Introduction to the digital edition

With this online digital edition, I am officially donating all these articles to the public domain, although a version in PDF format has been available since 2004. I have the right to do this, because the Village Voice, ever since its beginnings in the 1950s, has been truly a writer’s newspaper, giving 100% of the control and royalties of its articles to the people who wrote them. The Voice was, and perhaps still is, the only large commercial newspaper anywhere where this is the case, and of course, this is one of the things that has made this weekly newspaper a truly important “voice” in our world.

Actually, I rarely made any money when someone reprinted these articles. When people ran something without asking my permission, I sometimes got angry and sent them a bill, and once in a while I accepted reprint fees just because I knew everyone else was being paid, but journalism was never my real profession. Even when I was young, and depended on writing music criticism to pay the rent, I was primarily a composer, and I spent the majority of my time writing, publishing, and presenting my own compositions. Then, in the early ’80s, when my own compositions were being played with enough regularity that I could make a living just from that, I stopped journalism altogether.

In order to make this gift to the public domain, I am indebted to the generosity of several others, who are also giving up their rights. Already in 1989 Paul Panhuysen had the insight to realize that this anthology could be an important first source for the history of new music. He helped me select the best material, obtained grants to issue it in book form as a break-even Appolohuis edition, and he has continued to support our efforts to make the book available in digital form. Matt Rogolsky spent a great amount of time rescuing the book from outdated Atari diskettes and putting it into a current format, just because he found the project worthwhile. Javier Ruiz made many additional improvements in the book’s appearance, without ever asking to be paid. And finally, Phill Niblock perhaps deserves the most credit, for it was he who brought us all together and fathered the project from a distance all along. For this 2014 edition, we corrected some typos and we improved the layout, so the articles can be read in any current device.

We hope that you will continue the spirit of generosity of this online edition. If you quote or republish something you find here, please mention where the text came from, and if you pass the file, or parts of it, along to others, make it clear that the material is strictly freeware and public domain.

—Tom Johnson, Paris, February 2002 and May 2014