And thus, I begin again

I am the Inkpot Sibelius Nutcase, and I’m back.

The “Inkpot Sibelius Nutcase” was a pseudonym I used back at The Flying Inkpot in the years 1997-2002, when I was writing on Sibelius or other composers of the Nordic Countries. Back then, I felt that this “Chia Han-Leon” was writing way too many articles on the site compared to the other writers, and I just felt bad about it. So purely for fun, I started to use this nickname, partly because it felt more comfortable – Sibelius Nutcase championing Sibelius.

I was editor at the Inkpot’s Classical Music section from around 1997 to 2002. I transformed the site, and we got millions and millions of hits, which was an important statistic those days, before Google Analytics. I stopped writing and managing the place in 2002, simply because I became a father (and the hands-on variety). Nevertheless, the articles are all still there.

But in the time since, the web has progressed. Back in 1997, the blog was a newly coined term. The blog as it is today – as publishing platform and web 2.X technology – would have been perfect for the Inkpot’s peculiar style, which was in-depth, semi-professional and totally personal “attitude” about the arts.  Just look at all the great e-magazines today.

But then, I am proud to say that our Chief Editor then, installed a comments engine in the Inkpot – we daresay we were the first publishing platform that allowed readers to comment (which is one of the main points of web 2.0, allowing user-generated content). Many commentators’ comments are still on the Inkpot today (along with their email accounts, sorry for the spam).

Anyway, my articles have been on the Inkpot for a decade now. These articles  – my work and my heart’s work – have continued to serve me. They haunt me. People still come up to me and say, “Do you still write for the Inkpot?”. Sometimes I say, “You can find me easily on the net, just google my name.”  I have discovered that my articles, musings and my name have travelled far and wide across the internet, appearing in music reviews, wikipedia and even this May 2009 essay by Museum Coach and Consultant Jane Kalagher .  Lim Yau, a conductor I respect very much, sought me out in 2007 to write the programme notes for his Sibelius Symphony cycle with The Philharmonic Orchestra.

As I said, my work at The Flying Inkpot haunts me. I guess it was my own doing though – here’s my original whimiscal description of the Inkpot Sibelius Nutcase at the Inkpotters page:

The Flying Inkpot is proud to be home to the World-Famous, World Premiere Recording of The Inkpot Sibelius Nutcase. Having heard of the fabulous web machine from Singapore, the mysterious white-winged ISN hefted his 6-ton armour of Nordic Music review expertise and crossed the Bifröst bridge to the tropics, bringing with him several boxes of BIS CDs, his Nordic Sounds and Finnish Music Quarterly subscriptions, a copy of the Everyman edition of the Prose Edda, as well as The Kalevala. To date, he refuses to reveal his identity except to the closest of friends (all Inkpotters, heh). Naturally, he only uses Nokia handphones. Due to intense concentration while listening to multiple-layer, multi-pedal sonorities, he does not check his email very often.

But I use an iPhone now.

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Leon is Singapore's resident champion of Jean Sibelius.

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