Sound American 27 · The Life Issue
Liner Notes   Cat. No. SA27     Release Date: 2021-11-15

Sound American Publications announces its 27th issue, THE LIFE ISSUE, a reflection upon the smallness—and largeness—of living amidst a tumultuous, globally-shared moment. Please note this is a pre-order. The issue’s street and shipping date is November 11, 2021.

The Life Issue contributors include claire rousay, who writes about the many cuts accumulated while learning something new; pedal steel superhero Susan Alcorn recounts a battle with injury; composer Jack Langdon offers a story of how the pandemic affects a fictional musician, presenter, and listener; composer Lea Bertucci interviews improvising vocalist Audrey Chen about identity, commitment to music, and motherhood; bass clarinetist Katie Porter lets us in on a quarantine’s worth of deep-questioning and the looping beauty of banality.

Sound American’s ongoing series, “Sites of Formation'', celebrates the piano, featuring writing by pianists Pat Thomas on Ahmed Abdul-Malik; Cory Smythe on Henri PousseurDr. Douglas Rust on the Elliott Carter Piano Sonata; and Sound American’s editor, Nate Wooley on the Vangelis’s keyboard-heavy soundtrack to Chariots of Fire. This issue also includes writing by saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos on NYC guerilla concerts during lockdown and a roundtable discussion from members of the Catalytic Sound collective—Ken VandermarkLuke Stewart, and Bonnie Jones led by Brock Stuessi—on their work to create a streaming platform as an alternative to Spotify.

This issue’s "Exquisite Corpse" is an elegant, nostalgic, site-specific work by composer, flutist, and vocalist Ka Baird. Last but not least, The Life Issue features a world-premiere, sixteen-page set of drawings by Lebanese-born, Berlin-based artist Mazen Kerbaj, documenting his intimate, aching, everyday trek through multiple shutdowns.

As we move on from a generation-defining year-and-a-half,  The Life Issue allows some of the artists we love to speak intimately as people: people who happen to make art. Without requiring responses to the great traumas of the last eighteen months, the issues allow them to reaffirm their everyday humanity through the small injuries and victories, the days of nothing happening, and the ways that they try to fit in as small parts of a huge world. A unique issue of Sound American, it reaffirms the journal’s mission of making music for everyone in new and unexpected ways. 

Each issue of Sound American is:

  • Beautifully designed by Remake Design
  • Printed offset by die Keure, one of the finest book printers in the world, in a unique Pantone color on Holmen paper
  • Bound with the highest quality thread-sewn binding, using cold glue and Otabind™. Each copy lies open, stays completely flat, and will last a lifetime.

      Sound American

      Sound American 27 · The Life Issue

      Print Edition $14.99