This blog is written by Eyolf Østrem. In descending order of relevance for this site,
- I have run the dylanchords website with accurate chords and lyrics to just about every song that Dylan has recorded or played live. It is a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. The site started in the mid-nineties, and is thus one of the Neanderthal sites on the net.
In 2005, I shut down most of the site, not because I personally was forced to, as many seem to think, but because the RIAA started going after tab sites like mine, and I thought “better safe than sorry”. Somehow, the site rose from the dead again at a new location.
- I have a Ph.D. in Musicology from Uppsala University (2001) and have been employed at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals since then. My main orientation as a scholar has been the changes in aesthetics — both theoretically and in practice — between the Middle Ages and today, with a special emphasis on liturgical and other forms of ritual music.
Although such an orientation may seem like something purely for the initiated and those with special (read: weird) interests, it is my claim that it is of relevance also in today’s culture, and many of the posts in these pages are heavily influenced by this conviction.
- I spend my days in front of a computer running Arch Linux, writing stuff in LaTeX. I work part-time with layout and copy-editing for Brepols, a publishing house in Belgium, specializing in texts and scholarly works on the Middle Ages.
This does not make me an expert in computers, but it does make me entitled to an informed opinion. In fact, the most visited page, bar none, on this site, is a comparison between the output produced by MS Word, OpenOffice.org Writer, and LaTeX.
- I am pan-Scandinavian: born in Norway, lived in Uppsala, Sweden for twelve years, and am currently living in Copenhagen with my wife, Pernille, who takes care of the practical aspects of ritual (she’s a minister).
… the site
To call this a “blog” is really abuse of the term. The only thing it has in common with a blog is the comment section and the underlying software.
There are no lolcats here, no sharp, hot, new political commentary, no family pictures, no short reports of what happened to me today, and no public diary notes about feelings and crap.
I write long texts with a certain analytic and theoretic bent, about anything Dylan, about “communicative culture” in general, and about computer issues. That’s about it.
I have no particular side or issue I’m advocating, other than that insight is a good thing.
… the layout
The layout is a reflection of the contents. The intention is to use good book layout as a starting point, but without letting go the possibilities that web publishing offer. Now, every usability guide and SEO guru will tell you: much text: bad. Pictures and everything else that breaks up the page and gives variation: good. The challenge is to unite the two. We have a five centuries long tradition of book typography in our trunk, which shouldn’t necessarily go out the window just because there is a new medium in town.
Luckily, I don’t sell anything, so the hit points are only for my own ego. I try to make a layout that I myself find appealing, as a web page.
… the technical stuff
The site is powered by WordPress, one of the best and most successful blog engines around. It is hosted on bluehost.com, which is hereby recommended.