The not-so-secret secret of Fragile or Possibly Extinct is that it was created by the owner and editor-in-chief of The Silent Ballet. If you are new to The Silent Ballet, suffice it to say that it was a music critique website that operated from 2006-2012, covering “instrumental/experimental music.” An archive of the website can be found here, and the website continues to publish a list of its picks for the best releases and tracks of the year every December.
Fragile or Possibly Extinct was registered in 2012, but it is not launching until now, the beginning of 2014. Initially we had planned to continue our efforts immediately after the shutdown of TSB, but we quickly discovered some time was necessary to reflect upon the events that unfolded and get back in touch with what originally made us love working on the website in the first place.
Loyal readers of The Silent Ballet will likely have two pertinent questions: “Why did TSB close?” and “Why don’t you just resume work at TSB?” The former question is difficult and multifaceted. It’s something we could spend pages upon pages writing about and probably still only scratch the surface of the truth. Everyone involved likely has their own version of what happened, and it seems fruitless to try to recount the events that led to its demise. Sometimes good things just have to die. Perhaps one day the rise and fall of TSB will make a good VH1 special.
To address the second: there are again many reasons why we’ve chosen not to exhume the old website. Over the years TSB became more than just a collection of writings, and it grew to possess its own personality and style, filtered through the voices of its writers. This was something that our fiercest critics despised and our most adamant supporters loved. Recreating that magic would likely prove daunting, if not impossible. Secondly, TSB’s focus from day one was always on music critique. We sought not be a fansite or blog, but wanted to explore the music we listened to with the same passion and debate that once existed in popular rock music. The level of success we achieved at delivering a coherent critique varied over time, but when all gears were in motion, it was a sight to behold. Fragile or Possibly Extinct will likely contain parts of the TSB ethos, but we didn’t want to focus 100% on that philosophy. Arguably, TSB is part of who we are as people, and that informs the decisions and values we hold dear, but it’s not the entirety of who we are.
Lastly, there are times in life when one must let go of the past and forge ahead with the future. The closing of TSB felt like one of those moments. It was a great experience and we were all sad to watch it shut down, but the future looks to have endless possibilities and bountiful freedom. FORPE is the medium where we wish to explore that.
Currently, Fragile or Possibly Extinct consists of a small group of contributors left over from The Silent Ballet, but it may grow. We hope you’ll enjoy your time spent on the website.
–Fragile or Possibly Extinct