Why I’m doing this

Elana did important and valuable work. With this music, we’re dealing with a new form of creativity, a new use of technology, a new way to communicate. Something that is unique in all of human history. Humanity has always had music, but we’ve never before had even the possibility for this powerful, expressive, electronic and digital music. It began within the lifetimes of some people who are still living. There’s more to discover. It’s still being invented today by progressive artists.

How often do people get to live through the creation of something brand new, a different type of art and craft where nothing existed before? We are privileged to be alive at the start.

Elana recognized the most innovative art was like a new type of lightning in a bottle. Because it’s uplifting to the human spirit, it became her transcendent passion for as long as she could afford to keep going. Because of how much this music moved her, because she was so inspired by it, she honored and celebrated this art and the people who made it.

She was inspired enough by the art to want to understand the artists, to help others understand them in their own words.

She cultivated a community with some of the other people who are also moved by this music, who find it touches their hearts and minds in a unique way. She wanted to do this right. That’s why she brought in high journalistic standards to match her sincerely caring enthusiasm. These are the reasons why her work was of such high quality.

My initial goal is to fulfill what she would have done next, if she could have lived longer: to make this work available to all through the Internet.

Beyond that, my ongoing goal is to honor the good work that she did by continuing it.

I don’t know of anybody else doing this type of work now, with the dedicated focus she had – on progressive, instrumental, electronic music that’s exciting, inspiring, innovative.

And I think it’s not just my personal feelings that make me believe her caring, enthusiastic, conscientious nature should not be forgotten.

That’s why I want to have this site not just provide a moment frozen in amber, but to continue her work today.

She is irreplaceable of course, so the continuation would inevitably be my own version, done in my own way.

I am not nearly as personally charming and delightful as she was, unfortunately. But I am as enthusiastic and respectful about superb innovative musicianship. It’s just that I tend by habit to have a more reserved expression, even when I really am feeling excited!

Nor do I have her graphics expertise and professional certifications in printing and publishing software.

I do share a love of the music, although my knowledge of it is far more limited than hers. Because we didn’t have enough money for more than rented rooms most of our time together, most of the music collection didn’t get unpacked for us to enjoy it on a daily basis. And much of it remains in storage to this day. So I am still discovering this music myself.

I am close to as good at writing as she was.

I can bring more technical understanding than she had about technology.

This means some behind the scenes aspects of online communication and Internet databases are more comfortable for me. I see ways to cross reference the archival and new information in new ways, that can make it easier to follow particular topics of interest. My first software related job involved a prototype cross referenced information system around 1986, and I’ve kept up with the technology since then. I communicated by dial-up bulletin boards. I presented on how to explore the Internet by Gopher, saving on long distance data calls before there was a Web. I used the early Web in the mid 90’s, when that meant a trip to the university library’s basement to use the Viola web browser. (Kind of an interesting detour for a violist, as in someone who plays the historic musical instrument!) This was all before there was a Netscape, let alone Internet Explorer, or Safari, or “phone” meaning something that could run an operating system that got you enticed by new apps. I studied the protocols, and wrote and supported code putting databases online in the corporate world. I can do this.

Elana was right on target by focusing the interviews on the personal stories and creative visions of the artists, rather than on the studio gear. More notes, less blinking lights, might be one way to put it. She was right about that.

I want to keep that as the primary focus. But as I also know production technology, I think I could also add some effective “backstage” resources about the equipment and production process. I believe this as a new section of the site may be useful for new artists to learn techniques, and for established artists to share some of what they have learned. More traditional pop music has had a type of informal apprentice system through the major studios. The more personally focused art we’re dealing with here has had few opportunities from people to learn the process from scratch.

I’d love to see if tutorials like Steve Joliffe’s “Art of the Music Workstation” series could be brought online to help other people get started in the more creative reaches of electronic music. There are already some online resources for those who want to copy the sound of current pop hits. Not as much is available to help those who want to find their own new creative frontiers. (For those who make a business of their explorations, I also am interested in a sideline of technical consulting, system integration, documentation and training etc., smoothing out the sharp-edged complexities of this gear.)

And, as a musician myself, I can perhaps go a bit deeper into some specifics about just how the best music has been made in such an amazing way – pointing out, for those interested in the craftsmanship, the uses of harmonic suspensions, ostinatos, counterpoint, cadenzas and so forth. I think there’s been virtually no musicology studies of this new form of music. Isn’t that quite an oversight?

Elana lacked a business background. This missing gap was the reason for the financial collapse of her project. It’s a perspective which I can bring to the new venture.

So those are some reasons why I want to do this and why I think I can succeed, if this ongoing work is what the artistic and listening community wants to have happen.

The tragedies of Elana’s decline and death are now in the past. But I am not out of the woods yet. I have had an extended time without ongoing health care, and without the basics of a safe and healthy life. This has taken its toll.

I believe that I will soon – around mid-2016 – be back on my own feet, medically and financially. The medical care to get me back up to a normal healthy energy level should be straightforward. For getting back on my feet financially, I would love to make the continuation of Elana’s good work be the basis of a new career path for me. I would love to not have to try to squeeze this in around an unrelated day job. When I previously tried to be creative after a demanding corporate job, I found there was not enough of me to go around for evenings and weekends to add up to much.

I would especially love to NOT have to pull the plug on this work again, as Elana had to, for not being able to afford to continue to provide something people love but that’s an unsupportable financial loss.

I see this work continuing in two forms: a nonprofit historical archive and research service, and a for-profit business that brings forth new information and helps artists and audiences connect better than ever before. Let’s start with the nonprofit side.