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<>"If we can make it we can print,
and if we can print it we can give it away":

experimental independent music publishing in the United States

    or

Beyond Imprimatur


Jody Diamond and Larry Polansky

Frog Peak Music/American Gamelan Institute
tel/fax(603) 448-8837

<>email: Larry.Polansky@dartmouth.edu <>Invited talk given at the
Music Library Association Meeting

New York City, March 10, 1992



imprimatur 1. Official approval or licence to print or publish, especially under conditions of censorship. 2. Official sanction; authorization. [New Latin, let it be printed, from Latin, imprimere, to print.] (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Selected quotes by and about American experimental indendent music publishers

Altho' this composition hath cost me much time and pains; yet I little thought of exposing it to public view: But being repeatedly importuned by my friends, I was at last prevailed upon to commit it to the press... Perhaps there may appear in the eyes of the accurate much incorrectness that I was not able to discern; therefore I would beg the critic to be tender, and rectify those errors which through inexperience may happen to have escaped the notice of a youth, in the course of so large a volume.

William Billings

from Billing's "preface" to the New England Psalm Singer


Oh! how did my foolish heart throb and beat with tumultuous joy! With what impatience did I wait on the Book-Binder, while stitching the sheets and putting on the covers, with what extacy, did I snatch the yet unfinished Book out of his hands, and pressing it to my bosom, with rapturous delight, how lavish was I, in encomiums on this infant production of my own Numb-Skull? Welcome; thrice welcome; thou legitimate offspring of my brain, go forth my little Book, go forth and immortalize the name of your Author; may your sale be rapid and may you speedily run through ten thousand editions, may you be a weclome guest in all companies and what will add tenfold to thy dignity, may you find your way into the Libraries of the Learned.

William Billings

from the introduction to The Singing Master's Assistant, referring to the publication of the New England Psalm Singer eight years earlier


It would be difficult to find another single publication in the history of American music; in the history of western music, for that matter; whose priority in its tradition is more conspicuous than that of Billings' collection [New England Psalm Singer]. . . . [It] was the first published compilation of entirely American music; morevoer, it was the first tunebook produced by a single American composer.

Richard Crawford and David McKay

from William Billings of Boston, Princeton University Press, 1975


The Wa-Wan Press never paid us anything except as we could draw upon it a little. I called it my 'wife,' as I had mostly to support it which I did by my lectures.

[Concerning the impossibility of getting his own works, often based on Native American materials, published:]

. . . such a state of affairs made it intolerable for a composer in this country. . . . I was just plain mad, and I vowed I would change the United States in this respect. I was just not willing to live in a country that would not accept my calling.

Arthur Farwell

from Evelyn Davis Culbertson, "Arthur Farwell's Early Efforts on Behalf of American Music, 1889-1921."American Music, Vol. 5, Number 2, Summer 1987


Some have written a book for money: I have not. Some for fame; I have not. Some for love; I have not. Some for kindlings; I have not. I have not written a book for any of these reasons or for all of them together. In fact, gentle borrower, I have not written a book at all; I have merely cleaned house. All that is left is out on the clothes line,–but it's good for a man's vanity to have the neighbors see him on the clothes line.

The printing of this collection was undertaken primarily in order to have a few clear copies that could be sent to friends who, from time to time, have been interested enough to ask for copies of some of the songs; but the job has grown into something different; it contains plenty of songs which have not been and will not be asked for. It stands now, if it stands for anything, as a kind of ‘buffer state,' an opportunity for evading a question, somewhat embarrassing to answer,–"Why do you write so much–, which no one ever sees?" There are several good reasons, none of which are worth recording.

Charles Ives

from 114 Songs, AMP/Peer/Presser Edition, 1975


[Cowell's New Muic Editons is] a circulating music magazine via a library of unsaleable scores.

Charles Ives

from Rita Mead, "The Amazing Mr. Cowell," American Music, Vol. 1 #4, Winter 1983


All I have to say, finally, is that I think it is time for a new revolution in American music. And I wait for those, younger than me, who will carry it out. Who can predict the nature of this revolution which has yet to come?

Peter Garland

from In Search of Silvestre Revueltas, Soundings Press 1991


Lingua [Press] is part of a growing movement to restore and to further the values we speak of. Certainly there are those, such as yourself, who know they need to participate more fully, and actively.

There's so much urgency and so much to do. Lingua's absence of customary editorial and rigid deadline policies, . . . policies which I consider to be serious acts of censorship against the creative act. . . , sometimes drive people nuts.

[On publishing as eco-system:]

The creative act consists not only in the stipulation and formation of concrete structures, but in responsible maintenance of them. Furthermore, such structures demand of us the necessity to create and maintain environmental systems within which they can function properly.

Kenneth Gaburo

from Collaboration Two: David Dunn and Kenneth Gaburo, Publishing as Eco-System,

Lingua Press 1983


 

"If you want to see, learn how to act"

-- Heinz Von Foerster

 

Abstract

This talk presents some of the philosophies, politics, histories and motivations for experimental independent music publishing in the United States, especially in the present. Specifically, we will discuss the motivations, mechanisms and technologies used in our own publishing collective, Frog Peak Music, and some of the ways that organization has evolved the concepts of publishing and distribution of experimental music.  

Opening Statement

some goals of this talk

Frog Peak Music
brief history

the advocacy of pluralism: anyone can and should do it

the main rule: no rules

the avoidance of distinctions between different media and between different publishing technologies

principle of the collective

the economics of a small, artist-based collective

Towards a definition of American experimental independent publishing

what is it?

why do it?

the importance of pluralism in approaches to publication and distribution

the organization is itself a creative and experimental act

parallel activities in other arts

the prevalence of independent publishing

Historical examples of American experimental independent music publishing

William Billings' New England Psalm Singer

Arthur Farwell's Wa-Wan Press

Henry Cowell's New Music Editions

Charles Ives' 114 Songs

Peter Garland's Soundings Press

Kenneth Gaburo's Lingua Press

Frog Peak Music (A Composers' Collective)

Philosophies and aesthetics of experimental independent publishing

"imprimatur"

important and honorable to do it yourself!

hands-off editorial policy

artist as publisher/publisher as artist

establishing a "home" for important work

Technologies of experimental independent publishing

what makes it possible? why the increase in the number of people able to publish their own work and others?

the relationship of experimental publishing to new technologies: control over "look and feel"

appropriate technologies and the revolution in technological availability

the high technologies of yesterday become the consumer technologies of today

Politics of experimental independent publishing

avoidance of hierarchical models of organization

independence from institutions

beyond "imprimatur"

pro-active artist work

avoiding capitalism

intellectual property and experimental publishing ideas

Problems of independent publishing

economics

distribution–the big challenge

pace of work

advertising

artists working with and for artists

the growth problem: how to stay small and survive

the "burnout factor"

Experimental independent publishing and you: the music librarian's dilemma

how to evaluate experimental, unconventional work and formats

avoiding stylistic biases in the acquisition of holdings

who's in charge?: pro-active librarianship

Appendix

An informal list of selected experimental independent music publishing resources

 

Opening Statement

some goals of this talk
--want to validate and explicate independent publishing in the context of American music

--present an ideology and philosophy of experimental independent publishing

--present some new ways for librarians (and others) to consider the ideas and assumptions of publishing and publishing-related activities


Frog Peak Music
brief history
--ten year old collective, founded in california, representing mainly the under-represented experimental music community

--work as a distributor motivated by observation that there was a lot of work that existed but was not available

the advocacy of pluralism: anyone can and should do it

the main rule: no rules

--some more practical rules: only include and work with people you believe in and like in your collective; explicitly advocate other similar organizations and provide a concrete example of ways in which to function; make the process transparent and involve the artists in it; stay small
the avoidance of distinctions between different media and between different publishing technologies --theory, scores, software, recordings, writings, etc.

--photocopying, printing, artist produced work, etc.

ª further recognition that scores are at best a dying form of musical representation

ª active interest in new forms of representation

principle of the collective

ongoing support of individual artists
ª important to include artists of different levels of recognition: each helps the other

ª encourage new work by giving it a place to exist: in many cases this has resulted in artists taking some final steps to make their work distributable: Frog Peak becomes a garunteed outlet for their work

ª suggest projects to artists

artists involved in decision making

artists determine pricing and presentation to the large extent

serious response to all artist ideas, reccommendations

the economics of a small, artist-based collective

important and not (small amounts of money, but important to take it very seriously)

always in favor of artist

"directors" take no money
ª a "paraphrase" of Ives' caution against supporting oneself through one's music: not endangering the enterprise's goals and values by requiring a profit

borrow nothing or as little as possible

never ask artists for funds, only their work

all money goes back into new work

Towards a definition of American experimental independent publishing
what is it?

smaller, artist-oriented organizations that (may) place a higher priority on the act of creation than the act of selling the product

ª focus on individual artists, and often on the ideology of the organization itself
ª most of the types of organizations we're discussing are run by artists themselves, who are usually also active composers, although there are some exceptions to this motivated by specific availability needs: I made it, now how do I get it out there?

small, artist-oriented, and highly flexible

perhaps a difference between European (institutionally sanctioned ("imprimatur") and American ("do it yourself") models

often makes use of grass-roots technology: the computer, the copy machine, the exacto knife, the glue stick and lots of white-out

ª more complex organizations can take the step to offset printing
why do it?

control over presentation, disinterest in economics

committment to the work

interest in art as both a social and "pure" phenomenon

the importance of pluralism in approaches to publication and distribution
not arguing "against" anything, rather for the existence of alternatives
ª important for artists to work in a variety of contexts if they want to do that

ª one type of activity strengthens, and helps the define others: that is, we need both large and small publishers, in fact publishers of every size!

the organization is itself a creative and experimental act

Gaburo is a good example of this

gray area between independent and "mainstream" publishing
ª no clear distinction needs to be made between "big" and "small"

ª not the purpose of this talk to classify different publishing companies as one or the other

ª most publishers fall somewhere in the middle ª difference lies mainly in "motivation" and in the levels of directness in the relationship between the artist and the company (obviously, the most direct is when the artist does it herself)

ª most big companies start out as experimental enterprises, and grow and evolve over time

ª concern can change from artist to economic well-being of company as company grows, and the relationship of the artist to the company can also change

parallel activities in other arts
New Directions press a good example in literature artist run galleries, presses, bookstores, record companies, performance spaces, etc.

the prevalence of independent publishing

to some extent, BMI/ASCAP encouragement to "publish it yourself"(royalty collections), many of these composers presses are simply nominal ones

new technologies of publishing and distribution make it possible for anyone to do it


Historical examples of American experimental independent music publishing

William Billings' New England Psalm Singer

--published his own music simply as an act of necessity --;died in poverty and obscurity, and, as Richard Crawford has shown, was totally ripped-off by succeeding generations of American composers and tunebook compilers

--1770 "It would be difficult to find another single publication in the history of American music – in the history of western music, for that matter – whose priority in its tradition is more conspicuous than that of Billings' collection"

--NEPS increased the number of American published tunes at the time by a factor of 10

--"...was the first published compilation of entirely American music; morevoer, it was the first tunebook produced by a single American composer."

--NEPS frontispiece by Paul Revere (work with local artists!)

--introduction by Billings: "Altho' this composition hath cost me much time and pains; yet I little thought of exposing it to public view: But being repeatedly importuned by my friends, I was at last prevailed upon to commit it to the press... Perhaps there may appear in the eyes of the accurate much incorrectness that I was not able to discern; therefore would beg the critic to be tender, and rectify those errors which through inexperiene may happen to have escaped the notice of a youth, in the course of so large a volume."

"...Singing Master's Assistant was the first tunebook to be published in American after the outbreak of the revolutionary war..." (second book)

excerpt from introduction to Singing Master's Assistant: (referring to the eight years earlier publication of the New England Psalm Singer) "Oh! how did my foolish heart throb and beat with tumultuous joy! With what impatience did I wait on the Book-Binder, while stitching the sheets and putting on the covers, with what extacy, did I snatch the yet unfinished Book out of his hands, and pressing it to my bosom, with rapturous delight, how lavish was I, in encomiums on this infant production of my own Numb-Skull? Welcome; thrice wlecome; thou legitimate offspring of my brain, go forth my little Book, go forth and immortalize the name of your Author; may your sale be rapid and may you speedily run through ten thousand editions, may you be a weclome guest in all companies and what will add tenfold to thy dignity, may you find your way into the Libraries of the Learned." (all quotes from Crawford, Richard and McKay, David, William Billings of Boston, Princeton University Press, 1975)

Arthur Farwell's Wa-Wan Press
begun around 1901

Wa-Wan is Omaha for "to sing to someone"

"launched without capital or financial backing of any kind"

reacting to heavy Germanic influence and model on U.S music in the 19th century; the beginning of the emergence of the independent american experimental music tradition of this century

important precedent for composer-as-advocate role, barn-storming approach to his press

with regard to the impossibility of getting his own works published, often based on Native American materials: "such a state of affairs made it intolerable for a composer in this country."

"I was just plain mad, and I vowed I would change the United States in this respect. I was just not willing to live in a country that would not accept my calling"

"The Wa-Wan Press never paid us anything except as we could draw upon it a little. I called it my ‘wife,' as I had mostly to support it which I did by my lectures." (all quotes from Evelyn Davis Culbertson, "Arthur Farwell's Early Efforts on Behalf of American Music, 1889-1921"American Music, Vol. 5, Number 2, Summer 1987)

Henry Cowell's New Music Editions
New Music Quarterly started in 1927 "if any profits are made, they will be divided up among the contributing composers."

Ives called it "a circulating music magazine via a library of unsaleable scores." (from Rita Mead, The Amazing Mr. Cowell," American Music, Vol. 1 #4, Winter 1983)

codified a body of american experimental music

Charles Ives' 114 Songs:

example of the composer publishing and distributing their own work for the pure idea of it

Ives as pluralist: his relationship to copyright and the notions of intellectual property

this "preface" to the 114 Songs one of the most beautiful philosophical deliberations on the notion of publishing

"The printing of this collection was undertaken primarily, in order to have a few clear copies that could be sent to friends who, from time to time, have been interested enough to ask for copies of some of the songs; but the job has grown into something different, – it contains plenty of songs which have not been and will not be asked for. It stands now, if it stands for anything, as a kind of ‘buffer state,' – an opportunity for evading a question, somewhat embarrassing to answer, – ‘Why do you write so much –, which no one ever sees?' There are several good reasons, none of which are worth recording."

"...some have written a book for money: I have not. Some for fame; I have not. Some for love; I have not. Some for kindlings; I have not. I have not written a book for any of these reasons or for all of them together. In fact, gentle borrower, I have not written a book at all – I have merely cleaned house. All that is left is out on the clothes line, – but it's good for a man's vanity to have the neighbors see him – on the clothes line." (all quotes from Ives, Charles, 114 Songs, AMP/Peer/Presser Edition)

Peter Garland's Soundings Press
begun in the early 1970's, ended about a year or two ago genesis in a Cal Arts class by Dick Higgins (whose own Something Else Press, or Printed Editions was an important 1960's and 70's enterprise of experimental music and literature); Michael Byron's Pieces anthologies also came out of that class.

advocacy of the "american experimental tradition," the works of several generations of composers

"All I have to say, finally, is that I think it is time for a new revolution in American music. And I wait for those, younger than me, who will carry it out. Who can predict the nature of this revolution which has yet to come?" (from Garland's In Search of Silvestre Revueltas, Soundings Press).

very conciously extends and participates in the american experimental tradition

Kenneth Gaburo's Lingua Press

publishing as eco-system: "The creative act consists not only in the stipulation and formation of concrete structures, but in responsible maintenance of them. Furthermore, such structures demand of us the necessity to create and maintain environmental systems within which they can function properly."

focus on certain conceptions of music, music and language, music as language. Gaburo extended these notions to publishing.

highly interactive publishing and editing style: forced artists to care about and become involved in extraordinary details of the project

"What the world seems to need is not what an experimental press desires, since the latter's essential concern is with what is not yet the case."

"... Lingua is part of a growing movement to restore and to further the values we speak of. Certainly there are those, such as yourself, who know they need to participate more fully, and actively"

"There's so much urgency and so much to do. Lingua's absence of customary editorial and rigid deadline policies, ... policies which I consider to be serious acts of censorship against the creative act..., sometimes drive people nuts."

(all quotes from "Publishing as Eco-System," discussion between David Dunn and Kenneth Gaburo, Lingua Press 1983)

Frog Peak Music (A Composers' Collective)

attempt to redefine "publishing" in light of contemporary technologies and social issues
focus on the highly experimental

artist "run" non-interactive editing and publishing style

Philosophies and aesthetics of experimental independent publishing

"imprimatur"
"1. Official approval or licence to print or publish, especially under conditions of censorship. 2. Official sanction; authorization. [New Latin, let it be printed, from Latin, imprimere, to print...]" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

this notion has important ramifications for american music, and has been perhaps one of the driving forces

important and honorable to do it yourself!

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" shift of hierarchical structure of experimental music reflected in publishing styles

venerable history of pamphleteering, and the democratic power of the printing press

hands-off editorial policy

publish the artist, not the work: yield control whenever possible

artist as publisher/publisher as artist

getting oneself involved in all aspects of the process: publish your own work as well as others

ª (see problems below)

ª argument: lends committment to all the activities of the organization, and makes it clear that there is a uniform degree of "importance" to everyone's work

a particular empathy is created by fellow artists working on each other's work

low or no overhead: artists who do the work often take no money
ª both a problem and a virtue: creates hardship for the artist, but also negates the effect of profit
establishing a "home" for important work
common artistic style, motivation can be important

Technologies of experimental independent publishing

what makes it possible? why the increase in the number of people able to publish their own work and others?

the relationship of experimental publishing to new technologies: control over "look and feel"

appropriate technologies and the revolution in technological availability
relationship of "cheap technology" to art

pooling of resources: 1 laserwriter, DAT machine, or small digital editing station can serve a lot of people's work!

less conservative approach to confronting new technologies

ª willingness to try new things quickly, can be pathbreaking

interest in alternative forms of publishing technology as an evolutionary principle, not just as a cost-effective goal

ª technology advocacy and education: show others how to do it
very complete and hands-on familiarity with tools
ª leads to experimental approaches, and nothing is impossible approach

ª important part of art anyway!

big publishing companies can often become hamstrung by their own technology (use example of Ruth Crawford Seeger score, or generally of "keeping something in print")

the high technologies of yesterday become the consumer technologies of today

examples: laserprinting, notation software, digital recording and editing, telecommunication possibilities

ª cheap technology of today is usually better than the high end technology of yesterday (some examples: notation software, laserprinting). Pick a typical cost of a computer system from years ago, and compare its power to what we can do now with the same financial resources.
° Balungan and Frog Peak starting on a Kaypro and Letter Quality Printer: approximately $3000
and (!) distribution technologies (bulk mail, electronic mail lists, alternative music publications)
ª pioneering work by "cassette networkers," electronic mail art, and others interested in revolution of art distribution

Politics of experimental independent publishing

avoidance of hierarchical models of organization

independence from institutions

often means independence from grant support as well reasons for independence: doing it not for academic or economic gain but once again, for the "sake of the work itself"

not having to tailor activities for specific financial purposes

more practically: usually too small to fund-raise and produce work!

beyond "imprimatur"

once you can do it yourself (technology), the only remaining problems are distribution and the myth of "imprimatur"

composer reluctance to get involved with "self-publishing"

ª reticence to become self-promoter

ª academic dirty words: vanity publishing, subvented publishing, "real publisher"

° example: Diamond's talk with composer in which he asked her if she'd ever found a "real" publisher for gamelan scores

ª need to abolish these distinctions, no longer relevant

ª academic definitions have filtered into everyday language, and become reified: need to reverse this trend which is generally damaging to art, and only serves to self-perpetuate academic hierarchies

ª argument that much "legitimized" academic publishing is simply mutual vanity publishing

pro-active artist work
"to hell with oral history!": get something in print or recorded and in a library somewhere

not "applicant" process (academic and competive model)

both living and non-living artists (Garland model)

relationship of publication and distribution to scholarship: who's it for?

ª shouldn't just be for academic points, but rather for the sake of the art and the idea itself

finding composers and artists who

ª need the availability ª need the empathy of a fellow artist working with them (more on this under problems)
use of guerrilla technology: Polansky's proposal at the California MLA meeting 10 years ago about each young composer digitizing the work of a favorite composer of the previous generation (resulted in Tenney CD).
ª still a lot to be done: large number of important living and recent composers whose work is unavailable, unknown, unpreserved
ª other technologies: score notation; good, archival photocopying

ª performance can motivate this (good example, Essential Music, who have "worked on" composers like Gaburo, Johanna Beyer, and others)

avoiding capitalism

lack of distinction between what "will sell" and "what won't"

staying bankrupt as a principle

artists loan their ideas and energy, not their money, to a collective effort

consequently, artists given larger share of income: organization should function for the artist (this could mean that what little money there is goes back into publications and distribution technologies)

no expenses, no profits

intellectual property and experimental publishing ideas technology has evolved more quickly than laws or ethics example: "There is a ten dollar bill in the middle of the street. If you take it, there will be no consequences, and no one you know will be affected. However, please don't take it."

highly evolved models from hacker culture: shareware, freeware, honorware (software had to deal with these issues more immediately than other forms of information)

frontal assault by people like John Oswald (Mystery Tapes, Plunderphonics) and others interested in eroding anachronistic relationship of law to technology

important need to evolve new publishing and distribution technologies to work in harmony with technological evolution!

Problems of independent publishing

economics

slow cash flow

don't want to be concerned with money, but can't do some things without it

pressures of a day job or other gigs that make money but take time

distribution–the big challenge

now we know how to make it ourselves, but we face the challenge of getting it out to people and libraries. This re-activates some of the problems we were trying to avoid in the first place, like concern for commercialism, what will sell, how to convince people the work is worthwhile. We actually don't want to convince anyone, but we do want the work out there

pace of work

organizers and authors are overloaded
ª the work itself must be done before it can be pubished!

ª daily life takes time from art as well as dissemination of art

burden of publishing as a secondary activity: if it is not how we earn our living, then it cannot always take precedence over other things, even if we believe strongly in it

  • advertising

    --can't afford it, takes too much time, requires focussing on less interesting aspects of publishing

    --can't "promote" artists, mainly make them available

  • * artists must "advertise themselves" (as Loughlin put it in his recent NY Times Book review article).
  • * why the collective idea is attractive: succes by association. story: Pauline's requirement that each artist sell at least one item per year or be dropped from the catalog. At first I thought she was being mercenary, but further conversation revealed that she expected artist to make an effot to support that channel of distribution. For similar reason, FP request exclusive distribution.
  •  

    artists working with and for artists
    --confusion of roles ("Why would you publish my work, look at yours!)". One's work is confused with one's publishing interests, and v.v.

    -- many of the more experimental artists are also experimental people, and can appear to be completely insane ("Buyers must be carefully screened," name order on letterhead) and not used to or proficient in dealing with any form of beaurocracy. Frog Peak motto: it's our fault not theirs.

    the growth problem: how to stay small and survive
    --the independent publishers of today either die off or become the monoliths of tomorrow (e.g the popular conception of BMI)

    --the "burnout factor"

    Experimental independent publishing and you: the music librarian's dilemma

    how to evaluate experimental, unconventional work and formats

    --confronting the imprimatur issue

    --confronting the "look and feel" issue

    librarians should understand the general situation of composers and publishers
    ª many composers have no reason to work with mainstream publishers (no financial incentive, loss of performance royalties, "black-hole" effect)
    avoiding stylistic biases in the acquisition of holdings

    artists with academic jobs may not be the only people worth asking

    librarians themselves need to be aware of the art world

    who's in charge?: pro-active librarianship

     

    Appendix: An informal list of selected experimental independent music publishing resources

     

    This annotated list presents some suggestions for including smaller, important independent experimental publications in Music Library collections. Admittedly, it is primarily drawn from our own bookshelf, and makes no pretense of being complete. This kind of publication sometimes has a relatively short lifespan and it would be impossible to document all that have existed. We list only U.S. publications–with an exception or two from Canada–not out of any chauvinism, but as a way of limiting the list and in correspondence with the talk itself.

    We hope librarians can use these publications as examples of ways to begin increasing their collections, and as "pointers" to many other worthwhile items. This list, and our talk, were motivated by Stephen Moore's excellent and poignant question on electronic mail: "Where do we get some of this stuff?"

    For reasons of conciseness, and not stylistic distinctions or aesthetic judgements, this list does not include:

    independent recording enterprises–like What's Next/Ariel, Artifact, Tellus, and many others (which should be the subject of another talk).

    publications more closely associated with experimental rock forms, like the brilliant publication Forced Exposure, and others (or the list would be overwhelming).

    more established or institutionally sponsored publications (like Perspectives of New Music, OPtion, Leonardo, Leonardo Music Journal, and so on), because they are more generally well-known and available.

     

    1/1: The Journal of the Just Intonation Network. Edited by David Doty and published by Henry Rosenthal. 535 Stevenson St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Devoted to just intonation in all its forms, and includes the work of a great many important composers and theorists. Published since the early 1980's.

    American Gamelan Institute. Directed by Jody Diamond. Box 5036, Hanover, NH 03755. Distributes a wide variety of materials (print, recordings, audio-visual), including materials in Indonesian from STSI Surakarta, a national arts college in Central Java. Publishes the journal Balungan, covering all forms of gamelan, Indonesian performing arts and their international counterparts.

    Burning Books Press. Directed by Melody Sumner and Michael Sumner. An important experimental literary and musical organization that concentrates on sound and text, specifically in the works of important west coast artists. Available through Small Press Distribution.

    dreamtime talkingmail. Edited and produced by Xexoxial Endarchy (Miekal And & Elizabeth Was). Rt 1, Box 131, LaFarge, WI 54369. This interesting publication by XE, founders of the Dreamtime Village, should be required reading for the next millenium. And & Was integrate permaculture, gourds, electronic music, agrimedia , utopian arts community publication, cassette networking, mail art, and other visionary technologies into a single philosophy which is both radical and inspiring.

    Ear Magazine. With its publication recently halted, a complete set of this "main organ" of the New York underground music scene is an important resource for any music library. Less well known is the preceding journal Ear West, begun by Charles Shere, of which only a few copies are still extant.

    Electronic Cottage. Published and edited by Hal McGee. Box 3637, Apollo Beach, FL 33572. One of the more reliable and interesting chronicles of underground cassette culture, especially experimental electronic music.

    Experimental Musical Instruments. Published and edited by Bart Hopkin. Box 784. Nicasio, CA 94946. EMI has become a central and vital publication for experimental instrumental builders of all types. It is, along with 1/1, an absolutely essential reference for the activities of what might be called the "post-Partch" generation.

    FactSheet Five. Published by Mike Gunderloy. It has halted publication, but there are rumours of its revival under a new editor. FF could be called the "mother of all fanzines," and, along with OP, it perhaps represents the pinnacle of publishing about experimental art in an experimental way. There were not many issues, but each was encyclopedic and jam-packed with the joy of the odd. A complete set should be in every library.

    Frog Peak Music (A Composers' Collective). Directed by Larry Polansky. Box 5036. Hanover, NH 03755. Publishes books on speculative music theory, new scores and recordings, and innovative music software. Distributes artist-produced works in several media.

    furnitures. Published and edited by Mark Andrew Nowak. 227 Montrose Place, Apt. C. St. Paul, MN 55104. A diminutive and elegant publication about sound and text-sound, with its own distinctive voice.

    Interval: Journal of Music Research and Development. Edited and published by Jonathan Glasier. Published in the 1970's through the late 1980's, this eclectic journal represented the experimental intonation and instrument building efforts of a great many visionary and highly experimental American artists.

    Lingua Press. Kenneth Gaburo's nearly lifelong publishing project, which will have an important place in the history of 20th century experimental music. With Gaburo's recent sad passing, the future of Lingua is undetermined, but its many beautiful scores and books (of which the collection of writings ALLOS is probably the best representative) should be in all music libraries.

    Musicworks. Edited by Gayle Young and Lauren Pratt. Published by the Music Gallery, 1087 Queen St West, Toronto, Ontario. Canada M6J 1H3. One of the most important journals of experimental music and arts in the world, Musicworks fills an especially important gap now that Ear is defunct. Musicworks is a venerable publication almost twenty years old, and it has never lost its fundamentally experimental character or high quality. Includes a CD or cassette with each issue.

    News of Music. Currently edited by Penelope Hyde, and published by Music Program Zero, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Not just a student publication, NOM has established itself by its longevity and list of contributors as one of the more interesting journals of experimental music and ideas. (This may be available free of charge).

    OP. Edited and published by John Foster's Lost Music Network (hence LMN:OP), OP is the legendary progenitor of the magazines OPtion and Soundchoice. Dedicated to alternative and experimental music of all kinds, Foster decided to publish only 26 alphabetically-themed issues (A-Z), and then stop. No one really thought he was serious, considering the publication's tremendous importance in the experimental music community, but he was. OP set the style and integrity standard for many other experimental publications, and offered an unusual and artistically hospitable forum for many interesting writers. OP's catholic reviewing policy engendered a major revolution in publications about experimental music, and facilitated the democratization of the cassette culture. Complete sets are something of a rarity, but many back issues can still be obtained (see ads in OPtion). In our opinion, OP will have a crucial place in the history of documentation of experimental music in the 1970's and 1980's.

    Pieces. Edited and published by Michael Byron. Only three volumes published, begun as a kind of companion to Soundings. Contains some of the most important scores of American experimental music. We don't know any way to obtain them other than by luck.

    RollMag. Written and published by Kenneth Maue. Box 5001, Mill Valley, CA. 94942. Perhaps the smallest publication on this list, a good example of an interesting and visionary artist "doing it himself." Maue's insights are always extraordinary, and Rollmag is one of our favorite publications. As an example of Maue's writing, see his wonderful obituary for John Cage in the Rollmag published in Fall, 1992 ("What John Cage Did", there are no dates or volume numbers for RM). It seems to be free, and distributed by a kind of artist-to-artist mail system.

    The Soundscape Newsletter. Edited by Hildegard Westerkamp. World Soundscape Project, Department of Communication, Simon Frasier University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6. This publication is an outgrowth of R. Murray Schafer's pioneering ideas in the co-evolution of technology and the sonic environment.

    Soundings Press. Peter Garland's effort of more than twenty years: over twenty volumes of scores, writings, and other materials. Soundings is certainly one of the most important publications of 20th century experimental music. Peter has recently suspended publication to concentrate more on his own composing. Several Soundings issues are out of print, but most are available through Frog Peak Music (until they run out).

    Source. Edited by Larry Austin. One of the major publications documenting the activity of the musical avant-garde of the 1960's and early 1970's. Long out of print, but a few complete sets are still available through Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening Catalog.

    Xenharmonikon. Published and edited by John Chalmers (with a few issues published by Daniel J. Wolfe). XH has existed for over twenty years, and has been an important example of a non-institutionally-based publication of speculative theory. Chalmers is a research geneticist and tuning guru who publishes XH as a labor of love. It has been a consistent and sympathetic home for the writings of important but non-academic theorists like Ervin Wilson, Ivor Darreg, David Feldman and others, and has also included scores by many of the more interesting composers dealing with experimental intonations. It is now distributed by Frog Peak Music.