Beyond the Obvious

There is a new and very large advertisement for alcohol on the main street in my town, and the image is of a stylish and very contemporary-looking Irishman, dreadlocked and in his twenties, moodily playing a harp which has been painted Irish green and gold....

There is a new and very large advertisement for alcohol on the main street in my town, and the image is of a stylish and very contemporary-looking Irishman, dreadlocked and in his twenties, moodily playing a harp which has been painted Irish green and gold. The accompanying caption is ‘Beyond the obvious’. I smiled when I saw it, for at the very same time I had been poring over Aibhlín McCrann’s magisterial essay on the Irish harp renaissance of the past four decades which we publish in this issue. Who would have thought the impact of the harp renaissance would have been so felt so far as the billboards…

When I heard that Steve Reich was coming to Dublin, I sent out several emails to co-conspirators, asking for suggestions of who could write an original and lively article on the American composer. The blindingly obvious answer of course was Bob Gilmore – author of both books and articles on American music, as well as having written some super articles for JMI in recent times – and it was his name that we all independently came up with. ‘Minimalism Schminimalism’ on page 7 covers all angles: taking the approach of a Reich admirer, but picking through a variety of opinions and counter-opinions, and also whizzing us through some of Reich’s key work.

The larger format, increased number of pages and new design which we unveil in this issue was driven partly by a desire for more space, which would allow JMI better reflect the intensity of musical activity at the moment. There was also a need to create a design that would reflect how the magazine has grown and developed over the past five years, and also represent its aspirations for the future. And finally, the re-design was driven by the changing content of the magazine – itself a result of trying to forever capture the ebb and flow of music and ideas in Ireland.

 

Published on 1 January 2006

Toner Quinn is Editor of The Journal of Music. His website is https://tonerquinn.com/

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