My world and welcome to it

By now, most visitors will be aware that this website is a joint creation, dreamt up by me (CD) but supervised and administered by my colleague, Andrew Bernard. All of the quirky elements on these pages are down to me; the elegant, clean, astute structuring and functions result from Andrew’s expert eye. Not only is Andrew my webmeister, he is also an eminent IT cognoscente, harpsichord builder, and Lilypond engraver. The extraordinarily beautiful engravure of my works that can be seen in various scores—AB1, the Piano Sonata, the String Quartet—is Andrew’s work, yet another manifestation of his patience and skill.

You might well be asking: why has Dench seen fit to enter the Blogosphere? Even under our collectively straightened circumstances, I continue to have conversations with people, and have frequently thought that notions emerging from these chats would make good blog content, if only I had one… Past visitors to this website, in its previous incarnation, will have noticed that we had two categories with the somewhat facetious names of Parerga and Connexities. They got updated rather irregularly and there was a certain cavalier vagueness about what constituted a parergon or a connexion. This chaotic state of affairs was not really acceptable in the longterm so I decided to bring it all under a single heading: a semi-regular blog. Semi-, because if I have nothing to say, I won’t.

However, there are still differences between ephemeral eurekas and news, so I will categorise the entries separately, as Blogs and Announcements. The previous website also hosted my many CD reviews, written while I was directly engaged with that industry. While I no longer have time or incentive to write extended, in-depth analyses, I still buy and attend to a large number of recordings, so under the third rubric of Listening Diary I propose to give brief accounts of any that stand out as worth mention; as ever, you can expect these to cover a very broad range of musics.

All three categories, Blogs, Announcements, and Listening Diary taken together constitute my ongoing Musings.

Further down the line, I’m planning a series of podcasts (I already have the pop filter) which will begin with ruminations on certain of my pieces. There are many advantages to living in Australia (most of the time, anyway) but an insuperable disadvantage is that I can’t readily attend overseas or even interstate rehearsals or concerts, can’t be a performance-whisperer. My intention is therefore to provide insights into the featured pieces that might inform performers’ approaches and increase their confidence in taking these demanding works on. Hopefully such exegeses would be of more general interest also. Once embarked on that road, who knows what else might eventuate?

Finally, from time to time I will invite Guest Contributors to provide their quota of ideas and commentary.

‘Don’t get it right, just get it written’–James Thurber.

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