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  • richardmitnick 2:58 pm on May 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    The Road to Digital – Are You On It? 

    The Road to Digital – Are You On It?

    I have not written here since March 2010. This blog has always been issue oriented. Since the advent of WQXR and the re-birth of WNYC’s 24/7 New Music stream as Q2 there have not been for me any real issues.

    I started a new blog, “MusicSprings” because there were and are subjects of a singular nature about which to write, artists and composers, musical events, albums, and the like.

    But, now I have an issue: Going all digital, for music an video.

    This started about two years ago. I ripped all of my CD’s to .mp3 at 320k. I ripped all of my DVD’s to .mp4. I found new and loving homes for the physical media. I also found new homes for most of my sound equipment. The rest of this has taken some time.

    I think that this started when WNYC tossed out day time music on FM.

    I used Public Radio Fan and Shoutcast to find new sources for music “on the radio”. I gravitated to three stations: KUSC, Los Angeles; WCNY, Syracuse; and WCPE, Winston Salem, NC. KUSC got most of my attention. I also took subscriptions at home and at work for streams in especially New Music at Live365 I use Winamp for streaming audio, with the stations listed, and also WPRB and WBGO.

    KUSC


    Finally, one of my favorite of all time music sources, Music from the Hearts of Space was kicked out at WNYC. So, I took subscriptions at the web site.

    Today, I have 396 gigs of music and video. I keep everything on three 1 TB Western Digital Passport external hard drives. Three drives for three computers. And for redundancy. Hard drives break.
    pp

    For video, I don’t want to watch on the computer. So I have a Western Digital WD-TV HD Media Player, to which is attached a fourth WD Passport, with all of the .mp4 videos.
    HDTV

    I also have four 120 gig Zune .mp3 and .mp4 players: Classical music and Spoken Word, Jazz, Rock, and video.
    Zune

    Last and probably least used, but very useful in a pinch, is my Roku HD-XR Player for streaming movies (wirelessly) from Netflix.
    Roku

    So, what do you think? Did I jump off a bridge? Too early? I gave away thousands of dollars worth of physical media and equipment. There is no going back. But I welcome all opinions.

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  • richardmitnick 8:09 am on March 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library 

    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library

    Interesting title?

    I am sitting here this morning listening to Caleb Burhans and Alarm Will Sound on The Q. I first saw Caleb’s name in connection with an Innova disc, Fast Jump with performer Danny Holt.

    So, O.K., lots of ties here. And, the music to which I am listening is bright, inventive, I mean, I have no real academic basis for commenting. I just hear a lovely newness here.

    So, should I buy the work? If I do, will I even remember that I have it?

    What’s the problem? I have for a long time been fulfilling my stated modus of supporting living composers by purchasing their work, these days in .mp3. The problem is that anything I buy now disappears into 189 gigs of music files, 400 composers, 3056 albums, 34415 tracks.

    I look over at the wall of books in my Digiteria: Theology. Jewish and Christian Theology; Islamic, Jewish and Christian Mysticism, Dead Sea material; religious philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. The wall evinces a past activity, the material evidence of a 25 year study and search for meaning. It is not really stopped, I am into those books all of the time. But, that is what I did actively before Music. Hours and hours and thousands of dollars for my own library to be able to pick up any footnote and go to the shelf and get the book. Now it is a more passive interest. I found a theology that I could live with, the Grund theology of Meister Eckhart.

    So, what about the music library. Freeze it. Start a new one. There is a new computer coming, an i5-520M. Start a new library. What is the basis to be? How will it differ? It will be based on the offerings of Q2, where I am enamored of the brilliance of Nadia Sirota; and music put forward by Marvin Rosen in his Classical Discoveries and Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde programs on WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. Also, John Schaefer is constantly bringing forward new people at WNYC on Soundcheck and New Sounds . I don’t want to leave out noting the great contributions for Jazz that I have received from Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine Jr at WPRB. Among so many artists they have presented, Dan gave me Rhoda Scott, and a greater appreciation of Keith Jarrett. Will knows Latin Jazz better than anyone in radio. But, Jazz will stay with the current library. The new library will be limited to New Music, Bang On a Can composers, groups like the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Ethel, itsnotyouitsme (did I get that right?), eighth blackbird, new music from Innova, and the like.

    So, what happens to the old library? Nothing changes. I still love Miles, ‘Trane, Part, Glass & Reich, Bruce, The Allmans, Beethoven, Dvorak, Robbie Robertson, Streisand, Bebo and Chucho Valdez, The Traveling Wilburys, Paquito D’Rivera, Jerry and Andy Gonzalez, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Ken Field from Boston, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, the Adderleys, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, egad, stop already.

    But, especially Nadia and Marvin, I do not know if you read what I write; but you have a huge responsibility. You bring the Truth of the New. Not just to me, to everyone who hears your programs. Nadia, I hope that you stick around Q2. I can see the day when your career as a violist will mean the end at The Q. That will be sad for us, but terrific for you. Marvin, you never let us down, you are simply the best person in New Music anywhere.

    The new computer, really purchased to add to my capabilities to “crunch” for scientific projects running BOINC software including those from World Community Grid, will be equipped with a Western Digital 1 terrabyte Passport external hard drive on which to build the new library. So, let’s fill it up.

    And, hey, any of you out there who might be interested in helping yourselves, your family members, and the Family of Man, take a look at the above mentioned World Community Grid and visit some of the projects shown on the BOINC web site. We “crunchers” have saved laboratory scientists literally thousands of hours of lab time on incredibly worthwhile research projects at august institutions an universities around the globe. We could sure use your help.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:10 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert 

    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert is now available for listening.

    This concert is given annually in New York City at The Cathedral of St John the Divine. This is the 29th year of this festival of international sound, a reunion for many of Paul Winter’s musical associates.

    The host, as usual, is none other than John Schaefer of WNYC New York Public Radio, where he hosts New Sounds and Soundcheck

    Give yourself a treat and listen to the two parts of this concert.

     
    • richardmitnick 2:56 pm on December 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your reply was caught by our spam blocker. I saw no trace of anything bad, so I let your comment through. But, I would like to know just what it is that brings you to my weblog post.

      I need your reply to be in English.

      Thanks.

  • richardmitnick 1:36 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Boston and New York 

    Boston and New York

    Recently in Boston, WGBH took over the operations of WCRB, a commercial Classical Music station and shipped off to this outlet all of its musical programming.

    At first blush, this looks like a repeat of what has recently happened in New York City. WNYC purchased the operations of WQXR. To recap events in New York City, while certain music related programming like Soundcheck and New Sounds have remained at WNYC 93.9 FM and the 93.9 web stream, music qua music is aired at WQXR FM 105.9 and the 105.9 128kbit web stream. WNYC2, the 24/7 music web stream, has become Q2, streaming at 128kbit stereo, and has remained as eclectic as was WNYC2.

    Back to Boston. First, I cannot even find a link for WCRB, everything I try, including a search, brings me back to WGBH. Maybe someone can correct me on this, and give me a link to WCRB.

    Second, while we at WNYC/WQXR are able to express our opinions in comment pages provided by parent WNYC, I found no such facilitiy at the WBGH web site. Searching for comments on the changes in Boston, I wound up at boston.com, a service of the Boston Globe newspaper. I found nothing at WGBH. Maybe someone can point out the error in my search.

    At another weblog, someone wrote that the citizenry in Boston appeared to be less irritated than the citizenry of New York City. But that is not how the comments at the Boston.com article seemed to me. They were in the main negative, but, I must admit, without the vitriol of the comments I have read at WQXR.

    What needs to be understood is that these two situations are but the tip of the iceberg, examples in cities big enough to draw a crowd. This shipping off of Classical music programming to HD radio (for cars?) and the internet (generally the same stream as HD radio) is going on all over the country because of reduced listenership at commercial stations, reduced membership at PubRadio outlets, just an overall diminution of availability for a variety of reasons. A great place to read about this is in the archives at a great weblog, Scanning the Dial. There is nothing new in the Boston or New York situations.

    I am a Public Radio zealot, WNYC fanatic, and now a WQXR cheerleader. I think that we in New York City, and I have to say also, the Classical music listeners in Boston, are fortunate that our local institutions, WNYC and WBGH, have found ways to keep Classical music on FM. This is the hard choice, the choice which may or may not pay for itself. The easy choice, taken by so many of the outlets discussed over the passed year at Scanning the Dial, is the internet, with its obvious limitations of tethering to the house or office.

    I think that WQXR will be okay, and I certainly hope the same is true for WCRB.

     
    • Clarence 4:55 pm on December 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Richard: Jeremy Eichler, the Boston Globe’s classical critic, wrote about WCRB on Dec. 18 and there are 73 comments, many of them echoing the signal complaints and music-playlist issues that greeted the WQXR changeover.

    • richardmitnick 5:11 pm on December 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Clarence-

      Yes, this is the article to which I referred above. But go to http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2009/07/26/why-wqxr-is-better-off-as-a-public-radio-station/comment-page-2/#comment-230863, and you will see a guy named Tom defending the whoole Boston thing as if it is far better than what has happened in New York wirh WQXR.

      I am a staunch WNYC fanatic, and I am a Q2 listener at WQXR. Q2 is the eclectic music web stream which was wnyc2. But I am a WQXR cheerleader because ZI want to see this adventure succeed. I canot accept the criticisms of WNYC leveled by Tom as being unjaundiced.

      Thanks for your comment.

  • richardmitnick 9:08 pm on December 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Some really cool connections 

    Some really cool connections

    First, in the Jazz Loft Radio Project, at WNYC which is a partner of The Jazz Loft Project being managed by the Center for Documentary Studies, in Epsisode 2, Sara Fishko talks about the work of the photographer W Eugene Smith, who was responsible for the Jazz loft. One of the photos is of Smith’s son and daughter walking into what looks like a halo of summer light. The photo was used in Carl Sandburg’s book “The Family of Man”. It was the last photo in the book. I have the book. The photo was used by E.R. Squibb & Sons, my dad’s employer at the time, in a advertisement. I think the ad was titled “security”. My parents found and purchased an oil painting of the picture. I have the oil painting.

    [The Jazz Loft was organized and managed by Life photographer W.Eugene Smith in 1954. It lasted until about 1965. It was a loft in the Flower District in Manhattan. After about 1:00PM until about 3:00-4:00AM, this district is empty of people. So, Jazz musicians could congregate there after their club gigs and jam all night. Which they did.

    Smith set up sound equipment and reel-to-reel tape recorders and recorded thousands of hours and miles and miles of tape. The center piece of the radio series involves Thelonious Monk getting ready and rehearsing for his famous 1959 Town Hall project. But, for a Jazz fan, there is much much more,including a book, “The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965 [DECKLE EDGE] (Hardcover) .]

    jazz loft book

    Second, one of the major figures of the Jazz Loft was Hall Overton, by day a Classical Music faculty member at Julliard, but by night a Jazz pianist and teacher at the Jazz Loft. So, in one interview segment of Maximum Reich
    at WQXR’s Q2, a 1999 New Sounds program, Steve Reich describes Hall Overton as his “first teacher”.

    Third, on that same program is Mark Stewart, of the Bang On A Can All-Stars plays the single live part for the piece “Electric Counterpoint”, a piece for thirteen electric guitars written for Pat Metheny. Pat Metheny is on the twelve recorded tracks. Well, it is the same Mark Stewart who plays some lead guitar on Paul Simon’s 2000 Paris “You’re the One” concert

    You're the one

     
  • richardmitnick 6:51 pm on October 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    What’s the deal with Gustav Mahler? 

    What’s the deal with Gustav Mahler?

    I don’t get it. Mahler is one of the most popular composers with the WQXR audience and with the New York Philharmonic audience. I do not understand it.

    10.17.09 This post will be a running journal of my time spent with the Mahler symphonies.

    I note at the outset, I have zero musical training, not even music appreciation courses. I had my father’s introduction to Classical music; back in the 1960’s, I had Sid Mark and Joel Dorn at WHAT Jazz in Philadelphia.

    Today, I have John Schaefer, David Garland, Terrance McKnight and Nadia Sirota for classical teachers at the new WQXR, and for Jazz I have Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine at WPRB, Princeton, NJ. For Jazz I also have everyone at WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, NJ. And, especially these days for New Music, Marvin Rosen, also at WPRB.

    When I want to immerse myself in some composer’s music, I put it in some order in my Zune software, and then sync it to one of my four 120 gig Zune .mp3 players. I take the player with me on my exercise walks, on planes, to the dentist, wherever. And I listen down through a cycle. If it is Jazz or Rock, Keith Jarrett or Bob Dylan; if it is Philip Glass, or Steve Reich, then I have them in chronological order by year. I just put the year in front of the album name in the ID-3 tagging in Zune or Windows Media Player. If it is one of the older classical greats, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or, in this case, Gustav Mahler, then I just put the symphonies and concerti in number order. I also have the album art in Zune, icons do help the memory.

    So, I am starting in with the Mahler Symphonies.

    cover

    So, up to date I am through just the 1st and 2nd symphonies, and one movement of the 3rd. I repeat, I just do not get it. First, for me, too much brash brass carrying the main theme. The strings seem secondary. Too almost militaristic. And, no “hooks”, no melodic themes that just grab at you.

    Back in 1993, Stephen Hill at Hearts of Space presented Program No. 332, “Deep Forest: Music of the Rainforest Pygmies”. About this music, he said,

    From sweet child-like solo pieces to angelic group choruses, the Pygmies’ music is intensely melodic and filled with natural hooks….”

    Deep Forest

    Colin Turnbull

    Beethoven is full of hooks. So is Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg, Philip Glass, Arvo Part. Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Howard Shore’s music for Lord of the Ring – all hooks. From Mahler I remember nothing. When my friend and I are in the car on the way to go cycling or hiking, we listen – in his car – to Classical music. Very often I can say at least who the composer is, because they seem to have a “footprint” in terms of voicing, rhythm, harmony. All I can think of about Mahler – so far – is LOUD. BRASS. THE WEST POINT PARADE GROUND.

    So, what I would like is for someone, anyone out there who can type and who knows Mahler and enjoys his work, tell me for what I should be listening, help me navigate my way into Mahler.

    I will be continuing this post as I go through the Mahler.

    10.23.09 Well! Into and through the fourth symphony, and viva viva Mahler!! What a difference. Lyric, lilting, a veritable ditty after the first three. Much more do the strings come to the fore and carry the melodies, instead of being almost drowned out by the brass. In the second movement I even heard a short violin solo.

    This was such a surprise that I figured something wonderful must have happened in Mahler’s life. Composers have to have it all in them; but some thing or things must act as a stimulus to bring it out. Did he get married? Divorced? Maybe a new child? Did someone who oppressed him go on to the great beyond?

    So, I hotsied myself over to Wikipedia to compare the chronology of the symphonies with the Maestro’s life. Alas, nothing is apparent.
    I am just happy that I found something more to my liking, and now I can go on with a positive attitude.

    10.30.09 Well, not much outdoor exercise; but a fair amount of the Mahler. The last several days, I was stuck inside in rainy weather. So, Tuesday, I decided to redo the Digiteria.

    IMG_0983Digits galore

    While I did this, I listened to the Symphony No 5 and Symphony No6. The one movement I loved was the slow fourth movement of the No 5. I recognized it right away, from, I think, a Sarah Brightman concert. Today, I got out for a walk with Symphony No 7. It was not as bombastic as the first three; but, alas, nothing to grab me.

    11.4.09 This is just a sad quickie update. I have now been through the first nine Mahler symphonies. I quit. It turns out I do not have the complete tenth symphony. I must say – I am sure it is my loss – Mahler is wasted on me. I just do not get it. I said up above that nothing sticks. For me, there is nothing to stick. No hooks, no repetitions of melodious themes. So, on to to other things.

    I do believe that this is the way to immerse oneself in a composer or performer. Get a lot of the work, it could be Bach, Jimmy Smith, Emerson Lake and Palmer, John Coltrane, Philip Glass, EmmyLou Harris, Miles Davis, Steve Reich. Put them into some sort of date order (easily done for Zune or Windows Media Player by going into Edit in Zune, or Advanced Tag Editor in WMP11 and putting the year in front of the name of the album. Put symphonic works, concerti, etc., in number order.) Then listen on down. Look for the growth. Look for the dynamic. Look for the shifts in compositional style.

    Any comments, please, do not hesitate.

     
    • scenebythebrook 10:58 pm on October 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I got into classical music in 2003. In 2004 I started buying a lot of CDs and by the end of that year was familiar with a substantial amount of the first Viennese School and a lot of Rromantics. One of the CDs I bought at the time was Mahler’s 5th symphony conducted by Lorin Mazaal with the Vienna Philharmonic. I listened to piece at least 10 times in the span of several months. I simply did not get it. No catchy melodies stuck out to me, no memorable sequences or great moments. I moved on to other music.

      Around that time I also acquired his fourth symphony. The first three movements didn’t strike out at me, but I fell in love with the final movement — a song. Because of this movement, I continued to give Mahler a chance.

      I bought the first symphony and found it pleasant enough. Some years later, I bought the second and, after repeated hearings, came to love it. I confess that I feel Mahler could be somewhat of a gasbag at times, but I found many moments to admire in second symphony — that part in the fifth movement, for instance, when the orchestra takes up that one theme gloriously and when the chorus enters singing that same theme. I get goosebumps now because of those parts and how now come to appreciate the whole symphony.

      Right now I’m working on the 3rd symphony. The process of acclimation is taking a while but once again I’m warming up to the work. In this work, Mahler threw in everything he had. It’s the longest symphony ever written (about 90 minutes) and, if it’s the case that there’s really only 20 minutes of great ideas/good music here, it’s worth enduring the length to get at those good parts. Maybe the whole of it is great and I’m not perceptive enough to appreciate it yet. After all, that’s how I initially felt about the second symphony and now I find the whole work riveting.

      I expect that when I get around to listening to the Fifth symphony soon I’ll find it more accessible this time.

    • richardmitnick 11:18 pm on October 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for your comments. At least I do not feel like such a jerk. You are putting a lot of time and effort into Mahler.

      “…No catchy melodies stuck out to me, no memorable sequences or great moments….” This is what I meant when I wrote about no hooks, a term admittedly from the pop musical world.

      I will continue on my path and come back when I can to relate my experience.

    • Matt 1:28 am on December 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Mahler is wonderful. He captures the emotion like no other composer can, and he is deeply ironic, which I love. His music ranges from the joyful to complete defeat. I think if you’re going in for a catchy tune, you wont find it. You need to be able to experience it without any other distractions–as if you were in a music hall. Military themes play a huge role since martial music was a huge part of his growing up, and actually, he tortured himself over the 4th–it didn’t come as easily to him as the others. If you’re in a dark, agressive mood, relisten to the 6th again. I think it’s his most successful. And check out Bernstein’s comments on the finale of the 9th on youtube–very enlightening. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a background, sing-song composer, Mahler is not him. He demands, he captures, your full attention.

      • richardmitnick 1:10 pm on December 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Matt-

        Thanks for your comment.

        I am sure that my lack of attraction to Mahler is my own lacking and loss. Surely, he is one of the perennial favorites in the New York City area and at WQXR.

    • qwer0987 12:48 am on December 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      The problem with your approach is simply that Mahler is too long/big. Unless you are a really, really experienced music listener, 1 listen is not going to be enough. Why do you think the music is “on the shelf” sort of speak for 50 years, until LP’s came along? It also doesn’t help that his style is quite diverse, so you can’t simply listen to the cycle for growth like some other composers.

      As for how to listen to Mahler, play it loud. Real loud, and let yourself drown in emotion. The emotion is what makes him stand out compared to other composers. He does love brass a lot, but it isn’t a problem unless for some really you really hate brass.

    • richardmitnick 7:31 am on December 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      qwer0987

      Thanks for your reply. The last first, I do find the brass to be too much for me. As to the rest, you are correct. It is my failure, as I have admitted above. I have taken the Mahler with me on the Zune quite a few times and tried to re-listen. I just cannot get into it, or understand it.

      Thanks again.

    • Justin Lohman 4:14 pm on January 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      See, the beauty of Mahler’s music is that it is extremely subtle in composition at times. Highly complex, but the dynamics are very subtle and unnoticable to the common ear. I compare certain segments of his symphonies to ‘gusts of wind’, ‘birds chearping’, ‘flowers blooming’ or ‘breathing in and out.’ I can understand if people do not like his music. HE happens to be the benevolant god of music in my mind. The important pre-requisite to factor in is that his music is a direct reflection of his personality and his ever shifting moods. He was probably happiest when he was sad, content where most are scared, and hated people and things that he actually probably inherently loved. I do not know if many other composers wrote in that idiom. There are moments in Das Lied (The Song of the Earth) where I am almost certain both him and I have the same vision. [10 min into ‘Abschied’ –if that doesn’t sound like a supernatural experience of a ghost in a cemetery or some other ominous landscape, i don’t know what else does]. The bottom line is that I have been a musician for 12 years or so and I have always been searching for certain dynamics and chord progressions that I could never find in the previous inventory I was exposed until…….I heard the 4th movement of Symphony 5. AMAZING! At the end the song, it sounds like it engages in a noose dive after being airborn for 9 minutes.
      Every Symphony I have heard after Symphony 5- especially 1, 2, 4, 6, and the momumental 8th- have targeted inner emotions and shades, or degrees and levels of emotion that i did not even know was possible. Chances are, while listening to a Mahler piece, if it sounds overly joyous and happy or evil and ominous, the exact opposite emotion is looming right around the corner. He thrives on the irony of ‘binary opposition.’ GENIUS to the fullest degree possible.

    • Brandon 2:53 pm on May 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Believe me when I say that I mean no offense when I say, and at the risk of sounding like an elitist, you are listening all wrong. You aren’t going to fully appreciate any classical piece listening to it with divided attention. Listening while hiking, doing dishes, driving in your car, etc. just isn’t going to work. You have to listen (not just hear the hooks) to the whole of the composition with undivided attention. Aaron Copland, in a book on listening to music, asks the listener a very revealing question: Are you really hearing EVERYTHING that is going on? I.E., if you listen to eight measures of music and can’t hum back exactly what the viola, oboe, horn, etc., are doing then you aren’t hearing everything, and are cheating yourself out of the listening experience. You also cannot fully appreciate any piece of classically composed music, especially one as contrapuntally complex as Mahler, by listening through only once. The thing about Mahler’s music is that there ARE hooks, many of them. They just don’t usually repeat within the same contrapuntal context. Sometimes they are in the foreground of the texture, sometimes they are in the middle or background of the texture. Sometimes they are recapitulated in diminution, sometimes in augmentation, sometimes in inversion, etc. They are mixed with other themes of comparable or incomparable importance. Each voice in the texture (sometimes as much as eight in the thrilling double fugue of the 8th) has a distinct contour and personality, making them completely melodically independent, but, stacked on top of each other they become harmonically interdependent. This is the genius of Mahler. He is arguably the greatest contrapuntalist in the history of classically composed music. Up at the top with Bach. It, of course, helps to have a firm understanding of music theory, orchestration, and fugal technique. The more you understand the better the appreciation. I do, however, know many musical laypersons who can appreciate Mahler, but none of them did within one, two, or even three listens. Mahler requires extra work, but stick with it, believe me, it is worth it!

    • Brandon 3:17 pm on May 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As an afterthought may I suggest targeting one movement of one symphony, say the Rondo Finale from the Seventh, and listening to it over and over, each time trying to listen to a different part of the texture? The divide and conquer technique might work with Mahler!

    • richardmitnick 4:15 pm on May 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Brandon-

      Thanks for your comments.

      My listening was the most focused it could be, when I am walking, all I concentrate on is the music. Whether it is Mahler, or Philip Glass, or Bob Dylan, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, whoever.

    • Dominic Case 6:57 pm on February 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Please don’t expect to “understand” Mahler right away. His work is too big for that – there is so much happening. I suppose a few people manage to – conductors mostly! As for “hooks”, after a couple of listenings you will find some phrases that you carry away with you that you won’t be able to put down. Mahler never exactly repeats in his recapitulations – there is always a variation, so that makes it a little harder still to know where you are or how a movement is built.
      Stay with it, and as others have said, don’t try to work right through the oevre. That might work with lesser composers, and if you wnat to know about the person not the music. Pick on one symphony (or song cycle) and play it over and over. And remember that Mahler was, apart from everytrhing else, a collector of impressions. The first symphony is a scrapbook of sounds he grew up with – only later does the full force of his harmony, couterpoint and orchestration emerge.

    • richardmitnick 7:21 pm on February 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Dominic-

      Thanks for the comments. I am still listening to Mahler, now one symphony at a time.

    • sh 8:29 pm on October 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Well, there’s always the possibility that you simply don’t care for his music. And whether you do or not, there’s also the possibility that you feel like you should (or that your listening community does, etc. etc.)

      I’ve been involved in music for a few decades now. I took up a more focused interest in symphonic forms in the late 90’s. A series of individual Mahler purchases and eventually the Kubelik box was a part of that. I wanted to hear what all the fuss and talk was about (and there was plenty) and I wanted to better understand what came after; Schoenberg, Berg, etc. So, no noob to challenging listens, I went through much of what you did, had dedicated, couch-borne listening sessions, did my reading and even rented related movies. It’s been over a decade now and ultimately, while I prefer the Zinman set and while there is occasionally a time and place (this October chill often puts me in the mood for No. 7), most of the time I just don’t care for Mahler very much. I don’t like a lot of his orchestration, his phrasing, his sense of drama… just not for me. In fact I found your blog just a week or so ago by one day finally googling “what is the big deal about mahler?” and was delighted and humored to have found this.

      To help you navigate your way through it – I would suggest stepping back and reading and listening to anything about or around your point of focus; history, musical contemporaries, predecessors and students, etc. Juxtapose with Wagner, Strauss and Schoenberg, or even Debussy; read about Jewish life in Europe at the turn of the century, etc. But, unless already driven to do so – why? These are all intellectual validations; if your heart’s not in it, your heart’s not in it, you gave it a go and I don’t think that makes you a ‘jerk’ in the least.

      If it’s scale or epic you’re after, try Bruckner for a change – certain influence but a completely different approach. Or if Mahler’s shrieking wears on you (sorry guys, it just happens), try going the other way and sinking into a deep Brahmsian bass line. But if everyone else is swearing by something and it doesn’t work for you after a few chances, let it go. It’s music, some part of you already knows if you respond to it or not. When something really catches you and takes you to a deeper place, you usually don’t have to try so hard, it’s more like you can’t help it (as I think some of the above replies make clear). And it’s about personal experience, not social judgement – do not confuse popularity or fame (or even prestige) with quality or talent. These are very, very different things that may or may not have anything to do with one another in a given instance. Go flip on the tv to see how that plays out.

      It gets down to this: How does listening to Mahler make you feel?

    • richardmitnick 8:40 pm on October 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, it is quite some time ago that I wrote the post. I had a bunch of helpful comments, I did some more listening. It all just came up short. I am sure it is not Mahler, I am sure it is me. But, for me, too much brass, too much bravado, not enough lyricism.

      Thanks again.

      This blog has become dormant because all of the issues with Classical music and PubRadio just died out. There is very little live beyond the rental of “Classical 24” from Minnesota Public Radio. WQXR, New York, is live hosted, so is WPRB, Princeton. Also WCNY, Syracuse and WCPE, Winston-Salem. Even WGBH’s purchase of WCRB did not remove the “Classical 24” from Boston Public Radio, a shocker in one of the great culture meccas.

      I have moved on the a new blog which looks at the “Downtown New York New Music scene”, and Jazz. Also, I follow some labels for new releases, ECM, Innova, Cuneiform, Blue Note, Cantaloupe, and New Amsterdam. The blog is at http://musicsprings.wordpress.com .

    • Tim Angell 8:46 pm on September 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      When you’re trying to hear something, or see something, leave your baggage at the door . And don’t try so damn hard.

  • richardmitnick 7:28 pm on September 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , WNYC,   

    WNYC becomes WQXR(?) October 8, 2009 

    WNYC becomes WQXR(?) October 8, 2009

    Sorry, I just cannot figure out what to call the newly formed Classical music entity at 105.9, http://www.wnyc.org. Or, will it be http://www.wqxr. what? org? com? It is all too confusing. We will still have wnyc2. What will be its name? Is there a wqxr2?

    Anyway, it is all happening at the zoo – oops, sorry that is from Paul Simon who is very much on my mind. It is happening at the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall at 8:00PM on October 8, 2009. Aha!! The NY Daily News says that the broadcast will be at 93.9FM and streamed at http://www.wqxr.whatever. I mean, their link says .org, but, click on it and you got to .com. The New York Times says that the broadcast will be on 105.9. I mean, that’s okay, a simulcast.

    Hey, if 93.9 keeps Jonathan Schwartz, I am all for this thing.

    But, seriously folks, it is well nigh time that we were told just what listeners can expect. I have been a commenter in weblogs and newspaper on-line sites all over the place. I can tell you that WQXR has its adherents. They are also all over the weblogs. So, one thing is we know that they have computers. So they can stop complaining about the reduced power at 105.9. One question is, will they become members?

    But, what will the new station be like? I want no change from the current music programming at WNYC. I want Terrance, David, Nadia, Helga. I want Reich, Glass, Adams, Golijov, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and of course, John Zorn.

    WQXR listeners have been very pronounced in responses to news articles. They want mostly their on-air folk.

    If the content changes, I am ready. We were put to it when the day time music was cut after 9/11. We all found our way with sites like http://www.publicradiofan.com, http://www.accuradio.com, http://www.live365.com. I will have no problem finding what I want on the internet. I expect no change at wnyc2. My only question is FM radio in the car. Again, no real problem with having listenable music. I have 160 gigs of music on three 120 gig Zune .mp3 players. That is more music than some stations’ libraries. I am not one for satellite radio’s offerings. I hear it in my friend’s car. To me it is pablum. Whitebread.

    And, mornings are fine, with WPRB . Also, there is WBGO for great Jazz, music I enjoy more and more.

    If all I have left is wnyc2, some of my member dollars will go elsewhere. I will cut back to the basic membership from my current US$100.00. My money will go to streamers at Live365, especially Innova.mu, the voice of the American Composers’ Forum, St Paul, MN for their excellent streams, and to PostClassic, if it still up, the stream of Kyle Gann.

    I will of course, never cease to recognize the excellence of John Schaefer’s two offerings, Soundcheck and New Sounds. John’s work alone is worth my membership.

    I really do not expect this all happen. I expect to keep Terrance, David, Nadia, and Helga, and the music I now enjoy.

    So, tell us, what can we expect.

     
    • DennisVega 12:37 pm on September 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    • Tnelson 6:12 pm on September 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

      • richardmitnick 11:27 pm on October 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I think I failed to thank you for your comment. I do appreciate it very much, and I regret my oversight.

        >>RSM

    • Ed Rosten 9:12 pm on October 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think we’ve discussed some of the implications and ramifications and all that of the combination – in advance of its actually taking place.

      Now that the deed is done, I have to call you on a kind of logical error you made – hey, we all write things that we wish we hadn’t, although you MAY not feel that all this is really necessary.

      You go from seeing a number of blog posts from WQXR listeners to a conclusion that a weaker frequency matters little. Similarly, you refer to the gigabytes of good music you carry around with you in what sounds very much like a grossly insensitive “I’m all right, Jack” vein…. I don’t think – and this from having read some of your more thoughtful words – that you’re a bad (thinking ONLY of yourself) person, but your post makes me wonder.

      Some of what you write also (I guess it’s WHO you are) has an elitist tone that’s also sad. It reminds me of political purists of years gone by who eventually find themselves in splinters of splinters of viable groups; in many instances, their sanity declines as their influence does. WQXR’s listeners may be overwhelmingly different from you in their tastes, but the “new music” that you favor relies on the more traditional classical music and its adherents not all going the way of the dinosaurs.

      Of course, the way that WNYC handled the takeover pretty much guaranteed that fewer people in New York would listen to classical music and/or that they would do so for dramatically fewer hours per week, say.

      And that WILL translate into smaller live audiences and additional losses to whatever chance of viability classical music now has. I’m sure you could come up with 10 reasons why people would actually refuse to adopt or be unable to adopt internet streams in place of WQXR’s (96.3 vintage) good strong signal.

      Taken together, they amount to literally thousands of listeners who’ll basically alter their listening habits to eliminate classical music from their audio diet. Their children and grand-children (yes, the latter group especially) will also be affected.

      I’m really not overstating this – I suspect that you would “rally” if you heard that 50,000 people in New York were prevented from voting. Instead, with numbers of the same magnitude – and those people really DO share something obviously very important to you – you take an altogether callous and uncaring position.

      Having said all that, I have to admit that for people with HD radios and/or luck in where they live, the outcome appears to be less bad than I had feared. I join you in hoping that several thousand people who might prefer (perhaps, they’ve never tried the alternative) “conventional radio” to an internet stream will give the latter a try and quickly come to the conclusion that their choice has NOT been narrowed – really – they actually may be overwhelmed by the number of good listening choices available to them.

      Of course, WNYC had to think more about the future than the past (the PRESENT, of course, is a lot harder to “kiss off”), but if they had devoted 10% of the energy they shell out 4 times a year with fundraisers to diminish the shock of the October 8th dynamiting of 96.3, they’d have emerged a great deal stronger and healthier.

    • richardmitnick 11:16 pm on October 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Ed-

      Yes, the switch is complete.

      I live in Highland Park, Central New Jersey, about 35 miles from New York City. I have on my house roof the largest antenna available at Radio Shack some 20 years ago. [I got this to clearly receive “Music From The Hearts of Space” at 2:00AM-3:00AM, which I put on stereo video tape because stereo VCR’s had a clock, and I could go to sleep. The provider of the program, Hearts of Space, San Fransisco, CA. knew I was time shifting the program.] With this antenna, I am getting 105.9 just fine. Clear, good signal, on for stereo receivers of different makes. I also spent some time in my car for my company, in Piscataway, NJ, also about 40-45 miles from New York City. I had no problems in the car. My car has no stick antenna. Today, my friend and I went hiking, driving about 40-45 miles from NYC. We took his car. It has a wee stick antenna. With the antenna down, no go. But with it up, a good strong signal. I called all of these reports into Listener Services.

      Regarding my 320 gigs of music, what can I say? I am “alright Jack”. Beyond my own library, when WNYC stopped music in the daytime back on 2001, forced on our own, some of us got brave and went looking. On the internet. I do most of my listening at work, in both my office and my home. So, I have the following bookmarked in Winamp on three computers:; a subscription to live365.com where I enjoy five streams from Innova.mu (American Composers’ Forum, St. Paul, MN), Kyle Gann’s PostClassic, Counterstream (American Music Center, NYC), and Iridian; the Q2 stream [was wnyc2, and no change in the programming]; great Classical music and Jazz at WPRB, Princeton, NJ, WBGO, Jazz in Newark, NJ. I also have bookmarked, but not in Winamp, accuradio.com, a bunch of good niche streams for 20th century and current music , and also for Jazz from Bebop on to the present. So, my friend, I am quite alright.

      Public Radio and serious music, Classical and Jazz, are my passions. I work very hard at this.

      The elitism is probably accurate. As I said, for me this is not a passing fancy. I have “friends” in Music, both Classical and Jazz and in Public Radio, via the computer, all over the country, from New York City to Los Angeles. I participate in the process at a number of stations, strictly as a listener, but only and always as member. I believe that membership has some privileges, one of which is to be a crank.

      One thing is for sure, in the weblogs which I read and in which I commented, the WQXR people were there in droves. I was very lonely.

      I don’t believe it is time yet for a pessimistic view of the future of the new WQXR.

      I would in fact support the adoption of internet streams, WQXR-FM, Q2, other web streams. You cna see that I have already opted for this model. I have four component stereo systems in the house; but they are pretty much going unused.

      In other places where this is discussed, my thesis is that the future of music listening is headed to the internet. Public Radio, the current home of Classical music on the radio, is losing stations almost every week. I have a friend who says that people only listen to radio in their cars. I think he is wrong. I think that there is a huge internet listenership; but, alas, I have no numbers to back that up.

      Now, all that being said, this friend of mine and I are at complete opposites in our musical tastes and in our radio choices. He loves Bach and hates Jazz, I do not hate Bach, I have a nice collection; but I love Jazz. He dislikes intensely most late Classical music like Messiaen, Glass, Golijov, which I love. He likes chamber music, early music, and a lot of standard classical music. I have Beethoven, Brfahms, etc; but I really start at Sibelius and Copland. He has satellite radio in the car; I use an mp3 player.

      And, guess what? We are both happy with the “New Q”, the people, the programming. WNYC is making a serious effort to make it comfortable for the WQXR listeners who do tune in. In fact, my friend is going to send money to WNYC!!.

      It was great to hear from you. I appreciate it that you are interested and willing to go to great effort to make your views known. My experience is that the management at WNYC cares what you think and you should always tell them. That goes for anyone else reading this exchange. My experience with WNYC goes back to about 1980. I am an old experienced crank.

      Best regards,
      >>RSM

    • Ed Rosten 8:46 am on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Well, you’ve defused almost all anger and frustration I may have felt. As I said – but not clearly and succinctly enough – do NOT make the mistake of observing even 50 different posters from WQXR on blogs and concluding that the AVERAGE WQXR listener is/was comfortable with technology. Here, too, I’m being intuitive, and nobody would LET a statistic like this “go public,” but I’ll guess that their audience was even grayer than average for things like classical music, the theater, etc.

      But they DO “deserve” to be taken care of – for all sorts of reasons, and in the absence of a signal that reaches people who – unlike you – do NOT have good equipment, antennae, expertise, etc. – one can hardly say that they are being well taken care of.

      GLAD TO HEAR that at least a good swath of NJ is still “on the grid.” Alas, as you probably know, the same cannot be said about Long Island and nearby CT.

      And, sadly – not knowing which of us is right and to what extent – I disbelieve almost 100% your belief that the current WNYC top management gives a @%$# about the minority elements in their listenership. That goes for the so-called “minority groups,” and it even goes for the well-heeled and vocal classical music lovers – BY AND LARGE. To make them distinctly 2nd class citizens is obviously WAY BETTER than cutting them loose as we both know some other public radio stations have done…. But the bottom line is that WNYC made a series of decisions over the last few months that were – in radio terms – every bit as classical music-UNFRIENDLY as shuttering Carnegie Hall would be. Glad YOU have adjusted – I know that literally thousands of – no other way to put it – recently orphaned listeners of WQXR … COULD adjust, but they’re going to need help from people like you and me AND the management of WNYC. Right now, they’ve goosed all the on-air people to say once or twice per hour – “Tell your friends we’re still on the air.”

      What they need to do is to provide the most painstaking how-to’s on their website. They have to own up – as the facts firm up – that this or that area is now a dead zone and it isn’t worth futzing with antennae. Maybe, too, they can earmark some $ to reducing those dead zones via repeaters & translators and things I obviously only understand to a limited extent.

      Check out my WQXR.INFO page – BADLY in need of a how-to re internet radio!

    • richardmitnick 12:05 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ed-

      First of all, sure, frustration. We are all a bit frustrated. Terrance and David will not be able to bring the kinds of music – late 20th century and current- that they were presenting as part of Evening Music. Even Nadia and Helga on the Overnight will be presenting more traditional fare. WQXR listeners will need to adapt to the new stance as Public Radio listeners. Believe me, the support announcements at WNYC were as irritating as the commercials at WQXR.

      And, the antenna business could be problematic for some. My friend to whom I referred does not any longer have any kind of a roof antenna. But, he found a Bose radio that brings in 105.9 just fine in Highland Park, NJ, for US$350.00. Not everyone can do that.

      But, anger? This is not useful, relevant, whatever. Anger at me is totally misplaced. I state a philosophic position, which one may take or not take. I could feel totally frustrated and angry about the lack of support from WNYC listeners pro or con in the blogosphere. I don’t. I did my thing, basically I lost, and we go on from there.

      The thing about taking care of its WQXR listeners, WNYC has spent a fortune at 160 Varick Street all aimed at music presentation. There are new studios for in-house live music presentation; there is the Greenspace which cost ten million dollars. I think all of the new assets will be put to use and WQXR listeners – who I hope become members – will be the beneficiaries of those assets.

      Please give me a link to reach your WQXR.INFO page.

      >>RSM

    • ed rosten 7:25 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Clarifying – never (really) angry at you. You’re 100% right – if even 1% of the listeners contributed as much as you do (apart from $), lots of things would be different and better.

      AND you’re right about some of that infrastructure investment, something I genuinely overlooked.

      I’m a little puzzled at your allusions to what you seem to believe is a noticeable change in the programming one can expect from Terrance & David – by now, I’m sure you can back it up, but I’ll still be surprised. Say what one will about WNYC, “muzzling” its on-air staff GENUINELY would surprise me.

      Last, http://www.wqxr.info is up and running – maybe, I didn’t make that as clear as I might have!

    • richardmitnick 8:22 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      Regarding the music, you know, I have sources. I know for a fact that Terrance and David will be airing more traditional Classical music, this is a definite nod to the WQXR listeners.

      I was working very late and so also listening to Nadia. The same will be true in Overnight Music.

      Will this last? Who is to say. I did go to the “blog” page, one of them, Terrance’s, and provide a list of composers whose work is within the tradition that WQXR followed, yet whose music is far from boring: Alan Hovhaness, John Adams, Olivier Messiaen, Aaron Copland, the Appalachian works of Mark O’Connor-Edgar Meyer-Yoyo Ma, Mark O’Connor, Leonard Bernstein, NADIA SIROTA, Philip Glass (Glassworks, Glasspieces, Prokofiev, Sibelius, and Duke Ellington- the Suites, Black Brown and Beige, the Latin American Suite, the Far East Suite, and Such Sweet Thunder.

      Thanks for the link. I hope that others see it also, now that we have it here.

      I hope that my typing is getting better. I am feally trying.

      >>RSM

    • richardmitnick 9:00 pm on October 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      You need to see http://gregsandow.com/WNYC_cuts.htm, this is Greg Sandow’s (major New York critic) article in the WSJ when day time music died at WNYC.

      Let’s see if I can copy it in:

      Yes, but while the text is complete, it is better at Greg’s page, so look at the web page.

      >>RSM

      “…New York
      Last month, New York’s public-radio station, WNYC, stabbed classical music right in the heart. Or that’s what many people think.
      What happened, more precisely, was that WNYC cut out 25 hours each week of classical-music broadcasts — nearly its entire daytime classical-music schedule on weekdays — and replaced it with news and talk.
      Not that this took the station out of the classical business. It kept its nighttime classical-music broadcasts, and most importantly, still features contemporary classical music, which hardly anyone else in radio is willing to do. And even as it made the cuts, it started a new live classical show, which airs for an hour every weekday afternoon, and in fact costs more than all the broadcasts that were cut, because live music is more expensive than playing CDs.

      But people are upset, because classical music has been vanishing from radio all over the country. When news leaked of the impending cuts, David Finckel, the cellist of the very fine Emerson String Quartet, and his wife, the pianist Wu Han, circulated a petition that was signed by many top musicians — among them Itzhak Perlman and Wynton Marsalis — along with nonmusic celebrities and even a couple of Nobel Prize-winners. An angry Web site, http://www.savewnyc.org, sprang up, many pages deep and with a splash of fancy graphics: “No music? No money!” it roared, urging listeners not to contribute during WNYC’s recent fund-raising campaign, but instead to flood the phones with protests. And at an April 10 meeting of WNYC’s Community Advisory Board — a body with a voice, but no real power — I could taste the anger that lay behind all this. “This is our FM station!” a woman cried, as if it had been stolen from her. Who, others wondered, will listen to classical music in the future, if no one is exposed to it in the present?

      The problem WNYC faces, though, is precisely that not enough people are currently listening. “What we’ve learned over the past four or five years,” says Laura Walker, the station’s president, “is that WNYC serves two distinct audiences. Our news audience has increased significantly, but our music audience has been flat or decreased.” In any given week, she says, just over a million listeners tune into WNYC, but only 12% of them do so for its music. Worse yet, those people — vocal as they are — don’t even carry their financial weight; they give less money, in proportion to their numbers, than the news listeners do.
      These statistics aren’t controversial. They come in part from Arbitron, radio’s version of Nielsen’s ratings, and are supplemented by special studies and anecdotal sources, such as phone conversations with donors during fund drives. Two weeks ago, WNYC told me that it had surveyed 600 people, 400 of them listeners, 200 demographically similar to listeners. These people ranked classical music last, among 15 things WNYC might offer — and dramatically last, because they disliked classical-music broadcasts more strongly than they liked the news-related choices that they rated at the top.

      So really, now — whose station is it? Why don’t news listeners have the same rights as people who listen to WNYC for classical music? They’re not much more a mass-market audience than music listeners are. They turn to public stations because they can’t find the news programs they want on commercial radio. Why should they be given less than music listeners, whom they far outnumber?
      The protesters object that WNYC now plays classical music mainly in the evenings — and, even worse, in the middle of the night — when fewer people listen. But that’s because the larger daytime audience quite literally tuned away. Naively (or so it seems to me), the protesters say this shouldn’t matter, because public radio exists to offer things that aren’t popular. But what does that mean? Should it broadcast programs all day long about asparagus? Why should classical music have special privileges? Why don’t news shows qualify as noncommercial enough to fulfill the mission?

      But here, I think, we get to what makes the protesters so angry. They argue that too many of the talk programs, created to appeal to listeners, aren’t really good or serious, and that by trying to get more people listening, the station’s management reveals itself as greedy, or even power-mad. In one way, they have a point. Some of the newer shows are clearly lifestyle stuff, not as serious as Beethoven. They reflect a culture shift, the same one that years ago brought Tina Brown to the The New Yorker magazine, and made it shallower and trendier. But the culture really has been changing, and WNYC has hardly any choice unless it wants to downsize. To survive as any kind of even mildly large-scale operation, it has to play in the corporate arena, just as museums do, or orchestras or opera companies.
      Understandably, that’s hard for the protesters to accept. But their complaints about WNYC — which also include the style of the station’s management — are in a way unfair, and in the end irrelevant. They’re unfair because the station still devotes one-third of all its broadcast hours to classical music and says it will address one of the trickiest problems classical music faces, which is how to attract a new audience. Studies show, the station says, that its news listeners do like classical music. They just don’t like to hear it on the radio, and, like many people the classical-music world would like to reach, they also don’t seek out classical concerts or classical CDs. Can their interest be awakened? WNYC thinks it can help, by running news items — features, interviews, evocative vignettes — about classical music, and especially about classical events it plans to broadcast live.

      Will that drive these listeners to take a greater interest? Nobody knows. But one classical figure who signed the petition, the composer John Corigliano, told me that he’s now willing to give WNYC a chance. In part, he says, that’s because the problems classical music faces are much deeper than WNYC.
      And certainly he’s right. What’s happening at WNYC is just a symptom, and so the real question the protesters should address is how to make classical music more popular, so WNYC will have to broadcast more of it.
      To its credit, the Community Advisory Board held a discussion of just that subject at the meeting I attended. Two speakers — Bill McLaughlin, the host of a much-loved classical-music radio show, “St. Paul Sunday,” and Richard Bell, the national executive director of young audiences, which brings classical music to younger people — made a crucial point. Both warned protesters not to speak as if they somehow were entitled to hear classical music on the air. In Mr. Bell’s words, “We paint ourselves into a corner that way.”
      And we’re in trouble, I’d add, if we start, as even Mr. Finckel and Ms. Wu’s petition did, from the assumption that classical music deserves a special place, that it’s not just good to have around, but necessary. Not everyone agrees with us — and that’s the problem we’d better learn how to address.

      Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2002…”

    • Ed Townesend 2:28 pm on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      A kind of P.S. The Wikipedia article on QXR – recently updated, as one would expect – says that the 2 translators STAYED with WQXR – i.e., they extent its reach. I think I’d heard the North of NY one “confirmed” by observation on some other forum, but in that YOU are in NJ and are concerned where you might drive and essentially lose coverage, these may be worth posting:

      W244AS 96.7 FM Oakhurst, NJ 8 D FCC
      W279AJ 103.7 FM Highland, NY 2 D FCC

      Not sure how this will format, but the 8 & D on the first line and the 2 & D on the 2nd are said to represent “power” and “class,” respectively. I leave it to others to opine as to the effectiveness/reach/etc. of those 2 “frequencies.”

      I find it somewhere between interesting & amusing that QXR identifies itself as being located in NYC and Newark whenever it ID’s itself. I understand that BGO is moving its broadcast to the Empire State Building, vastly increasing its reach (I think simply because it’ll be much higher in altitude atop the ESB). Hard to believe that it would be all that financially difficult for WNYC to find a Long Island location – both physically and on the dial – to shoehorn itself into 10’s of thousands of homes out there. Too bad some of the fattest cats out there (the old Computer Associates biggies if memory serves) were either fined very big bux or imprisoned or both. If one of them were a classical music lover…. Actually, I think that the town of Great Neck (LI) is said to be (easily) among the top 10 non-metropolises in terms of classical music appreciation. They should yell and scream (I’m sure they could demonstrate enormous support for WNYC over the years) – and/or maybe put together a “special fund,” insisting, of course, that not one penny of it go for anything other than re-enfranchising them.

    • richardmitnick 3:06 pm on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Ed-

      Thanks for the update. I am really pleased that WBGO, which bills itself out as “The World’s Greatest Jazz Station” has been really hindered of late in its service because of low power.

      >>RSM

    • Ed Townesend 11:59 am on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Boy, the final paragraph on your 10/8 post – the one atop this thread – sure sounds like what I imagine an oboe sounds like if the reed succumbs to old age – i.e., a kind of “clinker.”

      First, for you and others – a fine link:
      http://classicalwebcast.com/usa.htm

      because, among other things, it DOES list the streams (don’t know how current and/or accurate, of course) that play classical WITH their specs. Apparently, the post of yours on WQXR.org I saw referencing the 32K “speed” or sampling rate for the WQXR stream is … what it’s “supposed to be.”

      I use a very bare bones player, that doesn’t give me stats like your WinAmp does, but I switched from WMNR to KBAQ and the sound is more “robust.”

      But my real “issue” to rile you up with today has to do with your analysis that the merger is looking like the “acquired” dominates the “acquiror” … BECAUSE the WNYC people (listeners) weren’t noisy enough.

      I’m sure you know more about classical music than almost any non-professional listener, but I think you’re WAY off-base as to why things are looking as they do.

      Before advancing my theory, let me hope that you “can do better,” particularly in that you’ve not been bashful about pointing out that you HAVE been able to dialog with WNYC “seniors” (in terms of responsibility) in the past. (Have they ignored any recent attempts on your part to protest?!)

      It simply doesn’t strike me the way a “high power” station (WNYC) would do things in this day and age – i.e., count blog entries and program accordingly.

      There’s too much at stake, and if you’ve ever looked at Craigslist, you’ll know that one fast typist and/or a technologically adept user can fill up page after page of “posts” faster than you or I can do a single one.

      My guess is that WNYC realized that the changes they decided to make just about “tore the heart” out of people like you in terms of being likely to get your $ at this next (and subsequent) fundraisers.

      So, they turned the “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” saw on its head and decided to roll the dice that the new “thousands” (or even 10’s of thousands) of QXR immigrants would shell out whatever their goal is – $100,000, as a guess, during the upcoming fundraiser.

      In other words, the station is being – more or less – PROactive. I read – I guess it’s pretty common to “personalize” an organizational decision, however appropriate it may be – 2 things about Laura Walker in the last day or so – one in her favor, one less so.

      She’s grown the listenership and subscriber base by a huge number during her tenure – I guess that’s good, although most of her tenure coincided with a kind of economic “bubble” in/near NYC…. Then, there’s her $500K compensation – just this side of obscene, in my opinion.

      The only reason I mention all that is – and I’m inclined to think that she’s your proverbial “strong leader” – maybe she has good (commercial) instincts – i.e., making the station “stronger.” (And I doubt that there’s more than a handful of WNYC-ites who will tempt her to get a bodyguard.)

      Fortunately, in the spirit of my link above, there’s no shortage of sources of good classical music on the web – I dare say that we’re nearing the point where if you found that they all left something to be desired, it wouldn’t be beyond YOUR ability to launch stream #904 or whatever, so that “WRSM” played what YOU think is worth hearing.

    • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      “…Boy, the final paragraph on your 10/8 post – the one atop this thread – sure sounds like what I imagine an oboe sounds like if the reed succumbs to old age – i.e., a kind of “clinker.”….”, sorry, I am lost, can you put it in quotes like I just did here?

      “…Apparently, the post of yours on WQXR.org I saw referencing the 32K “speed” or sampling rate for the WQXR stream is … what it’s “supposed to be.”….”, yes accurate, but not acceptible. WNYC was streaming their FM broadcast at 128kbit stereo for Evening Music and Overnight Music. So, they can still do it with the 105.9 stream. The minimum acceptable is 96kbit stereo.

      “…your analysis that the merger is looking like the “acquired” dominates the “acquiror” … BECAUSE the WNYC people (listeners) weren’t noisy enough….” I never said that, I do not even think it. But, I do believe that the muckitymucks were reading the blogs. The WQXR people were out in droves. I was pretty much alone.

      “…I dare say that we’re nearing the point where if you found that they all left something to be desired, it wouldn’t be beyond YOUR ability to launch stream #904 or whatever, so that “WRSM” played what YOU think is worth hearing….” Egad!! No chance.

      Laura Walker has grown the membership, but on news and talk. She is a Peabody award winning journalist. A journalist, not really a radio person at all. She supports the continuance of music because she has to. But she clearly has delegated what goes on in music to someone beneath her. And, they did a good job. George Preston and Brad Cresswell, under someone’s leadership totally built out wnyc2 – now Q2 and unchanged. And this influence went into Evening Music even before Terrance, and into Overnight Music, especially with Nadia Sirota, a phenom violist and incredibly well trained if only de facto musicologist.

      Back to work…

    • Ed Townesend 1:18 pm on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Wait – and I really will give you the last word. What would you say to the fellow who wrote these words?

      “I expect to keep Terrance, David, Nadia, and Helga, and THE MUSIC I NOW ENJOY.” [my caps]

      … those being your words, of course, just over one month ago.

      Glad to hear that Q2 is what you want it to be, but I don’t think that others are wrong in thinking that David and Terrance are not the “happiest of campers” these days.

      There may be some who say/think, “A job’s a job,” but I’d be astounded if those 2 gentlemen were wired that way! (Seriously, wasn’t it the MUSIC that Terrance played that made you rise to his defense when he was attacked, early in his tenure?!)

      Are George Preston and Brad Cresswell part of WNYC or WQXR these days? How do you think they feel about the new “lineup?” – style and substance-wise.

    • richardmitnick 2:44 pm on October 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      …I really do not expect this all happen. I expect to keep Terrance, David, Nadia, and Helga, and the music I now enjoy…” I did write that, at the very outset, when I thought that there would be more support.

      I don’t know if you look at the “blogs” on the WQXR web site. There are basically three, Terrance, David, and Q2, which I believe is Nadia. There are tons of comments. Especially in Terrance’s group, some of my kindred are now coming around.

      Both George and Brad left. George is, I believe, Music Director or something like that at WFMT. Brad and his wife had a child, Brad went “home” so he could get some familial help. He is at another PubRadio station, I do not know which one. Thanks so much for that site with the web stream data. I bookmarked it.

      >>RSM

  • richardmitnick 7:49 pm on August 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , WNYC   

    Nadia;Terry Riley;Amazon 

    Nadia>Terry Riley>Amazon

    So, here is how (Public) Radio is supposed to work:

    Nadia Sirota pulls an air shift for the vacationing David Garland. I am in the car when Nadia plays a wee piece of Terry Riley from the Salome Dances For Peace. Hmmm. I have a bit of Terry Riley. Let’s see,
    I have

    A Rainbow in Curved Air
    A Rainbow in Curved Air

    In C by Bang On A Can
    In C Bang On a Can

    Songs For the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets
    Songs For the Ten Voices of the Two Prophets

    and

    Requiem For Adam
    Requiem For Adam

    So, what else can I find, in .mp3, at Amazon?

    Shri Camel

    Shri Camel

    Church of Anthrax
    Church of Anthrax

    The Harp of New Albion
    Harp of New Albion

    Reed Streams
    Reed Streams

    Persian Surgery Dervishes
    Persian Surgery Dervishes

    In C:The 25th Anniversary
    In C: 25th Anniversary

    The Salome Dances For Peace
    Salome Dances For Peace

    The Book of Abbeyozzud
    The Book of Abbeyozzud

    I guess that is enough for now. I really like Terry Riley. Maybe next month or so I will buy some more.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:11 pm on July 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , WNYC   

    WNYC buys WQXR – What Of IT??? 

    WNYC buys WQXR – What Of IT???

    So, WNYC is purchasing everything there is to purchase of WQXR.

    So what does this mean?

    The only thing that is important for WNYC music listeners is that we keep the kind of music programming we have now enjoyed for the last couple of years. George Preston and Brad Cresswell did tremendous work in the creation of wnyc2. This effort rubbed off on and re-invigorated Evening Music. With the advent of Terrance McKnight, with Bach next to Bessie Smith, Dvorak next to Duke Ellington, Evening Music has never been better.

    That is what is important and that is all that is important. The switch to a low power transmitter is probably not a big deal. While the WQXR geniuses were running their web stream through America On Line, the Reo of the internet, WNYC’s internet savvy staff built up one of the best net infrastructures in Radio.

    I suspect that the majority of the WQXR listenership is still bound to terrestrial radio. I suspect that the WNYC audience is much more tending to listening via wnyc.org, either in the station’s own player, or via Winamp or Windows Media Player.

    WQXR was, in its last decades, a mass of mediocrity. Garbage. Ca-ca, as the British would say.

    There has been no statement from Laura Walker about the content of the music programming. We really could use a statement from her about music.

    Visit WNYC’s web site, find your way through the labrynth of music sites to see the comments that have been posted on the station’s various music Comments pages, what passes for a weblog at WNYC, the one thing that has been poorly implemented, instead of as true forum.

    This is all over the weblogosphere, see especially Scanning the Dial
    at Inside the Arts, Current, and, of course, on WNYC’s site and Evening Music. I have asked Greg Sandow if he plans to comment in his weblog. I hope that Greg will give us his thoughts. Greg is the clearest and deepest thinker on these matters on the web today.

    Let me know what you think.

    Update: I went to Sequenza 21 to see if there had been any comments on this subject. I found nothing, so, I asked if they would be having anything to say. Sequenza 21 is probably the most important weblog for New Music anywhere on the internet. WNYC has been the most important radio outlet for New Music anywhere. I am pleased to say that they responded positively. I hope that they will stay with this as it unfolds. No one in his or her right mind wants to see the WQXR culture at WNYC, except maybe for the Lincoln Center crowd.

     
    • Doug 9:24 am on July 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Upfront, I really do think this is great for listeners. Tweak the wnyc2 feeds some so there is an apparent live music selector in the room, introduce program grants for the station, and make sure you are FCC compatible with announcing your call letters and other requirements, and you have a really strong radio station.

      I am worried they’ll be able to survive financially though, as the extra costs may not be met by more listener support. This would be a good time for NYC’s president to earn her very large salary and grow the public radio market in some tough times. Still, I can’t wait to listen.

    • richardmitnick 10:08 am on July 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Doug-

      The managers of wnyc2 have at times introduced a “plausibly live” host, apparently recording what are called “tips and tails”. But they have never really stuck with it. In my position as self-appointed WNYC Music Fanatic, I really do not mind the lack of a voice. I was very involved with George Preston and Brad Cresswell, trying to influence the musical programming, as wnyc2 was being developed, and I am very happy.

      I have been screaming for grant announcements and some polite pitching on wnyc2.

      Call letters are announced, not a lot, but probably enough.

      You are correct about Ms Walker’s salary. WNYC has been pleading poverty in the face of her huge allotment of station resources. At the back of all this, even with staff cuts, I think that WNYC has gobs and gobs of money, mostly from supporters like the Jerome L Greene entity, Billy Tisch, and the like.

      I don’t know who you are or where you are, but I can tell you that WNYC’s music programming has gone through a revolution is the past couple of years. While we do not have music on FM during the day, what we have 7:00PM-5:00AM on FM and at 128kbit on the web, and also wnyc2, qualitatively, things have never been better. If you are far away, you can get it all on the internet.

      Thanks so much for your comment. Please check out the rest of the weblog. I need dialogue and I welcome intelligent folks.

      >>RSM

    • richardmitnick 10:56 pm on July 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This post on WNYC buying WQXR was picked up in its entirety by something called Classisima. I tried to figure out what it is, I am still not sure. Maybe I should consider it a compliment, maybe not. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. If you know of Classisima, please fill me in.

      >>RSM

    • Ed Townesend 3:00 pm on July 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve seen your posts on several sites; perhaps, you’ve seen mine, which take a much dimmer view of all this. (We have some common ground, I should add, but that makes for dull reading, of course.)

      The reasons I think that this in-progress game of musical chairs is a disaster for anyone who cares about classical music are these:

      1) $15 MM (yes, half of it comes from very rich people, but I’d like to think that even THAT money could have and would have been better spent in the absence of this lunacy…. see what follows) is a very large amount of money and while WNYC has “deep pockets,” I have to think that the listener $ are not going to be coming in at 2004’s rate, say, in these tough times.

      So, that means even more – is it possible?! – underwriting interruptions. I find them odious in and around mostly talk. Surely, classical music lovers are going to “gag” on “save a tree” interruptions – the same pathetic “humor” – every hour or 2…. And when do they go to 5 or 6 pledge drives per year? – soon, I’ll bet! Again, while WQXR had its problems in terms of “paying the piper,” what do you want to bet that the “new WQXR” alienates 9/10 of its old listeners in a hurry – even if it’s not at all rational to prefer commercials to WNYC’s over-abundance of promos and the like?!

      I know you have VERY little use for the current programming on WQXR – and I understand your arguments…. But this (classical music) is a pretty small pie – no matter how you slice it – and “kissing off” half or more of the audience is going to have some negative consequences…. Do the math, as they say!

      2) The (lack of) physical power of the 105.9 frequency makes this deal dumber than dirt (and please, all, have no illusions that Laura is an F.O.B. or that that matters – anybody, remember those letters? – ’cause the FCC is simply not in a position to adjust upwards ANYBODY’s output atop the Empire State Building…. If you need confirmation, ask yourself why a for-profit company would pay $34 million so just to “get louder.”)

      Simply put, if you lose 10-30% of the audience to an “I don’t listen, because it doesn’t show up on my receiver” and another 10-30% to folks who kinda like their classical music to sound CLEAR, and you move anything non-talk-y on the current 93.9 to that same flawed 105.9 “space,” you actually have the perverse effect of REDUCING the number of classical music listener-hours WNYC will provide to those not getting them over the internet.

      … And if you – and here, I’m more than a little sympathetic – want to write off those dedicated receivers/radios as buggy whips, you certainly have a defensible position, … but then WHY SPEND $15 MM for an “empty box?!”

      We certainly feel about as differently as one can about “Terrance” – I’ll grant you that his musical choices are interesting – but here’s the way I see this playing out:

      in a nutshell, like Time’s acquisition of AOL!

      That is, this is just bad, bad, bad – and it gets worse. When the WNYC Board in 2012, say, asks how come they’re each being asked for $3 MM to paper over the deficit in operating costs, they’re gonna have to look for someone to walk the plank. … Laura, of course. … But they’ll also ask tough questions about where the money is going (and has gone) and what can be learned about the people who supply the money coming in.

      SURPRISE! They’re going to conclude – as EVERYbody in public radio has concluded for the last 20 years that ALL of the classical music lovers account for 2% or so of the listeners – and truly sadly, listeners up there in years not replaced 1-for-1 by younger people as they pass away. I encourage you to look up the word “public,” as in “public radio!” … So they’ll chop down the classical music tree called WQXR – if it still exists – and if you think that leaves you in a better place than you were a month ago, I have to think you’re out of your ever-loving mind.

      Sometimes the status quo is better than any VIABLE alternative. This is just such a case!

      • richardmitnick 5:29 pm on July 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Ed-

        Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming in here with some solid points of argument, in the best sense of the word.

        First, I should say that The WNYC audience has left me feeling very lonely. I know that lots of people read the same sites that I do, yet there is little support evidenced by WNYC members and listeners.

        I am not a bit worried about WNYC and the money. They will get it, some from trustees, some from big donors who are friends of trustees, some little people like me. I will do it because for me it is the right thing to do, maybe US$500.00 over five years, predicated on the music. That is what I did when the licenses were acquired. I interrupted my payments when Ms Walker killed daytime music. But I made good on the pledge when wnyc2 lauinched.

        The Jerome L Greene Performance Space is another good example of the sustaining presence of music at WNYC. That space was built to present highly quality music performances. Much more money was spent than would have been necessary to put Brian and Lenny in a window box for street view. And, there have been musical videocasts. To me – I am 68 years old – this is way cool, as kids would say.

        Underwriting interruptions? Sure, a pain in the butt. I respectfully doubt 5 or 6 pledge drives a year.

        I think that it is quite the case that WQXR members will not be happy if what I want happens in the music programming, which is exactly what we have now. I believe that Evening Music and Overnight Music have both been brought up to date by the influences which yielded up wnyc2. That is, do something no one else in PubRadio is doing. From what I know, wnyc2 is doing very well, based upon its programming.

        If you stayed with any of the early Evening Music “blogs” – not really blogs, not forums, just comment boxes- when Terrance came on board, he caught a lot of flack for not only what he was playing, like Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington, but also for talking over the music. I must say, I just ate it up, the whole thing. And, he seems to have survived well.

        Regarding WQXR’s programming, I know two exceptional PubRadio stations which I joined when day time music left WNYC. WCNY, Syracuse, and WCPE, Winston-Salem both do a great job with live hosted Classical music from the same periods that WQXR programs. I am in New Jersey, and so I listened to them on the computer. They both have very good solid streams. Any WQXR listener would like what they do. Also KUSC, Los Angeles, airs and streams great Classical music. I belonged also to that station. I was not fond of the “plausibly live” music from a hard drive delivered by Classical Public Radio Network, and my inability to interact, even with email, with the on-air hosts. Also, I did 24 hour studies of KUSC and WCPE, from their playlists: drive-time pieces are always short. Pieces were longer in the middle of the day, the evening, and overnight.

        I think that the power thing is bad, just plain bad, but it is a cost, so to speak, of getting the deal done. David Garland has been, previous to this, suggesting that people get the web stream, even in The City, because of interference with the FM signal from big buildings. I think that WNYC listeners, on the whole, will be able to access anything they want on the internet. I don’t know about the WQXR listeners, who I see as a more terrestrial bunch.

        “Why spend 15 MM for an ’empty box?'” First, I think it is closer to 11 MM, but, hey, that’s still real money. I think that she just had to do it. Whatever we get, Ms Walker, known in my house prior to wnyc2 as the Dragon Lady and the Wicked Witch of the East River, has made good on her “promise” to get a third station onto which she can toss Classical music.

        I do not think that Ms Walker, as she is now known in my house, has ever had any intention of doing away with serious music. I think it is just not her field. Ms Walker is a Peabody award wining journalist, ex-NPR. She has left music to others to care for. I think the evidence for this is the advent of wnyc2, and the big big changes in Evening Music and Overnight Music. They have spent a ton of money doing this stuff, re-doing the web site, and keeping up with remote concert broadcasts, live or “on tape”. The John Cage project was tremendous, as was the Tristan and Isolde project. Admittedly, George and Brad were around for these things and they are gone. Brad was mostly responsible for what happened with wnyc2. I had a lot of email interaction with both of them. But, if what is now happening on all of the programming I have mentioned is any measure, there is no diminution or change of direction in what is happening.

        What do you think of Terrance and David? How about Nadia Sirota and Helga Davis on the overnight? I am high on Terrance, way high on Nadia, I have always respected David. Helga? I don’t know, she gets it done, but I think she is reading. I liked James David Jacobs when he was on the overnight.

        You did not say what kinds of music you like. Clearly, you are internet savvy. For other really good Classical music, check out WPRB, Princeton (www.wprb.com) Monday-Friday 6:00AM-11:00AM.

        Thanks again, and, please come back. Take a look over previous posts, I would welcome any comments you would make.

        I have been hoping with this weblog to get some dialogue going on some of the subjects.

        >>RSM

        • Eli Mitnick 4:43 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink

          I totally agree! We must be related somehow!

    • Ed Townesend 6:11 pm on July 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      WOW – maybe even “make that a double!”

      Seriously, you (we’re in the same decade of life) went the old fashioned – “You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers” route, and your answers are mostly plausible to virtually forcing me to “say uncle” – on certain points, let me be perfectly clear.

      FOR EXAMPLE (in the “now wait a darn minute” category), I remain concerned about the money, and even if we take my strongly held (shared by many) feelings about Ms. Walker and her style out of the equation, I think this “deal” is just plain indisputable OVER-REACHING. When 20-50 WNYC staffers are sent packing because of “belt tightening” late this year or sometime next, I think that the entire “WNYC family” (I’m including both of us, of course) will

      a) be able to connect the dots between this purchase and that outcome; and
      b) be unable to escape the conclusion that this “grand statement” in terms of classical music broadcasting brought on way too much collateral damage.

      I actually listened to a little archived “Terrance,” and I summarize my stance as follows:

      He’s rock solid on all things musical – certainly, I’ll never catch him on anything worth worrying about – but he continues to do himself and most of the listeners a great disservice by straying from matters musical in the relatively little he interjects by way of “commentary” most evenings. I’m sure he’s more literate/educated than most folks his age, but (again, apart from his music creds.), that’s not saying much.

      I’m not being snobbish here – at least, I think I have a valid point to be made in this connection – and it will certainly make him a bitter pill for the small number of WQXR “refugees” who give him a chance – they certainly skew older (and in some ways wiser) than WNYC’s listeners.

      It was one show in June, I believe – look, I *do* have a life, so this is not the subject of paintstaking research…. He cogitated on-air, the night that Mr. Madoff’s sentence was announced, that this was material for an opera and invited listener “input.” (Not just a bad joke, in my opinion – rather, it’s representative of what happens when he goes beyond interesting juxtapositions musically to trying to relate music to “life.” … It must be tough to be as marginal in the WNYC “world” as the music people are, but if folks like Brian don’t make the mistake of “offering their two cents” on classical music.)

      One last rejoinder/recapitulation – I think that you and I and almost anyone who gives it 2 minutes of enlightened thought would agree that whatever future classical music enjoys with earphones or speakers and “someone else’s choice” of music DOES NOT REST with anything on an existing FM radio or station…. Of course, I’m suggesting that there’s a viable present and future with “streams” – I can’t guess whether they will evolve or be revolutionized in the next 10 or more years. And you’re 100% right that WNYC2 shows that WNYC wants to be a “player” in all this. I won’t bring up cost again – tempting though that is…. RATHER, does WNYC (and its personnel – musical and other) need the “tsuris” of the WQXR “merger?” … NOW?! (Among other things, it is bound to be a terrible distraction, every which way!)

      I feel I simply have to copy/paste just one paragraph from my earlier screed – I hope that means what I think it does:

      >> Simply put, if you lose 10-30% of the audience to an “I don’t listen, because it doesn’t show up on my receiver” and another 10-30% to folks who kinda like their classical music to sound CLEAR, and you move anything non-talk-y on the current 93.9 to that same flawed 105.9 “space,” you actually have the perverse effect of REDUCING the number of classical music listener-hours WNYC will provide to those not getting them over the internet. <<

      Again, Richard, can one view this (if you accept it) with anything like optimism and approval?!

      Finally, as I've said elsewhere, maybe this will turn out (in matters large and small) WAY WAY BETTER than I think it will. I hope so, but you're not the only one (by far) who looks back 10, 20 and 30 years and says, "Classical music on the radio was better at each of those milestones than it is today." Has a corner been turned in the last 1-3 years?! Can the WQXR deal be a "game changer?!" … I'll go with "I don't know" on the first question – and "No way in tarnation" on the second.

      BTW, I think I bought my HD radio all or mostly because of its supposedly better sound. It *HAS* delivered on that…. But when I found 3 or 4 "alternatives" to 93.9 on "adjacent frequencies," I smiled like the Cheshire cat! Your milage may vary – as might 10 random classical music lovers who now listen to WNYC-FM, but if you find a receiver for $75-100 and know that you can easily return it if not fully satisfied, you darn near OWE IT TO YOURSELF to give it a try. Certainly, if "the internet" just plain isn't your cup of tea when it comes to classical music, this purchase that I propose you make is simply an acid test as to whether you (here, I don't mean the owner-operator of this blog, of course) want to whine about the state of the dial or want to do something about it!

      • richardmitnick 9:58 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Ed-

        Sorry, I have not been too attentive, I did not intend to leave you hanging here, I just now saw your reply.

        It is not hard to answer your points as they come, I am reading your note on one computer and answering on another, so do not give me too much credit on the blow-by-blow.

        I don’t remember figures like 20-50 staff being axed, I think I did hear 11, and, sure, I question it. But, I understand budgets, operating expenses, capital expenses, etc, so I do not really think that the two issues mix.

        Terrance: Yep-. The WQXR folk are going to gag. But, you know? So what? Terrance is bringing a unique focus to the programming. That is part of what has not been happening at WQXR for a very long time. When I think of WQXR, I picture a guy in his mid fifties, in his living room, rading the New Yok Times, and WQXR is on the FM. He is not really listening, the music is little more than ambiance. That is why it should just die. I mean, that’s my view.

        That Madoff thing: I think that one thing that really “sucks” at WNYC is the “blog” concept. Those are not blogs on those programs, they are just comment boxes. If I write a comment and want to see if anyone answers, I need to come back, refresh, etc. No reply notify, no RSS, nothing like a decent weblog.

        Whwen Brad asked me what I wanted on the new web site, I said a forum, not thing thing. I know, a forum needs to be moderated, so I was asking for the moon.

        So, anything to try to motivate those Upper West Side people who like to write to hear themselves think.

        I agree with you about Classical music on FM radio. I do believe that web streams are a valid alternative. I would like to see them hosted. Every once in a while, we would hear someone actually “hosting” a section of wnyc2. Most recently it was Nadia Sirota. Of course, she is not really there, or listening to the music which she introduces. They do what George Preston called ‘tips and tails”, intros, and wrap ups. Streams are not expensive to run.

        Look at what goes on at http://www.live365.com. These are little people with little money doing something they love for financial contributions. I pay about US$5.00/month for all of the streams I can bookmark into Winamp.

        And, at http://www.shoutcast.com , they are free.

        So, I think that Streams will be around, and more of them from more stations. The only question is will they stream something to which I want to listen.

        The tsuris of the merger? Laura Walker sees it as her job to keep music at 160 Varick Street and get it off of 93.9. She has all of the talk supporters, the big money, delighted with this move, getting music out of the way.

        “Has a corner been turned in the last 1-3 years…” yes, for me, for people who listen on a computer, absolutely.

        On my computers, wnyc2 is waging the fight against WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ, to which I also belong, with superb Classical Music from 6:00AM-11:00AM weekdays, and fantastic Jazz from 11:00AM-1:00PM weekdays. You can find them at http://www.wprb.com . The .com is because they were a commercial. Then, there is live365 ( http://www.live365.com ), to which I subscribe, twice actually, at home and at work. At Live365. I have bookmarked five streams from http://innova.mu , the American Composers’ Forum, St Paul, MN; Counterstream, from American Music Center, New York; Iridian, and Kyle Gann’s PostClassic. So, that is a lot of choice at the click of a mouse. Top that off with two subscriptions to Music From the Hearts of Space, San Fransisco, http://www.hos.com. Just to be complete, I also belong to and use and listen to WBGO, Jazz 88.3, Newark, NJ, and http://www.wbgo.org

        Lots and lots and lots of streams.

        Regarding HD radios. I would do it if I needed to. With four computers, I just don’t need to do it. To back up my statement, when WNYC aired Hearts of Space at 1:00AM and 2:00AM, I bought a Hi-Fi stereo VCR for US$400.00 and taped the broadcast to hear it when I was awake. The owner of the program knew I was doing it. So, I would spend the money if I needed to. I just do not.

        Again, my regrets for not having sxeen your post sooner. Please stay in the game.

        BTW, the next comment is about the power and reception. Take a look at it.

        • richardmitnick 10:23 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink

          Ed-

          I have to pull back on my apology. Your note just showed up tonight. As I reflect, I do need to check, frequently, which I have been doing, to see if there is any spam in replies. WordPress gives us something called a Dashboard, where we can see all of our statistics. Two of the items that show up are pending replies and pending spam. Nothing showed up until tonight. And, I do not understand their algorithms, you last reply, even though you had a previous comment, showed up as possible spam!!

          I will be lodging a protest at WordPress.

    • IA Jaffe 8:32 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      try listening NOW to FM 105.9. The audio is terrible and the stereo signal drops out. Too little power. This the way WQXR will sound when moved to 105.9 with the associated transmitter of 105.9. Thousands of listners will suffer the loss.Contact the FCC in Washington.

      • richardmitnick 10:07 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Dear IA Jaffe-

        Thank you so much for commenting, I appreciate it very much.

        First, you do not tell me where you are located. I have friends here in Central New Jersey who cannot hear WQXR even now. And, even now, David Garland tells NYC dwellers they might be better off listening to the web stream because of all of the buildings.

        According to the station people, the 600 watts of 105.9 will cover 86% of the geographic area covered by the 6000 watts of 96.3. I understand this, because of the height. This is the same thing that got a New Jersey college station, WFMU, in trouble: because of the height of their antenna, their signal went much farther than they were allowed, and interfered with other stations.

        I do not expect thousands of listeners to suffer. I do not think that there are thousands of listeners to WQXR out here or in other suburbs. I also think that the WNYC listeners will be much more prone to listen on their computers, as do I.

        The FCC? Surely you jest. When is the last time you got anywhere writing to or calling or mailing, or whatever, any governmental representative or body.

        Thanks for expressing your opinion. Please stay in the game.

    • Ed Townesend 7:05 am on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think – as I see how prolific you are on the web – that you may be a little light when it comes to “empathy.” That is, you must know you’re atypical, but not how very much…. I’m not giving you free “psych” – this is a preamble to – you appear to have overlooked automobiles!!

      I’ve read WAY too much about the WQXR/WNYC “affair,” but one hears a surprising (to me) amount of “Now what will I listen to in the car?” from disgruntled WQXR-ites. Also, and related, I think you’re starting to believe what you’ve written about WQXR’s listenership being in the single digits – well, I’m exaggerating your exaggerations. The NY Times has been a for profit operation forever, and while you may feel that they ran classical music into the ground – or a great deal lower than that – years ago, common sense says that they had – as a guess – 100,000 occasionals every week and maybe 50,000 regulars. That could/would do WNYC a lot of good (if they transitioned) – their loss (especially in these not-so-great times) would be/will be a painful one.

      Again, thanks for some more tips as to venues. In return, I’d suggest that your blog isn’t indexed by Google (I’m not 100% sure, but I *am* sure you do well to double-check) as well as many other less interesting blogs. Maybe, registering the domain name richardmitnick.com and “redirecting” would be $8 spent to enormous advantage.

      • richardmitnick 1:21 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Ed-

        On the question of “empathy”, I assume you mean my lack of empathy for the WQXR listeners. I have to say that on the subject of WNYC, this is the way I am: I am just a listener, I have no formal connection to the station. But, yes, I am a fanatic, a zealot. Here, WNYC as in no other place in my life. WNYC is where I wrap uip all of the fan feelings other might place in the Giants, Jets, Mets, Yankees, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils, and Flyers (I watch sports on TV, but not as a fan. I gave up being a sports fan after the 1985 NCAA basketball tournament, when my team, the Villanova Wildcats won and then turned up “dirty”).

        The car is a fair question. I have a frfiend who thinks *all* radio is a car phenomenon. He loves what WQXR used to be, and has switched to satellite radio. In the car, I will listen to WPRB or WBGO.

        Sure, you are right about the size of the WQXR listenership. I don’t think it is in single digits. And, my friend and I both see the possibility of Evening Music going to straight up Classical music, along with the day time music. To me, this will be a big disappointment.

        When I recounted this discussion to my firend, all of the other “Venues”, he said, “Well, so why do you need WNYC?” It is a fair question. I do not ever need WNYC, but I love it to death, and I have a lot of time invested in what it has become musically.

        Thanks, and thanks for staying within the weblog with your comments. It would not be hard to find my email address and email me; but, as an old forum warrior, I believe that discussions pertinent to the subject at hand belong in the weblog, and not in “PM’s”, private messages.

    • Ed Townesend 10:12 am on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Just “discovered” Arbitron – turns out that not that long ago WQXR had a listenership (I know there’s lots of controversy about these numbers, but I doubt that they’re meaningless) approximately 50% LARGER than WNYC’s. Nothing wrong with a snake (poor metaphor ?) swallowing a raccoon or something even larger, but this makes me realize that the stakes are much higher than I had thought.

      Richard – you wrote in your last post on this thread that you understand budgets and the like – I’m not disputing that, but you have to wonder how WNYC could “best” (no, I won’t define that) transition the WQXR crowd to a station that WILL have a very different “spectrum” in terms of programming, style, etc.

      I guess it revives the cute topic the Times itself put up on its site when the deal was announced – “What would YOU do?”

      Not surprisingly, as I recollect it, many posters really have grown attached to this or that WQXR personality. I have no idea whether the 2 entities (old WQXR and current WNYC) pay comparably, but I’m going to guess that most of the WQXR on-air people do NOT “make the cut,” although I assume almost all will “reapply” for their jobs.

      Beyond that, I hope your “friends” (from what you’ve written, you certainly know them) who will be influential in programming decisions do NOT opt for a sink-or-swim policy. I’m going to guess on this one that they DO bring some measure of pragmatism to the process, because the Greene Foundation will not be pleased at an 80% “drop out” rate – or anything even close to that.

      But the signal – reach, clarity, etc. – issues loom larger and larger, it seems to me. On the one hand 105.9 as a Spanish station had an Arbitron rating comparable to WNYC at 93.9 – on the other hand, the only other Spanish station rated came in at #3 (vs. WCAA’s #21 or so), with well more than double WCAA (=105.9)’s listeners.

      I know your focus is on music, but whatever strong feelings Terrance may have aroused in his first year and a half are as nothing to what I read in connection with WNYC’s newish news program “The Takeaway.” … The ratio of negative to positive comments is “scary” high, and it’s still on the air.

      I recognize that giving a program a chance to find an audience (arguably, a younger one than the station as a whole enjoys) could be viewed as a good (“courageous”) thing, but I’m afraid that I chalk it up more to arrogance. I only hope that the very different priority (lower, to be sure) and people on WNYC’s music side make a serious effort to make their new listeners feel a little at home for – roughly – a year or 2. Even if the hosts are mostly new, they had better not port the WNYC2 “stream” to on-air to a significant extent to 105.9 – that is, they should make sure that “Coke Classic” is served up side by side (AND ON AIR) with “new Coke.”

      • richardmitnick 1:27 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I think that the WNYC people will pay great attention to the Arbitron ratings in making their decisions.

        I am very surprised that “The Takeaway” ias not a huge success. I hear it on my way to work, and I really enjoy it. I understand the budget for it is huge, wither US$2 or 7 million.

        WNYC2 will not go on FM. And, the WQXR stream will continue.

        I suspect that a lot of what i want in the new FM programming will not happen, that WQXR’s influence will be strong.

    • Ed Townesend 4:22 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Last little thing –

      I wonder what makes you think that WQXR (I’m assuming it’s what I listened to a week or 2 ago via the ‘net – and listened to in a state of near terror, given an awfulness re the commercials that makes WNYC’s worst promos sound soothing) will continue to stream. Can you reference a source for that “promise” (or threat).

      It simply isn’t logical – non-compete clauses are very common when X buys all or part of Y. And it certainly sounded to me like the NY Times Co. wanted to kiss WQXR goodbye – treating its listeners with quite a bit more decency (for whatever reason) than, say, WNCN’s owners did when they “cashed out.” (Or maybe, WNYC’s participation netted them $1-5 extra millions, and that was enough to “save the day.”)

      I wonder if you (or Doc Searls or someone else) can do more/better than guess at traffic on various (classical) internet streams and broadcasts…. The first time I listened to WGBH’s classical stream (somehow, I think you may NOT have included it in your “master list”), I was VERY impressed. A week later, they had introduced intrusive promos. The piper must always be paid, it seems, … and as soon as the traffic is “respectable,” the temptation to monetize it somehow seems impossible to resist.

      Oh yes, have you “sized up” the on-air people on the current (has a cut-over date been finalized ?) WQXR – any of them have a personality or musical knowledge/taste that makes you want to see them survive the regime change?

    • Ed Townesend 4:32 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Feel free to NOT post this, but I think you might do well to (a) use a spell/grammar checker; or (b) read your stuff before or after posting; or (c) both.

      I actually wish I knew what this meant:
      “Whwen Brad asked me what I wanted on the new web site, I said a forum, not thing thing. I know, a forum needs to be moderated, so I was asking for the moon.”

      YOUR PASSION is so, so very much appreciated – your comparison to sports was another example of excellent writing – and, to its credit, that writing is almost always a little “unpredictable.” [Even this comment box has the smarts to flag typos as obvious as “whwen.”]

      And you reminded me of something – you said that a good blog has an auto-notify. Does yours? Am I blind, because I wish it did and think it doesn’t.

    • richardmitnick 4:44 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      I did see in print that a “WQXR” stream would continue. Of course it will be programmed by WNYC Music people. I cannot any longer remember just where I saw it. I don’t understand the non-compete thing. WQXR will be out of it, WNYC will do it. They will keep wnyc2 and do the WQXR stream. Hey, they could do ten streams if they so desired.

      I cannot say anything about traffic on streams. I did see at http://prpd.org (Public Radio Program Directors weblog) a figure of 140 million. But who knows how accurate, who knows what audiences it includes? There were no explanations.

      I tried the WGBH stream, the music was, as you might guess, not to my taste.

      I have zero knowledge about WQXR personnel. Laura Walker says they will be granted interviews. I hope that with day time music running for 14 hours from 5:00AM-7:00PM week days, and more than that on week-ends, I hope that if there are any really good people who can get with a programming regimen at WNYC, she does keep them.

    • richardmitnick 5:21 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      You are right about my typing. And, there is in WordPress a built in spell check.

      Brad Cresswell was one of the poeple at WNYC to whom I would send my nudgy emails. In some of them, i complained about features of the web site. When Brad was assigned to re-vamp the site, he sent me an email asking me to get everything I wanted together in one document. I labored over it as a Word document for four days, writing, re-writing and refining. I got it down to four web related and two non-web related requests.

      Here is the full exchange:

      “Hi Richard-

      Brad Cresswell from WNYC here. As we draw closer to our move to a new facility, we’re also doing some major upgrades and revisions to our technical capabilities in regards to the website (including a real blog for Evening Music). I know you’ve been pretty vocal about what needs to be upgraded on the site, and I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind sending me your personal gripe list all in one email. I’d like to push for those changes over the next few months as we move forward.

      Thanks and regards,

      -Brad

      Brad-
      Let me reiterate my appreciation of the fact that you would come to me with your question. While I am no longer a $40.00 per year member, having moved up to $120.00, I realize that my financial contribution to WNYC is peanuts.

      You asked about the web site. I want to take this opportunity to let you know everything I have to say and have said, from the standpoint of a
      music listener, about everything at WNYC. Then I will make six suggestions, two relating to non-web site subjects and four relating to the web site.

      First, I will certainly have no criticism of the music programming. What has happened with not only WNYC2 but also with the Monday-Thursday Evening
      Music is absolutely revolutionary. It has come to me that you are no small part of this success. The twin expressions of “non generic classical music” and
      “five hundred years of new music” are accurate for both music services. I am not leaving out David Garland. He is one of the towering giants of music
      on Public Radio. There is just nothing else I can say about what he does. I am not a fan of Spinning On Air, or the Ear-to-Ear programming, but I am sure that those segments have devoted listeners. David has always been aware of New Music. The orientation to more late twentieth century and current music on the regular music each evening is in my view good for the listener and it should be good for the station, especially the internet listeners. No other station is programming people like Osvaldo Golijov or Sir John
      Tavener. This means that in the internet market place, WNYC has no competitors. I never lose sight of the sociological dictum that the first responsibility of any institution is to survive. For WNYC that means
      member dollars, and a large enough membership to leverage for outside funding.

      Admittedly, my taste runs to Aaron Copland and later, Gorecki, Messiaen, Arvo Part, Mark O’Connor, both John Adams’. I believe that the global nature of the internet makes it a fertile place to look for member dollars. The New York Times reported a few months ago that KCRW’s second largest market is, you guessed it, New York City!!

      When WNYC cut out daytime music on FM after 9/11, we music listeners were forced out on our own. One could watch the Resonating Chamber shrink day by day. http://www.publicradiofan was a good source of information. In those days, Windows Media Player, Real Player, and Music Match all had links to a fair amount of music via links to various PubRadio and commercial stations. I found my way to and joined three stations: KUSC, WCNY, and WCPE. I developed good relationships at each of these stations. The programming was not really to my taste. I did try as a member to influence the music programming on these stations. Mostly, I failed. I believe that I was at least partially responsible for Alan Chapman’s Modern Masterpieces on KUSC. I believe I also influenced WCNY to get their bit rate up and to stream stereo. Once WNYC2 was up and running, I resigned those three memberships and diverted the
      money to WNYC.

      George Preston has been absolutely generous with his time in dealing with my crankitude. When we started, I owed $300.00 on my pledge of $500.00 over five years from when we bought the licenses from the city. That pledge was predicated upon my appreciation of the music. When the daytime music died after 9/11, I suspended payments on that pledge. I told George that we needed to see on the web site what was playing on WNYC2. We need to learn what the music is so that we can buy it and support the artists. If we
      have to wait for days for a playlist, our interest wanes. So, we got What’s Playing and I sent in some of the money. Then, I said we needed a crawl
      displayed in the players. When we got the crawl I finished off the payments.

      I must add in here that Sound Check is an absolute delight. I believe that John spends too much time with music that is not serious, but hey, it’s his call. I love the program.

      So, I believe that I have given quite a prelude to my suggestions.

      So, here are some of my suggestions. Everything I say is aimed at improving the listener/member experience, while at the same time driving toward making listeners into members. I believe that membership privileges the member to be crank, so, Here we go.

      First, the non-web site suggestions, just two:

      Bring back Hearts of Space at 11:00PM or mid-night on FM on Friday or Saturday night. Internet users can access http://www.hos.com for this source, so I am not suggesting it for WNYC2, although with some of the modularity you guys have done, like “New Sounds Undead”, you certainly make it fit. I have a long and good relationship with Stephen Hill. I have for myself two paid subscriptions to H.O.S., one at home and one at work. But H.O.S was one of the jewels in the “old” WNYC program line-up. For some time, we had it
      twice in a week- the current week program and the past week program. Then it was cut down to once a week and actually at one point shifted to 2:00AM Saturday morning. John S had been describing how WNYC recorded live concerts on betamax machines. So, I got the idea to buy a Hi-FI stereo VCR with Dolby, because VCR’s could be programmed to start and stop on a clock and one could record at line level from a stereo receiver. I was not going to stay up in the middle of the night to hear this music when I could time shift it. I
      told Stephen Hill what I was doing. I believe that WNYC needs H.O.S. to again embellish its offerings.

      During pledge drives, there is really no pitching for music. The music folks pitch for the talk shows, but no one pitches for music. I have complained about this in email and on the telephone. There is no pitching on WNYC2. This has been because it was ostensibly “experimental”. I hope that the experimental phase is over. I would like to hear pitching of some sort
      for WNYC2 on an ongoing basis in the station announcements, like “.this is WNYC2 from listener supported WNYC2. Please visit our web site and join or
      make a contribution….” And, I absolutely need to hear pitching for music on FM during pledge drives. From Brian, Lenny, Amy, Soterios, whoever is on.
      We need to remember the dictum that public radio is public, but it is not free. Also, Mary Daley’s use of the acronym WNYC=We Need Your Cash.

      Now, the web site suggestions, four in number:

      We need to have email addresses for on-air music hosts. At WPRB, in Princeton, listeners can telephone the on-air “d.j.” I do it all the time. I am not saying that we need this or should have this at WNYC. The stations are hardly the same. But we absolutely should be able to get email addresses for every music host. I have had a twenty-five year or so relationship
      with John Schaefer. When I recently reminded him of the broadcast premier of Reich’s Desert Music on a week-end show, he was amazed that I remembered
      it. But I had then taped the interview and just now recently digitized it and wanted to let him know. When I reminded him that on the Sound Check show
      celebrating the twentieth anniversary of New Sounds the Turtle Island guys had said basically, no New Sounds, no Turtle Island, he replied, “.You
      rock!!” I was able to email Lauren Rico during her brief duty, and Will Berger. But I could not get anything to Marsha Young. WNYC has always
      been as much a community as a PubRadio service. John sent me a copy of the Billboard newsprint when New Sounds was in their top ten musical events
      of the year. David Garland mailed me a page from a dictionary of Slavic pronunciations when I asked about the pronunciation of Gorecki. We need
      to be able to communicate with current technology. The last two things I mentioned were done via USPS. Today, it’s all digital. We need email
      addresses for on-air hosts.

      We need a proper forum, not just for music, but for the whole of WNYC. Every program, Brian, Lenny, John’s two programs Evening Music, all could be
      individual topics. There are forums all over the internet for all sorts of material. They enable all of us and embellish their subject. There is tons of forum software. Most of it is similar, allowing for a profile, a signature, notification of responses, etc. I had spoken to Alan in Listener Services about this. He had said, quite some time ago, that he thought
      something was in the works. But nothing has happened. That response thing that Terrance is using is fine for some programming, but it does not properly allow for interaction among the listeners. And, I must say,
      calling it a blog is just off the wall.

      WNYC FM 32kbit and 128kbit and WNYC2 had previously been up on Shoutcast. I think that is no longer the case. Also, all three need to be on iTunes,
      and in the list at Real Player. WMP is out. Previously, as I stated above, lots of PubRadio could be found on media players of all sorts. Slowly, this
      dropped away. But, the ones noted here do have links to the streams. WNYC needs to be on all of them. The least important is iTunes. There is just a link to a stream, no link to the web site. So, there is no direct chance of making the web site a destination. But, WNYC needs to be on iTunes in all three streams because everyone else important in PubRadio is there. At Shoutcast, and maybe you know this, the user gets a link to the web site. BTW, Shoutcast is a bit screwed up, Classical is for some reason under the Jazz heading. Real Player still has a sizeable if jumbled up list of PubRadio services. All streams need to be on all of these players and Shoutcast.

      The playlists for Evening Music should be able to update immediately upon the current selection finishing. We have this for WNYC2, we even have an
      RSS feed updating for WNYC2. KUSC has the immediate updating for their music programming. There is no technical reason for our not being able to have
      immediate access, delaying only to the end of the piece to comply fully with DRM rules. I don’t believe that you need it, but the fellow at KUSC
      currently covering such stuff is Jamie Paisley, email jpaisley@kusc.org.

      So, that’s pretty much it. I did this over a number of hours, saving the document and then coming back and reviewing, hoping for more clarity and
      trying to be complete.

      We have
      -HOS.
      -Pitching for music on FM during pledge drives and pitching on WNYC2
      during
      pledge drives and at least some station announcements.
      -Email the host.
      -A proper forum.
      -Make sure WNYC’s three music streams are on Shoutcast and in the players’ lists.
      -Playlists for FM that update immediately after the piece plays.

      Not a big list.

      Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to try to make a contribution to the effort. I know that you will put this stuff into the mix of ideas and that you, all of you, will do a good job on the web site.

      >>RSM

      Hi Richard-

      Thanks for this, very helpful. As you’re well aware, things do progress
      slowly – but hopefully, they’ll progress surely.

      Best-
      -Brad ”

      Egad!! What an ego.

      Regarding the “notify”, I don’t think so. I thought that there was an RSS button for responses, but I do not see one. I don’t know what is on your end. Do you have to enter an email address to respond? Do you get an email notification if I reply to you? My guess is that you do not get an email.

    • Ed Townesend 7:33 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m going to guess that you are printing that “dialog” for the first time. It’s an eye-opener on several levels.

      I think it’s funny that you recently derided (gently, perhaps) some poster who said, “We’ve got to write to the FCC” with a “Why waste the energy?!” … But I thought that WNYC was even more isolated and un-listening. You almost demonstrate that this is false. (This next deals with the snide-sounding “almost.”)

      I wonder if you could (a) supply a date – WHEN you gave them your excellent input; and (b) [I do not know the answer, I hasten to say] indicate whether any of your requests have gotten action.

      And with that, I’ll go back to “lurk” status, being sure to wish you all good things. Except to note the irony that YOU asked for pitching on WNYC2, and I think that they should follow the Amazon approach – even 5 years of sacrificing revenue for habituation makes sense if you then have enough lifetime customers – and ones who’ll recruit their friends.

    • richardmitnick 8:57 pm on August 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ed-

      My email to Brad was on 3.27.08. Did I get any of what I wanted?
      Hearts of Space – no, not yet.

      Pitching for music on FM- I have to say yes. It is better. Am I delighted with it? No. I want Brian and Lenny pitching for Evening Music and Overnight Music. But, I will keep plugging, keep the message positive.

      Pitching on wnyc2 – only during pledge drives, which is ridiculous. I like Krista Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith”. I get mp3 downloads manually if I want the week’s program. She pitches for support at the beginning of every download. That is what I want on wnyc2, basically, ” it costs money to provide this service, you use the service, you should support it “, obviously in professional phraseology, and at the beginning of each and every time me or anyone else links up to listen.

      On air music hosts do have email addresses now. That probably has little to do with me.

      Forums – no, we had the comment boxes they call a “blog”, all we got that was new was the little message to refresh the comments page after a bit to see your comment or others that follow. Sucks.

      Shoutcast – yes. This is important, because at Shoutcast, the streamers have a link to their websites. I think in iTunes they do not. Also,WGBH, WETA, and KCRW, all big time PubRadio stations are there.

      [A little extra vignette: When WNYC cut out day time music on FM, and before wnyc2, I used http://www.publicradiofan.com to find new outlets. I joined three stations. At one station, I got really “friendly” with the president. When wnyc2 went on line, I moved all of my member dollars to WNYC. But, I still corresponded with this president. Somewhere along the line, I tried iTunes, which I very soon quit. But, they did have a huge radio section. Just links to players, I think. Every important PubRadio outlet was there, but not this station. I wrote to the president and said, hey, you need to be on iTunes, not because I think it is good, which I do not, no link to the station web site; but because all of your peers are there. Well, they were on iTunes in less than 48 hours.]

      Evening Music playlists – no, and there is no reason for this. WPRB and KUSC update as soon as a piece is finished.

      Thanks, you said you are done, I hope that if you think of anything more to add to the mix that you will bring it on to the Comments.

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