Everything Changes

Posted: September 2, 2013 in AV Editorial

Ambient Visions has been on the web since 1999 when it first incarnated on GeoCities before it even had its own domain name. The music was what compelled me to create the site in the first place it has been a motivating force in keeping the site on the web ever since. I have seen many changes in the music industry since I first worked in the retail end of things way back in 1976. Of course I have had a love affair with music that dates back to my early teens in the 60’s when I first started to form my own musical opinions and chose to listen to the music that made me happy instead of simply following the crowd. But in 1976 I began a journey into what made the music industry tick and how the music that I loved came to exist in the first place. It was a time of learning the business and distribution side of what made it possible for me to put a record album on my turntable and listen to music that ran the gamut from the sublime to the outrageous but always interesting, always pleasurable.

Working in the business side of music and hearing the vast selection that was available out there instilled in me a desire to be a part of the industry as much as I could since I was not really a musician and probably couldn’t carry a note in a bucket as the saying goes. What I could do was to use my knowledge and love of music to try and help artists to reach as many fans and listeners as possible. While I still worked in the music stores I could recommend great music and I could play music in store that would raise the awareness of those who were looking for the next thing to add to their collection. As the digital age exploded upon us in the early 80’s with the introduction of the compact disc it was not completely apparent as to where this might all lead. In 2013 with 20/20 hindsight it is now easy to see that the cascade of events that flowed from that compact disc were inevitable and the only thing that might have been done differently was how the record labels chose to deal with it.

I am still that same guy I used to be in the record store except now I use my website to help point people towards the new music that I find on my own or that is brought to my attention through PR companies or the artists themselves. Ambient Visions has changed over the years and I hope that it has changed for the better but that would be a subjective call on my part since I am slightly prejudiced in that regard. While I started the site with the objective of promoting ambient and new age music I am finding that the genres that I listen to and the music that I have grown to love no longer can be categorized in those narrow definitions. The digital age has changed the very fabric of what the music industry used to be but the goal is still the same…artists creating music, listeners discovering and buying that music. The Internet has made the musical discovery part very simple if you know what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you are looking for it has made it a little harder to find that next great album.

Now why would I say that it has made it harder to discover new music when Google indexes all the information you could ever dream of, Spotify has millions of songs at your fingertips, BandCamp and Soundcloud have samples and whole albums waiting for you to listen to? Maybe you can see the dilemma right there. In the old days you had a Billboard Top 200 albums to choose from and that seemed like a lot of music to sort through to find an album that you wanted to spend your money on and that was before you could sample it all on the web. Now there are millions of tracks and thousands of artists to sift through to find those that knock your socks off and let us remember that there are only 24 hours still in a day minus the time we have to sleep and work. Ambient Visions and sites like AV are the new guides that help you to at least get in the right neighborhood when it comes to finding new music.

I recognize that Ambient Visions as a name doesn’t really reflect what it is that I listen to or the music that I cover on the site anymore. But it would be very hard to put Ambient-New Age-World-EDM-Techno-DJ onto a logo with Visions. J Nevertheless that is what has happened. What started with a very narrow focus has expanded to include many of the other genres that are closely related to the core of what Ambient Visions was all about in the beginning. And frankly I feel a sense of responsibility to help as many of those genres individually or collectively to reach out to as many listeners as I can through my website.

If you are an artist or a PR person for several artists then please contact me via e-mail to discuss how we can help each other achieve the goal of helping these genres that we love so well to reach out and touch new listeners thereby creating new fans and new buyers of your music. The new models within the music industry may be different than what they were in the past but they can still be made to work for the benefit of all when it comes to ambient music. Thanks for reading this far and I hope that we can work together in the future to the benefit of both AV and the music.