Since 1995, I have used the handle (not Handel, eh?) biberfan to identify myself online as a music enthusiast, especially for music written between 1600-1780, roughly considered the baroque period. I have been collecting music recordings since 1989.
Curation. During my college years, I’d steal time away from study to curl up in the corner of the library to read music reviews from magazines such as Early Music and Gramophone. Since 1998, I have been publishing content online through weblogs, including my own reviews. This website is dedicated towards the review of baroque and classical music, and musings on the performance of music and whatever else suits my interests. I am curator of the site, having discovered the music of Bach and "classical" composers in the late 1980s. And with that pedigree, I am not trying to boast, but rather to clearly establish my fandom is for old music, not Justin Bieber.
My parents liked music. Growing up before I spoke, I took to my mom’s organ and enjoyed listening when my dad played records. My love of older music was a discovery I made on my own. From a young age, through graduate school, I’ve studied piano, trombone, conducting, and composition.
Sound quality matters. Not all reviews I read regularly mention the quality of the recording. But making a recording is not just the musicians, there are artists behind the scenes that can make or break our aesthetic experience from a recording audition. It’s almost impossible for me to not take notice of the quality of the recording. I try to include some comments in my reviews about the work done by the sound engineers. They’re the unsung heroes of recorded music.
Oh, you’re still reading? (Thanks.) In case you’re interested in the details of my listening setup, I’ll include them here.
In 2019 I made some changes to my listening setup.
Car - with a thirty minute commute each day both ways, I do listen to music in the car. I use the car’s own storage system in addition to CarPlay or Bluetooth from my phone to listen to music using Apple’s music app and Quobuz.
Headphones - I use Sennheiser HD 650 headphones connected to an amplifier, fed by an outboard DAC connected to my iMac. I use Roon, using the iMac as both a remote and the Roon core.
Sonos - I have several Sonos endpoints in the house that are controlled from Roon.
Listening Room - I have a room dedicated for music listening using traditional stereo loudspeakers. I am currently using a Auralic Aries streaming device as a Roon endpoint, which combines my own album collection (rips of CDs in Apple Lossless format in addition to digital purchases) and Quobuz.