A Year for JDCMB

£918 of £5,200 goal

Raised by 26 people in 16 months
When I started JDCMB back in 2004 I could never have envisaged that I’d still be writing it in 2017. It was a complete accident. What were these strange new things called “blogs” anyway? I set up my site to find out. Thirteen years on, JDCMB is attracting more readers than ever and, in the perhaps surprisingly polarised, occasionally vicious and hysterical world of classical music commentary, is often termed by its devotees “the voice of reason”.

I would love to take JDCMB to the next level and I suspect that you, my readers, would appreciate that: there’d be more regular posts, more exclusive content, more interviews and reviews, perhaps a spot more multimedia. At the moment it’s ad hoc – and I know it could be improved tenfold if I just had enough time to put into it. And time, “in this day and age”, is £.

Who benefits? You do! Thanks to you, I could write much more of the “content” that you enjoy reading.

Over the years JDCMB and I have weathered a few slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and come through still fighting for the values I, and you, believe in.

JDCMB wants to represent:

• A voice of reason

• Encouragement of the finest and most idealistic in music-making

• Writing about music, ballet, books and related topics in an informal, entertaining yet informative way

• Spreading the message of the unique power of music

• Rejecting trollishness

With your support, I could do a lot more than I can at the moment.

There’d be interviews... 

...reviews and travel reports

…and even occasional moments of glory...

And the only way to seek financial support for JDCMB without actually selling my soul is to ask my readers for their backing. I know there are quite a lot of you out there and [coughs] you’ve been enjoying free content for many years. Please will you consider stepping up and supporting the site?

Here’s my plan. I’m seeking a total of £5,200 in order to fund writing JDCMB to the tune of £100 a week for one year. In that time I intend to build up the readership still further, post at least twice as often as I currently do, and make the site not just a diversion, but an essential read for those who feel they are “my” audience. If this goes according to plan and has the desired result, we can then think about where to go next.

The sooner we get started, the better, so please make your pledge today!

To say that I would be grateful to you forever and a day is not saying enough. I shall post a list of JDCMB Patrons at the end of 2017 and again at the end of this first year of funding to thank you officially and publicly. And if all this goes well, I’m hoping to build up a supporters network for which we can develop special offers, get-togethers, concerts and more.

Meanwhile, if JDCMB speaks to you, that makes me very happy.

Thank you a thousand times.

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Dear all,

A very happy Monday to you! Last week was a bumper on JDCMB: I reviewed Jonas Kaufmann's title role debut in Verdi's Otello at the Royal Opera House, interviewed the indomitable Kathryn Stott about her new festival in Norway, looked at the Creative Industries Federation's latest response to Brexit, and more.

We've also launched the campaign at Unbound for my next novel, Meeting Odette. As running two crowdfunding campaigns at the same time is not necessarily ideal, I haven't been pushing A Year for JDCMB quite so hard; after all, my target for this one covers a year, whereas Meeting Odette has just 90 days to raise the amount it needs in order to proceed. On the premise that not everyone who reads the blog will want to read the novel, and vice-versa, I hope very much that all this can somehow be made to work, if only on a prayer and, er, a swan wing.

That's not to say you can't support both if you'd like to!

A Year for JDCMB is a deeply meaningful initiative for me, though. It means that the blog becomes work. If I am writing a post for it, I don't have to feel the nag of guilt that I should be working on something that pays, because now it is dignified by the sense that you, the readers, value it enough to put in a subscription amount of your choice. A clearer head means better blogging.

And incidentally the Summer Cooler recipe has had so many hits that I'm now thinking of introducing a weekly recipe with a musical connection of some kind. No, it won't be roast swan...

Thank you again for your confidence in JDCMB!
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Dear friends and supporters,

We're at the end of Week 1 of A Year for JDCMB and I am feeling quite dizzy with delight at the campaign's progress so far.

You are all WONDERFUL! The great thing about crowdfunding - as opposed to "subscription" or "paywall" - is that what seems to reach me is not financial backing but moral support, which is every bit as crucial, if not more so. To know that JDCMB is valued and enjoyed, both in the UK and overseas, and that my readers are willing to step up and take part in backing it, makes an enormous difference to me.

It's been a particularly hard week here in London, with a terrible tragedy in the heart of the city and the government in what looks like major disarray. I normally turn to music to try to help me weather these blasts, but sometimes even that feels inadequate, so today I have simply offered everyone a recipe for a delicious summer drink I've invented (basically non-alcoholic, but there's nothing to stop you adding a tipple of your choice to the mix). In case you haven't had a chance to log on and find it, here it is, along with a picture of the rose I actually used, which I hope you can see OK because I haven't quite figured out how to get photos into these updates). For rose nerds: this variety is a very old English one known variously as the Apothecary's Rose, as it was employed for medicinal qualities, and also the Red Rose of Lancaster, although it happens to be palpably pink.


JDCMB Summer Cooler

Ingredients (to serve 4):
Fresh mint leaves
Petals of 1 smallish pink rose
2 pink grapefruit
Vanilla paste

Put the mint leaves and rose petals in a teapot and pour on boiling water. Leave to steep. Squeeze the grapefruit and strain the juice into a jug (unless you like "bits", in which case don't strain it). When the mint and rose tea has cooled, mix it with the juice - test the flavour until the balance of quantities is as you like. Pour into glasses and sweeten with a soupçon of vanilla paste (I use about a 1/4 teaspoon per glass). You could use honey instead if you prefer more sweetness and less vanilla. Pile in some ice. Garnish with a spring of fresh mint and a few rose petals.

If you fancy an alcoholic version, add a splash of Pimms. Alternatively - well, I haven't yet tried adding prosecco, but one suspects that would be unlikely to do any damage to it.

Enjoy in the sunshine. Accompany with fresh summery music such as Ravel's G major piano concerto, Fauré's Ballade - or the final, tonight, of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, which promises to be very exciting indeed.
The, er, pink rose of Lancaster...
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Dear all,

The campaign for A Year for JDCMB has got off to a flying start! Under 24 hours from launch, you, my beloved readers, have already stepped forward with almost 7% of the funding I'm seeking. I feel enormously encouraged - even rather lump-in-throatish at the idea that you really do value the content I offer on the site.

As you know, 'mainstream' outlets for detailed and non-dumbed-down commentary on music and its world have been reducing incrementally over the past few years. The solution is online, where we can build an audience for a real alternative. I hope to set about this in a more systematic way, thanks to your support. Many others are doing similar things, in their own way, and each no doubt has his or her own audience. Thank you for being mine!

More soon.

Much love,

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Read a Previous Update
Nguyễn Trọng
12 months ago

I like the music info on your site because I'm an artist who always burns with violin đàn piano điện roland đàn piano điện casio

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£918 of £5,200 goal

Raised by 26 people in 16 months
Created June 11, 2017
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7 months ago
Ellen Dahrendorf
7 months ago

Happy Birthday!!

Orlando Murrin
9 months ago

Remarkable to have your entertaining and erudite views arriving in my inbox every few days. Thank you for your hard work and insight.

Ellen Dahrendorf
10 months ago

Thank you! JDCMB a delight!

Lalita Carlton-Jones
11 months ago

Keep up the good work!

Tomo Sawado
15 months ago

Please carry on!

16 months ago
liz Brereton
16 months ago

Thanks Jessica

Nguyễn Trọng
12 months ago

I like the music info on your site because I'm an artist who always burns with violin đàn piano điện roland đàn piano điện casio

+ Read More
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