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Saturday morning quotes 3.41: Changes

February 22, 2014

Now celebrating our tenth year as a duo specializing in music for voice and lute, we reflect on how Mignarda is unique in many ways.  The aesthetic of gentle, quiet domestic music of the 16th century is highly incompatible with the 21st century and the technology-driven preoccupation with flash, volume and speed.  We think of our music as a necessary antidote to the pace of modern life – and it seems that many others agree.

Mignarda’s presence is based entirely on our own hard work.  We have never paid for a recording review and we have never used search engine optimization services. Unlike performers and recording artists who place fund-raising well before musical matters, we have carried out our work without the support of state, academic or institutional grants.  Mignarda does not benefit from organizational connections, recording contracts, or artist representation. We carry out all aspects of the production, from research to recording and design of our CDs, to typesetting, photography and design of our music publications and promotional materials.

Our readers know Donna Stewart as the voice of Mignarda and contributor to this blog.  But she is also an artist whose creative work is informed by a multiplicity of interests and skills.  Some of her work can be seen on her website Eglantyne Design

Or you might just notice the changes to Unquiet Thoughts and visit the Mignarda website to see the results of her work.  Finding the language of self-promotion a bit gauche, the following quotes are more or less in her words.

So what’s changed?

Regular blog readers will notice a small change in the appearance of Unquiet Thoughts.  First, there are no longer adverts on our blog.  This has been bothering us from the outset, since previously we didn’t see the ads placed on or near our blog posts, we had no control over the content of the ads, and we received no financial benefit from the ads.

The menu bar above our blog posts now displays links to our new website, seamlessly integrating the blog with Mignarda’s other on-line offerings.

Did you just mention our new website?

Yes.  We now have a completely updated website that is optimized for display on the mobile devices that so many people use today. The design is “responsive” which means that important text and menus will display usefully whether you are viewing on a full-size screen, an iPad, or a mobile phone.

What else is new?

The new site is “retina-ready,” meaning images conform to newer standards developed by certain unnamed tech companies for devices that feature enhanced resolution when displaying images.  Also, the latest posts for Unquiet Thoughts can now be accessed directly from the home page of our web site.

Mignarda specializes in the aesthetics of old music and we keep going on about opting out of technology and fast-paced modern life.  Why bother with these new features?

We may opt out, but our listeners, readers, and customers do not. I’ve been making web sites professionally since 1995, and my overriding concern has always been “useability”.  The point is to ensure that all our users have access, can actually navigate the site, and can use the content – whether they’re running  bleeding-edge technologies, limping along with an ancient desktop on its last legs, or using screen readers and other adaptive technologies.

If it’s any consolation, the font, at least, is a product of the past.  IM Fell, inspired by and named for the 17th century Bishop of Oxford who collected and developed types until his death in 1686.

Three new recordings in 2014, plus a completely revised web site design and blog format.  What else could you possibly be up to this year?

The book will tell all…

One Comment
  1. I had always known Dr. Fell in the _other_ context:

    I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
    The reason why—I cannot tell;
    But this I know, and know full well,
    I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

    I never knew he was also a font collector. Incidentally, my cardiologist’s name is “Fell”!

    Your new web site is beautiful.

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