Is there anybody there, said the traveller...

Ella Beck

I quote from a poem The Listeners by Walter de la Mare. A mysterious horseman calls at a house that he'd promised to visit, but there's no reply, though he senses that there are ghosts listening.

The poem concludes -
....he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—

‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

That's how I feel about MIMF. There are three or four of us who post regularly (though not, alas, always relevantly), but is there anyone reading?

If not, it's just silly, really, isn't it - and the kindest thing to do might be to let the forum die.
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John Watt

"the kindest thing to do might be to let the forum die".

You are the new member who can say a thread has served its purpose and should be locked.
You are the new member who determines who and what is relevant for your purposes.
You are the new member who is suggesting this forum be deleted.

Do you have a prediction for how long you will continue posting?
This thread start is a big improvement for you, using more words even if they're not your own.

aaaah.... the fontitude after clicking "Post Quick Reply".

Ella Beck

And I'm also the new member who has a right to my own opinion, and to post it too. :)

I don't have a prediction for how long I shall continue posting, no.

I joined hoping to keep it going - I'm just raising the question of whether it's worth it if nobody is reading it.

I would think it is, so long as a) people post considerately of the thread title and are not self indulgent and b) there are readers out there, and they could make that fact known.

Have a nice day, John Watt.

John Watt

I'm not sure about having a nice day, being awake since 5:30 this morning.
Maybe I'll have a nice hybrid night into day.

I'm not disappointed like you are, always saying I'm surprised at the dearth of log-in members,
when there are so many people viewing who don't log in. Why not?
It's free to be a member and just being able to enlarge the photos makes it worth it for me.

I've never been suicidal or willing to chase a ghost to the point of no return,
but I did write a poem that some people might see as coming close.
And it's only a poem because I never came up with more words to make it lyrics.

"the northern rain always cools.
standing here alone I need it to whet my burning heart,
so my mind, like a late white floe down summer's Niagara,
can shine in radiant splendor before the final Falls".

Apart from you and me, and everyone else who has ever been a member,
I really can't imagine the as-yet-untitled Frederik Magle not having these forums.
uh... uh... when he's up there in front of a symphony orchestra conducting them,
I think he's thinking of us as clicking away as some kind of internet echo,
for his conductors' sticks as he's clicking them away on his music stand.
Somehow... I don't see you waving your head and shaking your hair around like he does,
and I know he's not making as many left-handed moves like me.
This domain is symphonic with all the graphics and functions and everything works so well,
it really it a tribute to the man who created it and pays for it.
I can only admit it, not admin it.

I hope you have a nice day into night.
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Ella Beck

Posts which are verbose and not relevant to the thread question are not actually very attractive to people wondering about joining - in my opinion.

There's one new member - I shan't mention names, but s/he has joined very recently - who is to be commended for pithy posts which have bumped some interesting threads. The posts are always relevant and often provide some very pertinent links.

That's what we need to revive the forum - new blood, which proves that somebody was reading and wanted to join - see my thread title.
And new posts which carry discussions forward.

So well done, that new member - if you're still here, and haven't been put off, then you know who you are. :)
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John Watt

It's interesting, kinda, that you see me as irrelevant, if not dis-interesting.
I'm not being verbose, I am fontiful, if not fontitudinous.
If you want to see a thread that defies everything you are going on about,
look at "The Nuclear Organ for World Peace" in the "Organ" forum.
I started it, JHC got into it, and I keep it going. It's got almost 25,000 views, and counting.

You are more than allowed your own opinion, if you share them.
And not mentioning names is next to mentioning names.
You are the one looking for blood, even new blood, not me.
Apart from the coalescing of these electrons as font on these forums,
I'm only looking for black spools for my portable electric typewriter.

Am I putting it on you that I'm sending with the pure power of Niagara Falls,
the first commercial hydro generation in the world, for our post ice-age times,
when you, from England, are using dirty power generation? Not at all.
Look at the watts and wattage you are using, when the Adam Beck generator got shut down.
If you want our fontage to descend into using our four-letter last names...
and four-letter first names...
I still would prefer to think of you as Cinder-ella and join the ball by getting on the ball.
Let it out. You're starting to do that here. We all can take it.

That's one of my favorite Cinderella moments from the Walt Disney movie we saw as kids.
Cinderella is on her knees scrubbing the floor at the bottom of the stairs,
and as she sings one bubble rises, reflecting her face.
Another bubble rises with her face, now a two-part harmony,
and as the bubbles multiply to fill the air her singing becomes a big choir harmonizing together,
but as her reality sinks in the bubbles start popping until she is left singing alone.

If I was bi-board curious, I'd be wondering what you are private messaging,
but I like to keep it above-board and post for all to see.
That's just me, and if you want to leave me alone with that, it's up to you.
I'm not ignorant, but I am ignorable.

Ella Beck

Getting old members back would be another good way to keep MIMF going.
However, they're probably members of the sister forum or of other music forums online.

Still, it is probably a good idea to post on the threads they started, and post in a constructive way that pays tribute to the OP.

Come back, former members - we need you!

John Watt

I can be only realistic. If members paid dues that covered the cost of being online,
that would be a definite way to keep these forums enervated, if not energized.

Bringing back posts that faded into the display distance for reasons of non-interest,
to me, sounds like a failing strategy.
However, it they represent a topic of interest you feel compelled to add your comments to,
that's a very appropriate use of forum technology.... unless...
you have created a wall of resurrected posts that have sent down current threads of interest.

And you are not paying any tribute by commenting on any post.
It is a form of rebuke if you consider your comments to be constructive about them.
If you think these forums are "dying" and are calling on former members to populate them,
who would you "blame" for these forums becoming what "you think" they are?

Am I going to start nick-naming fatuous fontuous fame-throwers from the past "dead-threads".
Not at all. I'm not even thinking about it. That's tru 4 U 2. Really!

However, with as much of a British royalty opium yawn to accompany it,
you have found a new way to motivate this old musician on this thread.

I would like to add that I was very happy to learn that my grandfather was unconscious when he died.
It's too bad the passengers in his car died screaming.
I heard some former members here stayed logged out from over-streaming.
Are you being called away by a kettle that is steaming?
I might leave because my typewriter needs some reaming.
Why don't you start a new thread about what you are dreaming... up?

John Watt

It seems I'm at your Ella Beck and call!
I just found out that when I type "" on YouTube it becomes an activated link.
So I promise, I promise, by all the ivory that has been pressed by keyboard playing fingers,
by all the pumping of people pumping up the pressure for cathedral organs,
by all the countries the disUnited States of America attacks and hacks to increase their world wide web,
to propogate and propagandize their systems for the addiction and bewilderment of all,
even as I walk across top of Niagara Falls when the water is lowered for more hydro consumption at night,
yes, it's true, it's new, this YouTube technology, so I will perform a new use for it and these forums.
Every time I post on YouTube, mostly because I'm not on Facebook,
I'll say the only music forums I visit and am a member of is
I just did that for the first time and the link worked.
You can't always depend on that with the online in North America.
Sometimes an attempt to access shows it to be an untrusted and undocumented source.
I laughed the first time I saw that,
because I know .dk is for Denmark just like my domain .ca is for Canada.
How much more legit can that be?
I added the address to a video made by a Swedish guitarist about a Toronto jazz guitarist.
That was Ed Bickert, someone I saw and a music scene I... uh... hung around with.
Magle dk, Magle dk, type that name, type that name!
We now return to Ella Becks' usual programming. Hopefully not.
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Ella Beck

Since I started this thread, nobody has made it known that they are reading MIMF and nobody has joined as a new member.

When I look at the list at the bottom of the front page, I am the only one here.

No conversation is going on here, though plenty of monologues.

It is plain that the site is 'moribund' as another member put it.

JHC said on another thread that when posters fall below a certain critical mass, music forums are doomed - he saw it happen with another site.

As the Americans say, go figure.
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Ella Beck

This site still has historic value for those who are interested in the specialist forums, particularly Pipe Organ & Progressive Rock.

Progressive Rock has seen some constructive activity lately, which I'm glad to see.

While MIMF remains, I shall read and post on it, as courteously and relevantly as possible, ignoring ill-mannered remarks, but happy to engage with anybody who posts in a civil and pertinent manner.
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John Watt

That's one thing I liked about right away, the sophisticated and educated members.
There are truly global attitudes.
The haters and negators of American forums were only disheartening.
However, for the first time here, I'm seeing "ill-mannered remarks". That's not good.
Also, "ignoring" is next to "ignorant", so you shouldn't limit yourself to only yourself.

You already said you were married so being happy "to engage with anybody" can't be it.
"To engage with" is also a military term of conflict, are you presaging that?
Can I anticipate a flingin'a'the font above and beyond fully fontal confrontage?
Is there to be an international clash of cymbals and symbols... happy faces notwithstanding?
You British are said to love a good murder... but that's not a murder of crows.

Again, as to "is there anybody there", I say, I am here...
and I'm sorry if you think I'm not there.

Ella Beck

That's just me, and if you want to leave me alone with that, it's up to you.
I'm not ignorant, but I am ignorable.

Thank you.
I have decided to do as you suggest, if you will leave me alone in your turn.

I'm pleased to have found this passage in the Terms and Conditions of MIMF, which should give some reassurance to anybody thinking of joining this forum.

Guidelines for General Behavior
Be polite to your fellow members. If you disagree with them, please state your opinion in a »civil« and respectful manner.
Do not post comments about other members person or »posting style« on the forum (unless said comments are unmistakably positive). Argue opinions all you like but do not get personal and never resort to »ad homs«.
If you have any complaints about other users or their posts, contact the staff directly (by private message) or use the »report post« function.
If in doubt about any of these guidelines - or generally if you need help with anything on this board - you can always send a PM (private message) to a member of the staff, or use the contact form.
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Ella Beck

Nice to see a long-standing member posting this morning with some lovely listening suggestions. :)
Maybe there is hope for the site yet.
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John Watt

Your pronouncements of doom for this site are less than hope-full.
When are you going to decide these forums have served their purpose and should be taken offline?
Are you trying to achieve something by resorting to pulling out the rule-book?
Adding or not adding replies to any-ones' postings can only be seen as adherence or avoidance,
not "leaving me alone". As soon as you log in here you can never be alone,
and I doubt one person could, in a life-time, read every thread stored in this domain.

Why am I thinking about the soundtrack to "The Lady and The Tramp"?
I better look up some Frederik Magle and listen to some dark organ,
before some lovely listening suggestions sugar-coat my brain.
I don't have any sugar in my kitchen, and don't cook with it at all.


Sr. Regulator
Staff member
Sr. Regulator
Talk Classical, the other Magle site seems to be going quite well. One of its main advantages is the like button. This allows people to indicate that they have read a post (whether they agree or not) and means that discussions don't get cluttered up with posts of simple agreement. It would be nice to have something like that here.

John Watt

Taggart! I've had "Talk Classical" recommended to me by other members and admins,
but I didn't know it was also owned by Frederik Magle.
I understand what you're saying about the "like button",
but I see posts I haven't read here as being in bold font, doing the same thing for me.
And I'm sure you've seen that I hardly ever type a post of simple agreement.

I'm wearing a Stuart hunting tartan wool shirt with a Royal Buchanan cap on my head.

Ella Beck

I started the thread because of a poem - 'The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare reminded me of the situation at MIMF.

Here's another poem that reminds me - a Shakespearean sonnet by the Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton - and this one hints at the possibility of recovery.

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part


Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part.
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free.
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.
Now at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies;
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes—
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might’st him yet recover!

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Ella Beck

Talk Classical, the other Magle site seems to be going quite well. One of its main advantages is the like button. This allows people to indicate that they have read a post (whether they agree or not) and means that discussions don't get cluttered up with posts of simple agreement. It would be nice to have something like that here.

I don't think that's likely to be installed now - but as you may know (I use a different user-name), I also have been a member of TC (for a few years now) and I agree that it's a handy facility.
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Ella Beck

A few more people have appeared on MIMF in the last few weeks, which is great.

Still, here's another set of words - lyrics to a song - which remind me of the current situation.
'There ain't nobody here but us chickens' - because there still aren't very many of us.