2007/12/16, 08:46:23, UTC

 Musings about scarcity

In another small tidbit on this page, I complained how preciously little ambisonic material is available out there.

But now it has occurred to me that there is also an upside to this scarcity - us Ambisonics enthusiasts have a relatively small canon of stuff many of us have listened too, which should give us a lot to talk about and form a common ground for music appreciators from vastly different backgrounds and musical preferences.

In most countries, the music industry and art scene is so diversified and just plain huge that any form of artistic expression gets pigeonholed into a specific sub-culture and is not noticed much outside of it. Which is a pity - I still fondly remember the old days when everybody in Germany had only 3 TV programmes, and at school you could just rely on the fact that *everybody* in class had seen that stupid Bud Spencer movie or the last edition of "Rockpalast" or whatever music programme there was. Scarce yes, lots of mainstream stupidity yes, hard for those with differing tastes, yes. But definitely a common grounds for discussion and something that everybody shared.

That's why I like the Icelandic music scene so much. Iceland is so small (with its 300,000 inhabitants, it's half the size of my hometown) that any public artistic expression is indeed public, noticed by most people and hence mainstream. Petty genre apartheid is out of the question when you've got to draw on a scarce resource, and there is much more interchange, communication and recognition than in countries with an over-abundant arts supply.

Getting back to Ambisonics: I just noticed (Etienne, love your RSS service!) pwhodges' last upload of contemporary piano music, and I realized that I would never have heard of these particular works but for the scarcity of B-format recordings (even though I've got quite a collection of modern music at home). And I know I'm going to listen to it over and over, as I do with AJH's wonderful orchestra recordings (apparently now withdrawn from ambisonia.com - a great loss in my opinion).

Having just inherited a large batch of classical CDs from my deceased uncle, I find it increasingly difficult to really listen to music in such a depth that I really make it "my own", simply because there is so much music available. The few B-format recordings I have had a chance to really sink it and become part of my musical repertoire.

Now please everybody ignore me and keep recording excellent material.