As a graduate student at the University of Chicago in the mid 1970s, the now EMC webmaster spent many delightful evenings attending early music concerts by Howard Mayer Brown's group, the University of Chicago Collegium Musicum. He also collected as many early music LPs as he could afford, and began playing the recorder at the time. Then life intervened, including several stints living abroad in East Asia, about as far away from Western early music as one can get. Too busy with his career, then with married and family life, he drifted away from early music and stopped playing the recorder altogether.
Years later, it became his Christmas Eve habit to watch the local broadcast (since discontinued) of A King's College Christmas, then play his Medieval Christmas and Christmas in Anglia LPs, saved for just this occasion, late into the night long after the rest of the family had gone to bed. It was a most special time, the high point of his year. The next morning, Christmas morning, he would wake up in a bit of a funk. Why was the end of the holiday season always so depressing, the prospect of the cold winter ahead so utterly bleak?
He finally figured it out: Early music was not just another holiday treat. It was his passion, the thing above all else that brought joy and spiritual uplift to the holiday season. Every year, the New Year's resolution had always been the same, to pick up the recorder and resume playing again, although he never did. But this year would be different. He resolved firmly to bring early music back into his life all year round.
Then came the frustration of attempting to reconnect with the local early music subculture. Are there any upcoming early music concerts? Why do the city's newspapers and major fine arts web sites hide them from view or fail to list them altogether? What, no more Collegium Musicum at the University of Chicago? Whatever happened to the recorder society he played with 25 years earlier? Where could he find a recorder teacher for his daughter? How might he go about learning to play the sackbut? What are the best early music publications? Web sites? Music stores? So many questions, some of them since answered, some of them still unanswered, most of the answers too hard to come by.
There's got to be a better way, he thought.
This web site is the result.
robert.osterlund @ comcast.net