Where the hell have you been?

October 7, 2014

So it has been a long time since I posted anything here, or have written anything for anywhere to be precise. It has been maybe four or five months, I am almost too ashamed to go and check. The truth is, I just haven’t had the time, but if you were hoping I had gone forever, well, bad news folks. Back in July I was given a new , greater role in my already time-consuming day job that caused me to have to work sixty-plus hours a week, every week, with a considerable amount of stress thrown in on top. Couple this with a few other issues, some family illness and a general feeling of being burnt out on several levels as a writer and it became too easy to come home from work and fall asleep with a new CD on rather than spend some time in front of a keyboard sharing any thoughts about it here. I have kept up to date with music, purchasing and listening to as many CDs as I ever have, but my time with them has been a more simplified affair than I am used to. Such is life, and while working yourself into the ground is never a wise thing, taking a break creatively certainly does recharge the batteries a little. Listening without the worry about finding ways to describe your thoughts on music has also been thoroughly refreshing, and being able to spend time with the albums I really want to spend time with, be they the new Frey/Malfatti release or various realisations of Bruckner’s Ninth is far more rewarding than finding new things to say about jazz albums for The Wire. The faith and encouragement of my relentlessly patient partner Julie has been invaluable, and a couple of weeks together up in the Outer Hebrides on holiday recently broke the cycle, and I now find myself urgently wanting to return to engaging more publicly with music, both through a renewed focus at this blog, and with my all but disappeared label Cathnor. Work remains a pressure, and my free time to sit and write isn’t what it once was, but I do hope to get two or three reviews a week written here as and when I feel like I have spent enough time with the music I really want to write about. There will be five new Cathnor releases pretty soon also for those waiting for long overdue items. I don’t intend to bite off more than I can chew, and I aim to keep things simple for a while, but I hope for some regularity here from now on. A new review will follow this post, with more in the pipeline.

Over recent months, many CDs, vinyl, etc has arrived here from kind, trusting people around the world in the hope I would be able to write about the work. Alas, I just haven’t been able to do so. While I have tried to discourage anything being sent, and have persevered to pay for anything I really wanted to listen to, a lot of items have obviously arrived here, been listened to but will never be written about. I can only apologise for this, say thank you to those that sent anything and try and draw some kind of line in the sand. I have rarely committed myself to definitely writing about anything I am sent before I have heard it, but from here on in, I can only promise to do my best with what I can, and if I find writing about a particular item a chore then I am likely to put it to one side. This isn’t me saying I am only going to write positive reviews, certainly not, but if I find myself turning into a robotic hack again I’m not likely to waste precious time on a particular recording. I have, after all, enough hard work in my life already. Thank you for your patience.

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