Friday, April 3, 2009


I am Carlton J. Wilkinson, known in my childhood as Colly. I'm a composer, songwriter, poet, writer, teacher and, most importantly, father to two beautiful children. My wife is a teacher and very active in our community here in Asbury Park. She doesn't like it when I talk about her in print so I won't be spending as much time as I would like ruminating over her many talents and charms.

Most relevant to this blog, I am the writer of the Asbury Park Press Sunday Entertainment column "Music Notes" dedicated to classical music and jazz. To begin with, I'll be using this blog as an extension of that column, posting music news, comments, upcoming notices and reviews. But I'll no doubt have occasion to throw in all kinds of other chatter from the crossed wires of my brain. Hopefully that will lead me and this column in unforeseeable and still interesting directions. I love exploring.

One of the biggest reasons for starting a blog is as part of a larger effort to put my work and my views more deliberately out into the community. I have always had the belief that sometimes just saying a thing out loud is enough to make it come true--once others hear it, an idea can take on a life of its own until it becomes a movement or until someone somewhere picks it up and runs with it. I've also always believed that culture is a ceaseless conversation between everyone. I trying to more firmly hold up my end.

The title of the blog ("The And of One") arises from that idea of putting myself out there. In musician-speak, "the and of one" is a syncopation, a note midway in between beat one and beat two. My views offer a syncopation to the cultural conversation happening (or most often not happening) in the media and online. As a bit of poetic rhetoric, "the and of one" could also imply that no one is isolated--there is always an "and" for every "one". That is certainly true in my case and the last 20 years have been a ceaseless object lesson in that concept. As much as I care to isolate myself, I am recognizing that fact that I am connected to others at every turn. Familly, friends, audience. I am trying, in all my creative work, to be more outward, more observant and out of myself. I have only my subjective experience to draw from, but the effort to force myself to view others and to communicate with others has already reaped unexpected rewards. I think my family and friends would probably agree that I have a long way to go in that respect.

But enough about me. Here we go. Please give me your feedback and comments on anything I write. That is the idea.


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