terribly sorry for those who will lose their jobs, genuinely and deeply so, but the writing was on the wall, and so the chain whose shops were opened by none other than Sir Edward Elgar goes the same way as Elgar himself on twenty pound notes.
There is a salutory lesson in this story, and that of Blockbuster and Jessops in the past two weeks alone, and that is that those who fail to adapt to the brave new world will not survive, that brave new world being the internet, of course. Some music publishers have gone the same way, and much of the thinking behind how I go about my composing business is linked to what I believe about the brave new world of the global village.
Anyway, that is for another time. For now I still have fragments of Why Should We Not Sing? going around my head, and, dust settled, I think I am pretty happy with it as a piece, and, if I recall correctly, the applause did go on for a bit. It has also given me new confidence for my next piece, and I think I am going to push my instrumentation to the next level and be that much more ambitious in what I believe I can do in that one. It will be for similar forces and sketches have already gone down on paper.
Apart from that I have updated my website today, tweeted and now it is time for the blog. Failing to embrace new technology is unfathomable these days, even if there are old fashioned folks like me who want to hold CDs in their hands rather than download them through the ether, own Folio books rather than caress their Kindles. Solutions are out there, opportunities too.