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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Seeking a perspective


Selecting what we need


One of the joys of a magazine editor's role is the unexpectedness of incoming mail. Yes, there's sometimes a cold blast of air from an outraged reader, yet often an interesting contact with somebody in a remote region, whose insatiable desire for music is met by CDs and an inexpensive player, and now also with a daily music magazine. In contrast to the popular pursuit of witheringly expensive indulgences, recorded music selected with care from budget labels remains, or can become, a growing light as one rummages through catalogues for the treasures that fit our musical taste buds, and repeatably so unless we deliberately soothe a rage by disc mutilation.

Very early music to the latest manifestation of a style usually have examples released on CD within a few months. I, with regular receipt of up-to-the-minute news of releases or the imminent launching of something special, struggle to maintain perspective in the face of  publicity blasts of intimidating velocity. Repercussions of unbelievable naivety sometimes hound the public from billboards to television campaigns. Gone are the days of normality in advance publicity.

Perversely, all this hype is becoming self-destructive as the public sometimes sticks to the familiar in preference to the streamlined new. In the astonishing realms of recording the now established market for historical reissue can only maintain buoyancy from growing interest in the musical revelations of past performers. It has inestimable value for today's listeners in gaining a balance between old and new.

Do realize, then, how fortunate we are today in a century of performance on record. Whilst we sometimes feel as though we live globally in the proximity of a timebomb, artistic revelation is there for the asking.


Copyright © 21 June 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK


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