Author, a fan of Biber; but also of Bach, Beethoven, Telemann, Vivaldi, et al.

Author, a fan of Biber; but also of Bach, Beethoven, Telemann, Vivaldi, et al.

A fan of Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, Mozart, jazz, and Biber, just to name a few...

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.

Curation. Since 1998, I have been publishing content online through weblogs to share my passion for music, technology, and cooking. 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.

I grew up in the midwest of the U.S. I began to study the piano at age 5, and later picked up the trombone into college and graduate school. While I still play the piano today, my favorite instrument is the baroque violin. One of the reasons I have chosen to write for this long about music is that I find little opportunity to converse where I live about music with fans. I have also become an enthusiast of audio reproduction and trying to find good sound at home without spending an obscene fortune.

I pay attention to sound quality.  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. To that end, I listen to music typically in four situations. For critical listening, I use a headphone setup and also a "living room" setup with speakers. After all, a recording is a collaboration between audio engineers, performers, and the composer. I think a good review ought to address all three sources to some extent.

Oh, you’re still reading? (Thanks.) In case you’re interested in the details of my listening setup, I’ll include them here.

I am distracted when listening. I do not listen to music when I am actively doing other things, save for driving to work. In the car, an SD card and a wired or wireless connection with my iPhone supplies music on the commute. 

  • Music at home is stored on a Synology-brand NAS. I use iTunes on my primary computer to manage everything. Music is either purchased digitally or is a rip of CDs using the Apple Lossless Codec. 
  • Headphone listening is done via a DAC (Toslink) connection from my Mac to an amplifier. 
  • The living room setup is streamed over Ethernet to a streaming server and then sent to the DAC (BNC) which also serves as a preamp. 
  • The home also has a number of Sonos devices which also points to the same NAS. These include ceiling-mounted speakers and a Play device.

I hold two degrees in music and completed studies in music history, with special interest in the Renaissance and baroque periods. As time allows, I enjoy attending concerts and musical festivals.