[Announcement] New: Open Access Interviews

Welcome to the second year of Endarkenment

Dear readers,

After one year of experimentation, including consultation with my interviewees about the pros and cons, I've decided to retire the net-income-sharing model for this newsletter. (I discussed the details of the first-year model in this interview.) As of this week, to kick off the second year of Endarkenment and the release of the October long-read special issue featuring Phragments, I'm also changing the structure of the newsletter: I'm releasing the first all-access interview.

Originally I offered a two-month extension for paid subscribers to compensate for the two months I was out on medical leave, but I decided to make the interviews public instead. This, too, is an experiment. If it works well, I will continue to publish all new interviews publicly.

To clarify, the newsletter still offers two subscription tiers: free and paid. However, interviews will now be published for everyone, rather than as exclusive premium content. If you enjoy them, you can still choose to support Endarkenment through a sustaining paid membership at USD $5/month or $50/year.

Paid subscribers still get the following benefits:

1) The opportunity to comment.
You can comment to the artists and discuss the interviews with the dark ambient community in a way that is preserved on the website for future readers to enjoy, rather than fading into oblivion as your words drop off the radar of social media feeds.

2) Immediate delivery of new issues.
Every new issue is delivered to your inbox immediately upon publication. No need to visit the website or worry about missing out because it didn't show up in your social media feeds.

3) Making interviews more accessible to the community.
Paying subscribers help subsidize access to the interviews, which enables others to read them regardless of their ability to pay.

4) The promise of reinvestment.
If the newsletter reaches a sufficient level of funding to enable it, I'll consider expanding the musician interviews into additional mediums, including working with a professional photographer, videographer, and/or podcaster. The Endarkenment studio in Portland, OR is located only a two-hour drive from the Cryo Chamber studio in Eugene, for example. I'd love to travel there one day and interview label founder Simon Heath in his element!

5) Occasional “backstage” bonuses.
I have some special treats lined up for sustaining subscribers, including some bonuses from the musicians and a few behind-the-scenes stories from the creative process for my in-progress book manuscript Endarkenment: The Esoteric in Dark Ambient Music and Culture.

Although I'm dropping the net-income-sharing experiment, I'm still committed to using the newsletter as a means to support the dark ambient community materially. In the newsletter FAQ, in answer to the question "Why do you do this?" I mentioned this as one of the reasons:

"To conduct a focused experiment based on the question: Can my skills as a professional writer plus Substack’s direct subscription model provide a way to help direct more material support and sustenance to the dark ambient community?"

The second year of Endarkenment, then, marks the next phase of that experiment. The only thing changing on my end is that I'll be reinvesting all subscription income into improving the newsletter this time, instead of directing half of net subscription income to the artists.

If you like the artists I write about, please support them by buying their albums and merch directly, through artist-approved channels such as Bandcamp.

If this experiment goes well, I will eventually make all the archived interviews from the first year readable to the public by “re-releasing” them one at a time. This includes Desiderii Marginis, Hypnagoga Press, Northumbria, and the 2018 long-read special issue with Ulf Söderberg (aka Sephiroth). Paid subscribers, of course, still have immediate full access to all archived interviews on the Substack website.

I’m happy to be back to steady work on the newsletter, and I’m looking forward to the second year. In addition to the release of the previously delayed Cryo Chamber interview this autumn, I’ve got interviews booked for 2019-2020 with Alexander Leßwing of Skadi; Martin Stürtzer of Phelios and Sphäre Sechs; Boris Tyurin of Out Of Hell; and Dark Ambient Sound Bath.

The Phragments interview releases to the public tomorrow, October 22. All subscribers will receive an email copy immediately upon publication.

Questions? Just hit ‘reply’ to email me privately, or click on the little comment box below to comment publicly.

- Danica Swanson, CEO (Creative Endarkenment Overseer) & Word-Wrangler-in-Chief

Image credit: graphic art by Pär Boström (text layer by Danica)

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