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