This is not a review. It’s a letter sent to yours truly by Lubomyr Melnyk – one of the most shamefully overlooked talented composers in the history of contemporary art, the inventor of Continuous Music. I feel that his bitter words are perfect to describe the era in which we live, musically characterized by a “get everything now” downloading bulimia which is indeed killing non commercial music.

Check what you’re missing at the above links, maybe you will understand that – at some point in life – choices have to be made. And, incidentally, MP3 sound like shit – especially for this kind of stuff. I just laugh when seeing people thanking enthusiastically for being able to download Roland Kayn albums which they don’t even understand, and that in this audio format mean even less of what they can actually realize about the process behind that music. But thanks to internet, even downloading Kayn has become “in”.

Yet another example of the disgusting “democracy” that is pervading the world of music today. Once upon a time there were artists and normal people; today, nerds that publish beeps and coughs (and, yes, drones) define themselves “artists”….or at least “specialists”.

Here’s Melnyk letter:

The Day The Music Died….

The record people who issue my music on CD have been wondering why no one has been buying the Cd-s lately. A visit to the internet is all it took to answer that.

—- !!! I want to ask all those people who created internet sites which offer illegal and free downloads of various composers’ music, and all those people who went there and took the CD-s for free, did you really think about what you were doing?

Did you really think that “Oh, it doesn’t matter, these artists are all millionaires anyway. and what difference can it make to them, “# etc. etc. etc…..
Well, it has made a very big difference, really.

For one thing, it means that no more Cd-s of my work can get issued,
—- because the small companies can not afford to do it …

In the last year, BANDURA Records —- that has been pumping in a lot of hard work to bring Continuous Music into the world, has sold 3 — three ! CD-s — in this entire year. The record store in San Francisco that has been the one bright spot in this dismal night of CD-sales, has totally stopped ordering my music … UNSEEN WORLDS that worked so hard on KMH, hasn’t been able to sell the thousand CD-s that cost so much to make. Unable to recover the costs, they have given up plans to make other issues of my work.

And I, who had hoped that soon I could put out some new music on CD and give people more of this rare piano music, will not be doing that.

Together with the thousands of others in the music world, where people worked and fought so hard to get ahead and bring their vision out into the light, I am now “out of work”. Hundreds and hundreds of music stores have closed down all over the world, thousands of people have lost their jobs, and composers who gave their lives to creating music have all lost hope ….

Just what did all of you who stole the CD-s over internet think —- that producing a CD is free and takes just 10 minutes?? Sure, that is what you told yourself, but you knew it wasn’t true.

BANDURA Records and UNSEEN WORLDS put in a LOT of work. time and money into creating the CD-s of my music works …. and they have not made anything on it. In fact. BANDURA Records has only lost money on making CD-s over the last 5 years. UNSEEN WORLDS has yet to recover the costs of making their KMH re-issue.

And I, who drive a rusty car from 1986 and have not had a new piece of clothing or shoes since I was teenager and my parents bought these things for me, I who was willing to endure 39 years of shit poverty because I had a dream —– that one day, this Continuous Music, that needs so much time and work to keep alive, — this pathetic dream that one day, one lovely day, enough people would care enough for this music that they would actually buy an LP or a CD of it, — I had this really stupid dream that IF enough people would do this, I could live.

This stupid dream is no more.

Those of you who did not want to fork out the price of two pizzas for my Cd-s, you KNEW that there is no other pianist in the world whose fingers and body can create this new piano music —- and deep inside, if you actually heard this piano music, you KNEW that since only I can not play it now, then NO ONE, ever, … will be able to play it, (unless someone wants to devote years and years of their life to the difficult training that is needed — ) then these official CD-s are the only hope for the future of this music.
Your barren MP-3 download with a Maxell or Verbatim stamp will be nothing.
— and you knew that in stealing these CD-s, you were killing this delicate young sapling of a tree that was struggling to reach the light.

You created that sticky black cloud that blocked the sunlight from this young struggling tree. You might tell yourself, that “I really didn’t know” — but really, you did !
You just didn’t want to pay the price of a couple of pizzas.

I want to thank those few people in this world who actually bought a CD of my work. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not stealing it — the way the others have done. Thank you for supporting this music and my work. For you, I will talk with BANDURA and see if we can do something special, just for you.

And those of you who did steal the CD-s over internet, or took a copy from your friend, you might have the moral courage to send at least ten bucks to BANDURA or , if you stole KMH, then to UNSEEN WORLDS — or maybe just buy a CD !! to give away as a present for your library….
This is now all in your hands. Because the way things stand with the free downloading,
there will be no new Continuous Music issued … I can not make any more CD-s.
— Because each of you dowloaders banged your own personalized nail into the coffin of this beautiful music.

And not just my music and work, but the work of hundreds of other composers and musicians all over the world.

Lubomyr Melnyk
August, 2009

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