Monday, March 07, 2005


Oh boy. A few surprise stats on my invisible web counter have alerted me to the fact that the Atlanta article about music blogging got syndicated to This means that my excessively snotty comments about Nikolai Lugansky's Rachmaninov playing have been far more widely disseminated than I'd intended. Not that I don't stand by everything I said back in December. The difference is that now I feel guilty about it.

It's odd how doing something intensely creative can give you a dramatic new perspective on your state of being. I started writing my 'second' novel the other day (OK, those of you who've known me for a long time know that it's actually No.11, but never mind) and I'm experiencing a variety of psychological and social side-effects. First, the answering machine goes on and the mobile phone goes off. No disturbances, thank you! Secondly, the brain begins working in a different way. The process is draining and invigorating and extremely worrying, all at the same time: at each moment you're making a choice about what to put on the page and at each moment that choice could be something different. Which is exactly the same as a pianist making a choice to play a phrase in a certain way when he could equally well have chosen a dynamically different approach. It's a personal statement, whichever you pick. I reckon that in an ideal world, nobody would have the right to tell me that I've made a wrong choice, because that choice is my own. So, how can I go telling an extremely accomplished and experienced musician who has devoted his entire life to the perfection of his technique that he should make different choices?!?

Ouch! OK, so I didn't like it. SO WHAT?

Who cares? I may care, privately, but that's tough. And there's no reason on earth why my view should make any difference to anybody - least of all the poor old pianist.

I slightly wonder what I've been doing with my life for the past 15 years.