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Writely or wrongly - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Writely or wrongly
While I'm doing reviews... I don't really, deep down where it matters, think of myself as a writer with a readership: I think of myself as just some random broad with a blog, boring my friends over a beer in the corner of some kind of virtual pub. So it came as something of a surprise to find that some of the people who had participated in the choral concert that I reviewed the other week had read my review, and my first thought was to feel a pang of remorse for having been so dismissive about the Harmonia Quartet. Yes, they sounded slightly underrehearsed; but I've sung a lot of the music they were singing, which on the one hand means that I'm more likely to hear tiny mistakes, but on the other hand means that I appreciate the difficulty of what they do. And they were certainly enjoyable to listen to, and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. All I can say is I'm sorry, guys, and I'll gladly buy any of you a flagon of the finest foaming fa-la-la if we find ourselves in the same pub.

It was probably a timely reminder, though. The lines between performers and audiences and writers and readers and critics seems to be getting extremely blurred (not that that's necessarily a bad thing, or indeed a good thing); I still have trouble thinking of my friends' bands as "real" bands, but there clearly comes a point when you have to admit that they're as "real" as it gets. And, in the other direction, real bands have livejournals and myspaces; they read blogs, they meet people, they make friends, they make typos, they flame lusers. They put their trousers on one leg at a time like the rest of us. Real authors whose books I've read have commented on my blog: that's a bit scary, and it's a bit humbling to be reminded that among the people I'm boring are people who actually know what they're talking about; but it's also empowering: if they can, I can. It's not news that famous people (whatever that means) are real people (whatever that means) too, but it's getting easier to cross the line at many different levels. The fourth wall's been rubble for a long time; now more and more of us are joining in the stage-invasion.

All of which is just my observation, rather than drawing towards some grand theory. Maybe all that separates me from the Real Writers is that they're more likely to bother to finish what they're saying, whereas I'm more likely to think ah the hell with it and make another cup of coffee. Maybe one day I'll finish saying something worth saying. Maybe one day I'll start.

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Comments
teleute From: teleute Date: July 12th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh the other hand, if they sounded under-rehersed, someone should probably let them know. If they only found out by reading your blog, then friends of the group/directors/organisers have done them a great diservice. It's never nice to hear that something wasn't perfect, but if you never hear it, you never know to improve.

Perhaps I'm being callous today.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 12th, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure they're quite good enough to know when things were going a bit awry! (Actually, there was one slip I might not have noticed if the person who made it hadn't made a face at it.)

And if you're in the mood for correcting imperfections, the word's "rehearsed", with an 'a' in it... ;-)
teleute From: teleute Date: July 12th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
*laughs* imperfections are one thing, typos and/or spelling mistakes quite another ;-)
setting_sun From: setting_sun Date: July 12th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very true, this, especially the last paragraph.

My enemies are concentration and taking a plunge. I can't count the amount of times that I've started stuff and given up to have a cup of tea, as opposed your coffee. Also, there are LOADS of opportunities out there that I should have had a go at taking - but it's so much easier for me not to. Bah.
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