Dennis Báthory-Kitsz writes about classical music and the lack of cultural choices in rural areas versus the preponderance of opportunity in urban areas:
The concert -- no matter what its content -- is that gold or diamond, blue candy, glittering stone, red dress. If there are many diamonds or blue candies or glittering stones or red dresses, our eyes fail to see and we are monotonized by choice.
Am I allowed to say this is how I felt at the Alarm Will Sound concert of John Adams music in Berkeley earlier this year? So much so I couldn't even finish blogging about it even though China Gates is a delightful piece (even if the Chamber Symphony is not).
And yet, after several years of shuffle mode and before that years of "by album" mode, I now often listen to MP3s sorted by artist or composer. I can't consecutively listen to all 217 Copland tracks (or 169 of Radiohead) but even in much smaller increments, the approach leads to a more coherent experience. But having the ability to select something else when finally bored is liberating.
I still plan to attend next year's Alarm Will Sound concert of the music of Conlon Nancarrow.