Review Stories: An Introduction
Writing has been my hobby for many years. Consequently I write Fantasy novels, I produce "anniversary stories" on a regular basis and I add score descriptions, guitar festival reports, Guitarities and other impressions to the DOS Amigos Homepage.
Part of the guitar festival records is a description of the competitions, both preliminaries and finals. An activity that comes very near to reviews, because I always give my opinion about the pieces and their performance. That’s why I thought "Would CD reviews be a valuable addition to the DOS Amigos Homepage?" At least it would be a nice fitness training for a writer annex guitarist.
A Review. What’s that? The Merriam Webster dictionary describes it as "a critical evaluation (as of a book or play)".
That sounds heavy indeed! Often it is, because many people consider a review incomplete without critique in the negative sense. When you review a CD, this partly is too late in the day, because the musician has delivered his or her effort and all is recorded in digital data. It is quite impossible to correct a CD right away! The only option you have is re-release, like John Williams excellently did with Augustin Barrios’ music. I must notice, however, that there is half a life of time and musical experience between the original and the retry!
I do not want to write acid critical reviews. For instance with the competition reviews I refrain from negativism and nitpicking. Yet I do give a personal opinion, I will not leave that. So in the CD review case I am more inclined to write a story, about how I came across the CD, what the recording meant for me and how the music affected me.
"Sheer arrogance!" might be your comment by now.
OK, I did not study musicology, let alone journalism. I did not study music on a professional level. The only things I have got are my love for the guitar –I play this instrument myself on a moderate level, the DOS Amigos Homepage bears witness to that-, my ears and my heart. Those are the things I work with.
My plan is to write stories (almost reviews) of the CDs of my own collection on this site. That will be a long term project indeed, because I have a nice collection of guitar music.
A CD Review will have a few standard components. Of course I will mention the CD title, the musician(s) and some technical data that come from the sleeve text right away. I plan to make a little scan of the cover, so you can recognize the CD on Internet or in the shop. The last component will be my story about the recording. Initially I wanted to give a track listing too, but I dropped that plan, it takes a lot of screen space and Internet provides ample opportunity to find data yourself.
On the index page you will find a (growing) table of contents of my CD stories. Click the link and you will be there.