Friday, January 01, 2016


New Year's Eve in London. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Good morning, everyone, and happy 2016!

A warm welcome back to JDCMB if you're a regular reader and a big Aloha if you are new to the site.

The blogging sphere has become quite strange since I started JDCMB by mistake back in March 2004, so here's a little about my mission statement, such as it is.

I'm not "a blogger"; I'm a writer who has a blog. I trained initially as a musician and I write mainly, though not exclusively, about music. I've been in music journalism for 27 years. I held a number of editorial posts on music magazines and since 2004 have been freelancing for The Independent. I've written biographies, novels and plays. Right now I'm working on an opera libretto and my fifth novel.

JDCMB is relatively random and spontaneous. I hope the linking thread is a certain set of musical values, headed by quality and equality. I employ a rather British sense of sarcasm and irony (so do watch out for that if you're not used to it). I try to keep a sense of perspective - life's taught me not to sweat the small stuff - and I don't like the hysteria, witch-hunting and irrationality that's invaded discourse on many topics, including music.

I live in London, UK, and I use English English, not American English.

You can follow JDCMB by signing up for email alerts in the box at the top of the sidebar. Every post is then sent direct to your in-box. (This is an automated system, so I won't actually have your email address.)

JDCMB is free to read and unpaid to write. If you enjoy it, you're invited to support the site in several ways. You could come to my concerts and talks, buy the books, and support my next novel - on a very musical topic - which will be up for crowd-funding with Unbound later this month.

I receive many requests for coverage here, but I can't do everything. If you would like your event, recording or product to be visible on JDCMB, you might like to consider taking an advertisement, or alternatively a Solticat Memorial Sponsorship paragraph, at a highly competitive rate, which contributes to cat food for Solti's successors, Ricki and Cosi.

JDCMB does not invite reader comments, but we have some lively discussions around the posts that are shared on Facebook.

What you won't find on JDCMB: ad hominem attacks, porn, conspiracy theories, twisted thinking and malice.

What you will find: good humour, solid artistic values and plenty of passion. I believe that everybody deserves truly great music and arts in their lives.

Last but not least, Pierre Boulez once said to me: "When things are cannot just stay in front of it without doing anything." He's right. So sometimes I try to do something. Very occasionally, it works.

Happy reading, happy listening and, above all, happy music-making!