Saturday, June 18, 2011

Music Criticism Meets the New Media

MCANAFriday afternoon I attended a panel talk about non-print classical music reporting, put on by the Music Critics Association of North America, who are having their annual meeting in San Francisco this week. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times related the positive feedback he has received for his on-line music appreciation videos. Chloe Veltman told us how she went from free-lance journalist to radio show host to podcaster, but when she mentioned an under-paid, "tech-savvy, at-risk youth" who is her technical producer, I wondered if I should start a "Free Seth" campaign. Anne Midgette of The Washington Post, paraphrasing Brent Assink, informed us that audiences no longer want to be just lectured at. Lisa Hirsch ran down a list of specific, practical advice for those getting into blogging. She suggested focusing on the 3 biggest draws: Opera, death, & gossip. After a break, John Robinson, executive director of San Francisco Classical Voice, gave us a history of the site & led us in singing Happy Birthday for the site's founder, Robert Commanday. John Rockwell stated that the days of the generalist critic are over & that we are instead in the age of the "impassioned specialist." He warned that there is no viable business model for blogging & that on-line discussions are going to be led by the most passionate. Due to time constraints, there was no time for questions. The event was held in a drab rehearsal space in the basement of Davies Hall, & it did not make me feel that being a music critic is a particularly glamorous gig. SFMike & Patrick were among the attendees, though they are probably the least in need of the information presented.

§ Music Criticism Meets the New Media
Music Critics Association of North America
Friday, June 17, 2011 at 1:30pm

7 comments:

Lisa Hirsch said...

LOL, that is not exactly what I said!

John Marcher said...

I would have liked to have attended this event, but as you mentioned, no one seems to have figured out a way to make any real money blooging about opera and classical music, so I was stuck at work.

Axel Feldheim said...

Lisa: True, but your remarks were so pragmatic that I had to make fun of them somehow! & you really did draw our attention to those 3 content areas. I do not write about death or gossip, but I can attest that opera items are pretty much the most popular posts here as well.

John: Maybe they really did tell us the secret of turning blogs into cash, but I'm just not telling...

Lisa Hirsch said...

What I actually did say: Write about what you love and are passionate about. Some subject do draw a bigger audience: opera, death, and gossip.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ha, sorry, I missed your comment. It's fine to make fun of me. :)

sfmike said...

That is a very funny and accurate account of our shared panel experience. And I can't believe that you found a link that is a completely sex-drenched Dan Savage column that ends with the same "tech-savvy, at-risk youth" shoutout that Chloe Veltman used for her own podcast enabler. Free Seth, indeed, "who is only paid a pittance, of course," according to his mistress.

Axel Feldheim said...

Dan Savage has popularized the phrase, "tech-savvy, at-risk youth" to the point where he sells t-shirts with the phrase. I don't know if he originated the phrase as well, but that link was the best example I found, regardless of the other content on the page :)