So, as usual, I was in the middle of writing a blog which is now going to be set aside in favor of this one. I’d wanted to post a listicle recounting last year’s activity at my blog. I really wanted to post it either on New Years Eve or New Years Day, but as is often the case other things took priority. Given that I and my blog were mentioned in the New York Times (online edition here and in the print edition today) I figured I’d do that post now.
2013 was a good year for the blog, and while I haven’t done nearly as much commenting on other online venues as I might have done in past years, I have probably posted more content last year than in any other. Some of those posts have gotten me quite a bit of recognition from other cultural bloggers. I won’t make a tedious list of all those, but will highlight some.
The most traffic I’ve gotten was after Alex Ross (music critic of the New Yorker magazine) mentioned a few of my posts that outlined the classical music crisis as it appeared in the press. His post The orchestra crisis at 110 and The opera crisis at 332 which both link here were pleasant surprises when I happened to be checking my stats and wondering where the heck all this new traffic was coming from.
Both Drew McManus of Adaptistration.com and Joe Patti of Butts in the Seats gave a shout out to me as I mentioned in a previous post about the end of A Klingon Christmas Carol (in Chicago and Cincinnati)–and Joe actually came out to the closing night of the Cincinnati production so it was a pleasure to meet him in person as I’ve been a reader of his blog for some time and he frequently mentions my blog. Earlier in the month, Drew nominated me and Mae Mai for the Giving Program created by Shoshana Fanizza (who runs another blog I read) stating that:
Jon’s writing about the series of labor dispute related crisis at US orchestras has been fascinating to watch evolve from casual observer to someone who is eyeball deep in the minutiae of the heavy duty topics that occupy that space. Additionally, Jon does an excellent job at providing info and insight into an area of the business that usually gets the short end of media coverage stick: ethnic orchestras; which he defines as “non-European styled Orchestras.”
Jon maintains excellent listing resource pages and covers groups via his Diversity category of posts. And when it comes to this topic, he knows his stuff; so much so that he has no trouble taking one of the usual talking head suspects in the culture blogging community to task for what he calls inane observations about the genre.
Another series of posts I’d been working on deals with the role the WPA had in developing and sustaining Symphony Orchestras during the Great Depression in the US–both Joe and Drew linked and commented and the former had some interesting insights of his own.
I decided to do a quick name search just to see what else I might have missed and was surprised to find that I was quoted and discussed in a book by Martin Barker, professor in Film and Television Studies at University of East Anglia. The book, titled “Live To Your Local Cinema”: the Remarkable Rise of Livecasting, and published by Palgrave MacMillan in October of 2012, had this:
I close this chapter with another person’s amused thoughts on the implications of this. The unorthodox cellist Jon Silpayamanant, who regularly blogs his thoughts on musical issues, wrote in 2011 about seeing fliers at his local cinema for the Met’s livecasts. Intriguing, he thought, and headlined his remarks ‘The Death of the Cinematic Industry': ‘For all the folks who continue to maintain the popularity of pop culture – in conjunction with the supposed decline of high culture (Classical Music) – it’s a bit ironic that movie theaters are now showing live casts of, well, classical music.’ But an unease runs through Silpayamanant’s comments, partly about the loss of work opportunities that might follow, but partly also about the appropriateness of listening to an orchestra in the wrong place. There is a lurking sense of uncertainty, of the unknown, in discussions of this kind. (pp 79-80)
which just makes me wonder how much of my thoughts have appeared in traditional print–if this book hadn’t been digitized by Google Books, I might never had known about my tiny contribution. Oh, here’s the blog post Barker is referencing for those interested: The Death of the Cinematic Industry….
Of course, the main reason to do this post is to thank each and every one of the folks above and all my readers for all the interaction and stimulating discussions–I look forward to another great year of reading and blogging!