End of an Experiment

Like millions of others, I’m feeling the effects of the financial downturn, and, looking around for expenses I can cut down on, my eyes light on PostClassic Radio. The cost of running it has doubled since I started it (to over $600 a year), and I haven’t had time to replenish the playlist lately anyway. I know there are some devoted listeners, to whom I’m grateful, but the listening statistics aren’t very impressive – anywhere from 2 to 20 listening hours a day lately, with the average around 9. I can still put up mp3 music examples on my web site when I need to. I’m proud of my playlist, which I will leave up as a repertoire of hundreds and hundreds of postclassical pieces since 1970, and thankful to all the musicians who allowed me to play their work. Subsidizing the music of others was an important thing to do when I started it, but I don’t think it’s a cost-effective strategy anymore, and I’d appreciate not having that hole in my budget next month. Don’t worry, I won’t quit the blog, which costs me nothing. Thanks to all those who listened (it’ll be up for a few more days if you’re trying to record things), and let’s look forward to the next phase.


  1. Carolyn Bremer says

    Thank you for putting up PostClassic Radio for these last few years, Kyle. I’ve sent my students to it many times and I’ve spent (way) more than a few hours there myself.

  2. Elizabeth Patton says

    I would also like to add a polite “Thank you!” for taking the time to share so much music from so many composers. You’ve really enriched my listening life.

  3. says

    Kyle, thank you so much for running this station over the years. It has often been my cooking music, even if I did have to rush over to the volume every time those damn station IDs came on.
    Your generosity in putting up so much music is a wonderful inspiration!

  4. Richard Mitnick says

    PostClassic Radio will be sorely missed. The composers you put up, I don’t hear them anywhere else, not even from John Schaefer or David Garland at WNYC, nor on the wonderful wnyc2.
    It would seem to me that you might reasonably expect some financial contribution from the artists you support.
    I have contributed to PostClassic Radio a couple of times. Admittedly, my listening to any one source is highly fractionated. But I believe in the advance of the arts by financial support of living composers, and I buy a lot of the music that I hear.
    Greg Sandow is getting into all of this at his blog (http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/). PostClassic Radio is a part of it all for the composers you present.
    You know, Phil Blackburn is sitting out there in St. Paul with about five streams, monetized by Innova.mu. Counterstream has the AMC, non-profit, but not broke.
    Any thoughts of Shoutcast? I don’t know what that costs, Rusty Hodge at Soma.fm seems to be making a business of it. You might email him for some thoughts.
    I contribute to all of these sources on an irregular basis. I consider all of you as important to the progress of Music as I do the three PubRadio stations to which I belong.
    Whatever happens, I wish you peace, brother.

  5. Joe Kubera says

    I’ll be sorry if PostClassic Radio goes. I like your offerings, but confess I haven’t listened yet because I haven’t mastered this whole newfangled listen-over-the-internet thing. I think it should continue, and would contribute to help support it. Otherwise, I hope it can find a home elsewhere, as RSM mentioned.

  6. says

    Wow, I can’t believe how expensive it is. There’s got to be another way, a free way. Well, thank god this blog isn’t going anywhere. And thanks so much for playing some of my music on PostClassic Radio. It’s, by a wide margin, the most honoured I’ve ever been.

  7. says

    That’s sad, that PostClassic Radio should have to go. First real effect of the crisis I’m seeing I guess, and a sorry one. Oh well, just let me add my voice to the thank you choir then! It was a good thing to tune into every now and then and just see what would come up and I think it was a great example of musical activism. Thanks for sharing all that with us! (And thanks for having included some of my work at some point too!)

  8. says

    Yuk. Another nail in the coffin. Many kudos for all the great work, Kyle. You’ve already introduced me to many works and composers I had no idea about.
    But I have to admit, I haven’t been listening lately. (Too much Meridith Monk? .. just kidding.) Instead, I’ve been on pandora.com, listening as they gradually expand their library of new music. There’s no Charlemagne Palestine just yet, but Michael Harrison, and Kyle Gann. Many surprises there.
    Still, we are extremely grateful for all the time, effort, and cash you put into this experiment. Very much worth it all.
    And now for the shameless self promotion, MUSIC FROM OTHER MINDS on KALW 91.7 San Francisco is on the web at http://otherminds.org/mfom. Friday, 11pm PT. and the current show is available for streaming, or via http://kalw.org. Tonight’s program features John Schneider, Harry Partch, and Lou Harrison.
    http://rchrd.com/mfom/mfom.m3u (I’ll have it ready within the hour)
    And I wouldn’t be doing these programs (171 to date) if you hadn’t started PostClassic Radio.
    So what are you going to do now with all that free time and money?

  9. David D. McIntire says

    an additional voice of gratitude here. I started listening to Postclassic Radio around 2004, and I can say that it enabled a sea-change in my own scholarship and musical thought. It also has thrown a lifeline to myself and others who found its content inspiring, and reassuring that we were not alone in the world. And, it has had a positive effect on the postclassical economic front. I bought literally dozens of cds in response to listening to Postclassic Radio. I would suggest that it has had an impact far greater than that implied by the daily numbers of listenership.

  10. says

    Sad news. Thanks for providing such a great source of new and underexposed music – particularly admirable considering the time and money you’ve committed to it. I can appreciate your decision to discontinue it.

  11. CB says

    sad news. thanks for all your work – I can’t tell you how much new music I fell in love with from listening to postclassic.

  12. says

    Ugh… the market strikes back at us. Thanks immensely for Postclassic. It’ll be fondly remembered by many people who have left the classical world far behind.
    KG replies: Strikes *back* at us? What did we ever do to it? I’ve been a good little consumer.

  13. Julian Day says

    i wonder if there are other options than simply closing down? if it’s about cost, could it become some kind of subscription service? i’m sure there would have to be at least a hundred people in the world who would be happy to contribute even $10 a year to keep listening – easily covering your costs. it seems too tragically ironic that a service designed to promote obscure yet worthwhile music would, by shutting down, now make that music even harder to hear. and however great your blog is, surely actually hearing the music is the important thing – especially considering the fact that it’s only through your collection that the vast majority of listeners can hear this stuff?

  14. says

    Kyle, I just heard via Twitter. Very sorry to see PostClassic Radio go. Shame there is no way to keep it going financially—maybe a fire sale on the MP3’s used in the broadcast?
    Thanks very much for playing one of my works some time ago. It was a surprise when I heard it one day while listening, and I really appreciated being included in your playlist.
    KG replies: Via Twitter? How is anyone hearing anything about me via Twitter? I just can’t keep up.
    I could have maybe gotten people to chip in for the cost, but then I would have had to be more scrupulous about updating it than I sometimes have time to be. Maybe I’ll try again sometime.

  15. Arthur Jarvinen says

    there are insects that only live long enough to mate, then die.
    Post Classic Radio – maybe just ran its course. No loss. It was a good run.
    KG replies: If you are implying, sir, that I ran Postclassic Radio just long enough for it to get me laid, I’m afraid I must report that the results were disappointing.

  16. Paul H. Muller says

    This may be old news to you, but a friend told me about http://www.Pandora.com This site lets you enter in the name of artists and then it searches out playable files and “programs” them for you like a custom radio station.
    I have been trying it out with the usual suspects – Glass, Part, Reich, John Adams and J.L. Adams – and it seems to do what it claims.
    Alex Ross blogged about this site in 2006, but it wasn’t set up well for traditional classical music then, (much less contemporary music).
    But it seems to have come a long way.