So, here is my new blog! Hopefully the last post will give a good idea of what not to expect! I’ve been something of an internet junkie for well over 10 years, making ample use of social media, online fora, chat rooms, Messenger software and Skype, and also have a website (about to be re-launched after I’ve finished getting some other information together, hopefully this week – will give just one post about that when it’s up). But I’ve held off blogging for quite a while, until now! Those who are Facebook friends will be familiar with my common device of placing a quite ‘leading’ comment or opinion to stimulate wide-ranging debate – and I have a fantastic group of friends on there who will always come up with fantastic responses. Here it is a bit different – I need to present longer pieces or more complete arguments, rather than simply throwing out thoughts. That is for me more often the business of scholarly or other articles, so judging the right ‘middle way’ for the tone here may be a challenge!

So what am I hoping to achieve here? I have many convictions equally about music and culture on one hand, and society and politics on the other (not that I would see the former as separate from the latter). And being involved both in scholarly musicological debates and to some extent historical ones as well, and also being active as a performer, I’d like to think I’m in a pretty good position to undertake some marrying of these distinct perspectives.

Above all, I do see music as a form of social practice, which is never wholly autonomous of a social (and thus political) context. How exactly the very detail of music interacts with this context is the issue which continues to exercise me, and I hope to explore more about this here. But this blog isn’t purely about music, or cultural politics – we will see how it goes, but I envisage posting about all sorts of things.

What the blog won’t be is simply a musician’s travelogue, or primarily a place for self-promotion. I will endeavour as far as possible to avoid its being too self-important or the like.

Right now it’s late here (I’m in Argentina at the moment, about to have a proper holiday), and I’m awaiting my wonderful, wonderful wife Lindsay, who will arrive here early in the morning! So I will try and write something more extended and coherent tomorrow! In the meantime, it’s great to join the blogosphere, and when I’ve figured out more about how this all works, I will start linking to lots of other good blogs I know!

A Musician Reflects

Staring out of my hotel room here in Argentina, I am moved to ask just what my wretched self has in common with the good people with whom I am surrounded here. But I should not have to ask this, as the answer is self-evident – I deal witI music, the one truly universal language, a force to bring peoples together, to make them put their differences behind them. This is true in London, in Berlin, in Moscow, in Jerusalem, in Karachi, Johannesburg, or anywhere else. Against those who play divisive political games with music and art, I remain convinced of its vital importance as a global language of peace, and a force for civilisation. And when I consider the responsibility thus placed upon me as a humble artist, I can only meekly hope that I will prove myself worthy…..


Ok, will try again shortly….

Announcing my new blog

From a restaurant in Buenos Aires, I’m pleased to announce the launching of my new blog! More to follow after the starter!