Landmark events should be celebrated, even when they lead us to the edge of a lacuna, when they denote the first moments of, what will hopefully be a short, silence. SA30 · The Thirtieth Issue is such an event. In the last ten years, Sound American has grown naturally from its humble roots as a DIY online publication. And it has done so while remaining small and intimate—with no advertising or outside economic influence—and with an ear toward the words of musicians and the passions of listeners like you.
Now is the time to take a break, however. For many reasons, economic as well as philosophical and personal, SA cannot continue. This will be the journal’s last issue. I prefer to think of it as the end of an edition, with the hope that a wave of resources allows for a new beginning, but for now, it is a moment to celebrate the past thirty issues, the over-half-a-million words on music that Sound American has leveled on the world, and the warm and inviting community that has built itself around the journal in the past decade.
SA30 is a celebration of work: how we do it, why we do it, and the doubts and triumphs we experience as our work allows us to blunder toward some fuzzy creative resolution. To that end, the issue consists of interviews between artists from different milieus—all with a connection to the music that SA has championed over the years—and SA editor Nate Wooley about their working lives. Poet Eileen Myles, pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz, painter Albert Oehlen, and dancer/organizer Patricia Nicholson Parker share the issue’s space with composer Nico Muhly, iconoclastic sound artist Ellen Fullman, and improvising bassist Brandon Lopez in talking about the personal ups and downs of living as an artist in America. Percussionist and composer Lesley Mok contributes a conceptually stunning standalone composition for our final Exquisite Corpse.