News as of March 18, 2008
New Live CD
React: Robert Rich and Ian Boddy
A live recording from last Summer’s unique concert in Philadelphia for Star’s End 30th anniversary. Ian and I rehearsed intensely for one day, trying to come up with some new material so we could make this event special. Jeff Towne from Echoes recorded the concert, then I edited, mixed and mastered it after I got home in August. It’s full of energy, with some dynamic surprises.
If you are reading this here, you no doubt noticed a huge change in my site. Welcome! We’ve been working on this for a while. My friend Jason Clark in Louisville KY has pulled in the resources of his design firm, VIA Studio, to help me come up with a look and feel that more closely suits my musical vocabulary. Now I have a lot to learn, as I try to fill the new framework with content. You might experience some gaps and glitches as I get up to speed with Web 2.0, but I think we’ll see a more interactive and elegant design that can grow to accomodate new ideas. I encourage your feedback when this change occurs. These notes now appear in a blog format, so you should feel free to comment. Please be patient though. It may take us a while to get the glitches out.
I’m making some difficult decisions about various titles that have sold out of their last pressing (or they’ll sell out soon.) These include Sunyata, Somnium, Calling Down the Sky and Echo of Small Things. I decided to print 500 more copies of Calling and Echo. You won’t notice any discontinuity with Calling, because I’ll pick up the new disks tomorrow, and they’ll remain available. I’m waiting for revised artwork for the Echo CD package, and then that should be back in print soon after. The Somnium DVD has been sold out for about a month now, and Mike Griffin and I decided to manufacture another 1000 copies, which should be ready in mid-April. That was a tougher decision, because the DVD still feels like a copromise to me – but so does everything when discussing a 7 hour piece of music. I want people to be able to obtain the physical object, still, especially with the effort we made to create an interesting booklet and Brad Cole’s beautiful photography.
Sunyata has been a bit more slippery when trying to figure out the best plan. When I started making music, I made a promise to myself that I would try to keep in print everything I release. The shifting landscape of music distribution is changing the way I interpret “in print”. More people are downloading my music than buying CDs, so if I keep Sunyata available as a download, I think I can consider it still “in print”. I recorded that music about 27 years ago, and I don’t think people are clamoring for fresh CD copies at this point. So, I’ll probably let it move to download-only. I decided to do the same with Trances/Drones just last year. I encourage you to send some feedback about these decisions. I want to know what people are thinking out there.
In the meantime, as I work on new titles, I will probably continue to manufacture 1000 of each, just so you can order widgets with my scribble on them if you wish, or to sell at concerts, or perhaps just to legitimize the release as “real” in my old world mentality. If there comes a time that we don’t have to put more plastic in the world just to listen to sonic vibrations in the atmosphere, then I’ll embrace that time. Perhaps, I’ll feel nostalgic for the evanescence of the “album” – the physical object that carries music. For that matter, I’ll probably keep reading books made of dead trees for a while longer. I think reading is more productive than staring at a computer screen (I always end up doing email instead of reading, anyway – don’t you?)
Just a pause for thought beneath an announcement of reprints. Please share your own thoughts, and I’ll listen.
All the best – Robert