completions. In addition to the usual quiet roar of work,
I have throwaway camera vacation pictures to develop,
a few poems to complete to finish the "set" I'm writing for a new booklet, postcards to send to mail art correspondents, plane reservations to make, trips to visit relatives to plan, postcards to send to people to whom I neglected to send vacation postcards, friends to e mail, future trips to plan, and worlds to save. All this, of course, must take a backseat to work.
I've gotten in several new CDs lately. Three ambient ones from Hypnos.com. I listened to the first one today.
Incredible stuff...very quiet, very complex. I'm buying far more music than I usually do lately. The trigger for all this musical listening was a bit of applied theory.
It has been my contention for a few years now that
the internet will eliminate the major CD labels and their
archaic business practices, at least as far as the hypothetical "discerning" listener is concerned. I believe that the 'net gives the indie artist the ability to
direct market to niche audiences, to the benefit of audience and artist. I found hypnos.com through an experiment in the theory that one must leave the commercial marketing of CDs behind. Because I'd always liked ambient,
I did some google searches for ambient artists and reviews.
I found a great review of a Jeff Pearce album. It sounded like precisely my cup of tea. I clicked over to this label unfamiliar to me, hypnos.com, and ordered a CD. When it came in, I was
really impressed by his work. Since then, I've ordered several more hypnos releases, post a bit at the hypnos forum, and bought a lot of non-ambient CDs as well. To me, the theory worked--bypassing traditional media outlets, I found something really workable. I rarely have patience to play on MP3 (a service I like), or I am sure I could find tons of other artists I would similarly like. On my own, I've found a few more ambient artists whose music works for me. I recognize that large labels give one the ability to know
"The Man Who Sold the World" in common with millions of fans (albeit, nowadays, most might think it's a Cobain song). That's somewhat "lost" under my theory of how music listening "ought to be". Still, I believe that that starmaker machinery should be completely and thoroughly unplugged. Artists now sign major label deals in the main for advances, which are then consumed
by expenses. Recoupment becomes a grim joke.
This "mainlining" fame is bad for everyone.
To me, the day of "rock stars" and "artistes" and even "punks" is done--it's time for real people to market real music to other real people directly,
without apology, without pretension, without fear of merchandising or profit. I vote for fewer high dollar stars and more available product. I
vote for more avocational or semi-vocational folks doing great work and fewer folks trying to be
the next Who Name It. I vote for less fan obsession and more artist/fan interconnection.
To me, the Artist is not the point. Even the fan is not the point. The point is the Experience.
The Artist and the listener engage in this glorious conspiracy....when the conspiracy
succeeds, a really neat thing results....I vote for that thing. I intend to "campaign finance" my vote by practicing this particular bit of preachiness more often from now forward.