Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Bass Blogger’s Response to Just Criticism

Perhaps a few words about the change in the title of this blog are in order. Today I was informed there were some ‘complaints’ that the three letter initials of the orchestra I play in, used in the former title of this blog, constituted a violation of the contract provision governing use of the orchestra name. I certainly don’t want to run afoul of the law, so changes to the title, introductory paragraph as well as my personal information were made as soon as possible. However, I have not had the time to excise the offending initials from archived posts, so I urge the rare individual who might stumble across them to exercise an Orwellian sort of failure to see what is (for the time being) in plain sight.

An odd side note: the individual who relayed the ‘complaints’ to me has had a prominent banner advertisement running on a web site that easily gets a hundred times as many hits as mine for several months featuring his name as well as the name of the orchestra we both play in. I’m scratching my head over that, and a few other things as well. I suppose, like Winston Smith, the only thing to do is uncork another bottle of Victory Gin.


Jacque said...

I googled "CSO":
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chief Security Officer
Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
CSO: a compression method for the ISO image format
Central States Health & Life Co. of Omaha
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Central Statistics Office (Ireland)
Chattanooga Symphony and Opera
and my personal favorite, considering the reason we are having this discussion at all: combined sewer overflows, a page on the website of the EPA.

And a quick search at the US Patent and Trademark website ( shows a number of registrations of "CSO" including a ladies lingerie store, a commodity exchange for the trading of emission allowances and offsets (e.g. methane gas, and think back to that EPA page I mentioned) and Sony Corporation, among many others.

What is truly sad about this is that instead of being a focal point for creation of great music and experiences that "stick with you," the orchestra--in general--has become a marketing-driven standardized sound factory, where political squabbles, us v. them fighting between "management" and "labor" and copyright protection are what consume the most thought and energy.

Maybe I'm overstating the case.

But it saddens me that Michael's interest in sharing part of his life with the whole world has been as troublesome as it has, what with the internet troll and now corporate lawyers punishing him for his efforts.

Michael Hovnanian said...

The complaints did not come from managers, to my knowledge, but from colleagues. But that is as is should be: we players are the ones who stand to lose most when our name is misappropriated.

Jacque said...

Oh -

That changes the tone of it a bit.

I guess I'll just scratch my head, too.


Unknown said...

A Shostakovich reference and an Orwell reference in the same post. Nice.

Michael Hovnanian said...

Joe Stalin must be smiling at my heavy handed prose.

Unknown said...

I'm sure Stalin's taking a keen interest in how you're playing Shostakovich 7 this weekend. Making sure you're faithfully devoted to Mother Russia, and all that.

Angrybassist said...

I have to say, your careful avoidance of the name of your city and its orchestra adds an enjoyable and kafkaesque touch to your blog.

Michael Hovnanian said...

I have no idea what you are talking about ;)

eric said...

Astonishing; musicians, being greedy? Oh sheesh, it couldn't be! Isn't there some line that goes "any press is good press"?

Either way, I do appreciate the commentary on the xSO and all the fun things you present here.