Welcome to Musicuratum – a website, initiated in the middle of 2012 and based for a decade in Amsterdam, then relocated to Madrid, although it is the work of a native speaker of English, which is paired with a number of subsidiary pages under the same name on Youtube, Soundcloud, and Spotify.
On all of them the immediate aim is to draw attention to a diverse group of musicians, singers, composers, and the like. While the criterion for featuring them is unabashedly one of personal preference, perhaps others, encountering them in the expository notices or the essays in interpretation throughout these pages, will be filled with a similar enthusiasm.
The website as currently formatted is largely self-explanatory. In addition to the standard method of opening a text posted on the front-page, under the masthead there is a menu entitled “Entries,” which when clicked leads to a page with their titles and dates, with the most recent first. A further click on any of these titles will take the reader to the text; once there, by clicking on the masthead in the upper left-hand corner, one may return to the front-page, or proceed to the previous or the next post via their titles displayed at the bottom of the page.
In the entries themselves, quotations, as they frequently play a main role there, are rendered in bold red type, thus allowing the usual inverted commas to be omitted; this practice, however, has been avoided in instances of engagement with the text or textual criticism, and in the special case of lyrics, lines of poetry, and the like, whenever these are not set off from the text by the usual means. And also printed in the common black are the occasional excerpts or other passages which, to whet the intellectual appetites of the curious, have been placed apart from the main text in self-contained blocks of their own.
As a supplement, or an alternative, to the text of the entries, I have also begun to introduce a device by which it may be listened to instead, which on many pages may be found directly above the entry (on the left-hand side, the width of the screen permitting). The voices which speak it are synthesised, but the results often attain a likeness to the human that is, to say the least, uncanny. (A result which is quite thought-provoking, and to this question I expect to return more than once in the near future.) Largely in order to re-create within this auditory dimension something of the graphic juxtapositions on pages where quotations are set off from the main text, divergent vocal timbres and colours have been selected for the delivery of passages in languages other than English.
To assist the visitor in navigating through the website, a search function for the whole of it, along with an archive of all the entries, and a subscription form, will be found on the sidebar which slides open when the toggle-switch in the upper right-hand corner is clicked.
Through the menu entitled “Reference” a bibliography may be opened which comprises the works that are mentioned in the entries on this website, and these alone. (Here as elsewhere, less truly is more: an earlier, much more diffuse incarnation of it has been retired.) In it are also included works of visual art mentioned in the text, but not the sources of lyrics or libretti that are cited: doing so is needless, while in consequence the bibliography would have begun to swell up again.
Those readers who would like to study the texts published on this website during its Amsterdam years, will find them assembled, apart from a few pieces of ephemera, and prefaced with an introduction, into a Compendium that is presented as a virtual book, and also in the form of a PDF file; they may be opened by means of the “Books” and “Documents” menus, respectively. Alongside them, two volumes of selected essays are presented likewise. (These compendia as presented in either format are available for downloading. As for the various documents presented as PDF files, by some technical magic a reader who clicks on an entry in the table of contents will be taken to the corresponding page.) – When the moment is opportune, texts published in Madrid will be collected into a similar publication. – Lastly, for curious readers, an Album is offered: an excerpt-book stemming from my reading, which touches the subject-matter of this website from a number of different sides.
Finally, please note that an earlier experiment with a twin site having exactly the same content but a different graphic presentation, by the name of Musicuratum LP: Large Print, has been entirely retired. Under present or probably any circumstances, one website to maintain is more than enough.
A word about embedded items. While looking over the articles, every so often readers might notice that some of the visual or audio recordings which I had included initially, subsequently have been removed by their makers (or else by the sites which hosted their work). Of course, over these decisions themselves I have no influence, but for my part, generally I’ve let the players stand as empty shells, if only because as such they’d remind us how fleeting even music itself can be, sometimes.