kia ora

CMNZ has an undoubtedly idealistic, admittedly crazy, but maybe possibly even an opportune plan. In 2019, CMNZ intends to reimagine Theme as a new, small, ‘Classical Music’ publication.

Yes, you read correctly: articles both long and short, thought-provoking and light-hearted, accompanied by beautiful images – about classical music and the joys and challenges of listening and performing.

I know it seems anachronistic in this age of record stores closing, attention spans shrinking and clickbait prevailing, but we have our reasons:

So much to say, so few places to say it

There are so many good stories and important issues in the classical music world at the moment, and there are so few places to read about them. There are a few specialist and membership magazines, shrinking space (and affection) in the broadsheets; and some good blogs of singular focus. There are myriad commercial websites with interesting content, but this is usually marketing driven. And currently, there isn’t a magazine about classical music in Aotearoa. There are important stories to be telling here too.

There is an audience for compelling classical music content

Digital producers such as the UK’s Classic FM and Australia’s TwoSet have proved that there is a massive audience for original geeky classical music content. One of the key things they get right is their tone. I’m pretty bored with the whole narrative of classical music being elitist or posh. Yes, there are fundamental education issues we need to tackle, but I also believe there are ways of talking about classical music that don’t make it sound boring, intellectual and difficult, putting off people who would otherwise love listening to it. I’m not talking about dumbing anything down – quite the opposite: it’s about finding compelling stories and fascinating details and discussing them with passion, knowledge and humour. I believe the best people to do this are always going to be the artists themselves and their voices will be at the heart of the publication and will speak both to music performers and lovers alike.

I’m optimistic that as we face more fallout from fake news, clickbait and algorithms, more people might turn back to the integrity, mindfulness, slow pace and pleasure of long-form writing. Maybe it’s my own yearning to go back to more (perhaps imaginary) simpler times, but I can’t be the only one, can I?

Ngā mihi,

in this issue…

Peter's walls


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