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MV3 -- Gordon Rumson and Keith Bramich visit the world of music online

GORDON RUMSON writes on self-promotion and the web:

'Don't blow your own horn' -- sage proverbial advice that is nowadays ignored, or outdated. Technology has made it so.

There is something off about self-promotion, which is why most people are very poor at it. It has always been very handy for someone else to do the dirty work.

But in these times, these media times, self-promotion is almost essential, for a number of reasons.

The biggest reason is that people are accustomed to being informed of their needs, sometimes their wants and above all the availability of need and want satisfying materials. This dissociation has reduced our capacity to figure out what we want or need, and then go out and look for it. We consumers need to be told what is out there.

'So who else is going to do it for you?' was Philip Glass's question when a young composer said he didn't care for promotion.

Without ad company backing, each and every artist is required to be her own ad company. And dangerous it is, if a minor little line is crossed.

The line is between informing in suitably dramatic fashion and hectoring. Cross that line and one risks losing ones audience.

Now, not only do artists have to learn their craft, they have to learn the craft (and craftiness) of selling.

The Web allows for a suitable quick change of materials, in itself almost dramatic, that people can accept being informed of. 'Mushka Ziplot will perform live on the web the Hammerklavier Sonata', but not 'Mushka Ziplot will perform the entire Beethoven sonatas suspended from a weather balloon over the Antarctic.'

Let's leave preposterous advertising to Hollywood.

So tell the world what you're doing, keep something new coming at us at judicious intervals and make it interesting, without absurdity.


Copyright © 5 February 2001 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


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