In a variation on the wise adage that “it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”: having got a good point in my hand, I’m a great believer in making it several times. For the third time in as many days, I’ll therefore tell you that the Dutch Harp Festival are doing fantastic blogging, tweeting, photography and FB-ing. If you want to follow what's going on in Utrecht, read all about it on their central site.
Above all, the DHF is an event with strong ideas. And strong ideas propogate, or at any rate, they get their audiences thinking. Rather than attempt a poor copy of the festival's own brilliant reportage, I thought I'd blog about things the festival makes us think about.
The composition contest final has just presented a new documentation project: composingforharp.com. This website is the brainchild of Miriam Overlach and Sabien Canton. It serves to document harp playing - how it works, how it sounds and how to write it down - in the service of new music, and free exchange between harpists and composers. Composers can look forward to ten explanatory videos, notation guides, sound files, a library to promote their scores, and a forum to post their questions. The site's tone is relaxed and warm, which always aids communication. Composingforharp.com will be released later this year, so watch this space!
"Life is our dictionary", said Emerson. Not everyone wants to write dictionaries, but everyone needs to use them. They are the unsung heroes of knowledge and experience - especially in the era of open data, which will be revolutionary if there are enough analysts to structure it. Composingforharp.com's friendly, clear and above all useful e-doc has reminded me to sing the praises of two excellent harp dictionaries never far from our desks in Mouzeil. They're both in French, without English versions, so you can either call up the publishers and offer your translation services, or add this to "experience Camus in the original" and "sound a bit more je ne sais quoi" in your list of reasons to learn French.