When I read posts like this, I know I'm not alone.
My problem with rock/pop/alternative/punk/metal/country is that the newer stuff just doesn't cut it, it's nowhere near original. Any of it. Live is a different story. Seeing new bands can be a very rewarding experience. I went to Atlanta last weekend and saw Flogging Molly, Frank Turner and The Architects. It's no wonder that out of the top 10 albums of last year, only one sold more than 2 million units, the other 9 were between 1-1.9 million. Yet the top ten tours made quite a bit of money. Incidentally, the two lists were comprised of entirely different artists. The reason why I start my rant off with this statement about non-ambient music is just to show that the entire music industry is waning. If the entire Ambient genre sold 1000 units last year, as opposed to 1010, don't feel bad. The entire industry has been taking a much bigger beating since Y2K.
Ambient music is viewed quite differently between those of us who make it and those who just listen. We can observe it for what it is, while others may try to find something that is either hidden, takes longer to find, or may not be there at all. I can realize that ambient music is intended to be part of one's day, blend in with the surroundings, enhance the silence, relieve the overall stress of living. Other music will, at times be demanding, or even damning, to the senses. People not used to ambient music may find it demanding, or even stressful. I remember telling people when I was handing out discs at a convention last year that "if it puts you to sleep, it's doing its job." The statement was replied with laughter, but one person came to me the next day and thanked me. It put him to sleep.
"Why isn't it more popular?"
Well, for one thing, we don't want it to be. I mean, we would all like it to make us a bit more than an extra $25 a year, but let's get real. It would suck if ambient music was tops of the pops. I'd probably start playing in a punk band again.
But I think the real reason is that it doesn't have a place. I mean it does, like every where, but it wouldn't be noticed. But then again it's not supposed to be noticed. It's supposed to be in the background. but but but but .... It's its own paradox. We create music that isn't intended to be in the forefront of peoples lives, then it probably won't be in their lives at all. Ambient music is like a beautifully fresh painted wall. When we finish it, we are very happy. It looks great. The problem is that no one will notice it until we point it out. When we do, they will appreciate it. But the most we will get is "that's nice".
And...if you don't mind me saying it...as long as there are people out there who will contend that everything in the past three years has been @#$%, then....
A humorous thought... My wife tells me that no one will ever notice my music until years after I'm dead. So, now the problem for me is how do I make it so that it will be available in the 23rd century?
Last year I found that someone did a dance performance in Vermont using one of my pieces of music. I got a e-mail today that someone in Hungary downloaded two of my tracks off CDBaby. It's news like this that keeps me going. It's what makes me happy. So, I only get one person a year to listen. It's not like I'm spending thousands on marketing.