Esperanto Language Blog

The Future of Vinilkosmo (part 4 of 4) Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ĉi tiu intervjuo aperos en sia originala Esperanto en la revuo Kontakto (majo 2011), do abonu tuj, por certiĝi, ke vi ricevos ĝin ĝustatempe.

Thanks for joining us for the final part of our interview with Floréal Martorell. In case you missed our other parts, we’ve already talked about how to buy their music online, why they are not on iTunes and Vinilkosmo radio. Now let’s find out the future of Vinilkosmo!

Corporate labels plan to link selling music to their products, the small ones can hardly survive the period, which for Vinilkosmo, is still more difficult, because it depends on a small community, which is spread all over the world. Facing all the difficulties, why keep going? What motivates you?

What a tricky question! What motivates me? Esperanto and a passion for Esperanto music!

Why continue? This is already more complicated and deserves a longer reply which I will try to answer concisely. Of course, if Vinilkosmo were a real commercial enterprise, it would have shut down long ago. But Vinilkosmo is not a “for-profit” label, and it invests its earned money in publishing new projects, which is why it is possible to keep going.

For some time (more or less 3 years), we thought that each new CD would be our last, but it’s evident that new projects keep coming in, so it’s worth it to keep everything running. Then we find ways to finance new projects. Finally we keep selling CDs, even in small quantities, but those earn money which helps finance new projects. Besides earning money from selling CDs and downloads, we also earn money from the bar which we dedicate to publishing. That means that we earn money from the profits from drinks and pizzas which we sell to musicians who practice at Vinilkosmo or come to record in the studio. So, the non-Esperanto bands who practice and record at Vinilkosmo should keep drinking and eating to help finance the publishing department of Vinilkosmo!!

Another current income source is a small percentage from the sales of t-shirts sold in the Esperanto Arta Kolekto (North America Europe Facebook). So, Esperanto speakers buying t-shirts there also helps publishing a bit. Another percentage goes to creating graphics (Touche2Style) which is in fact, the rapper “Whity”, but Spreadsheet profits the most from the sales. Other sources such as the Carson Foundation in Canada, the FAME Foundation, and the Onisaburo Deguĉi Prize (2000€) have helped finance other concrete projects.

Hopefully in the future Vinilkosmo will receive other prizes and financial support to continue production which will complement income for new projects. We also search for other ways to collaborate with artists, not only for production, but also publishing, or co-production or co-publishing, pre-orders, or even simple distribution, so all of this helps to earn money to finance new projects.

That way we also started the download service to somewhat recompense the fall of CD sales. Unfortunately, the download results are quite low, but we aren’t losing hope that they will grow in the future to help us fund more projects, even when they are no longer distributed as CDs. In any case, while it is possible, we will publish CDs, because I don’t really believe the CD market will completely disappear.

Yes, it’s not impossible to have a goal in life. Before everything else, I’m an idealist. That’s why I act with passion for Esperanto music and why I hope that it will still be possible to publish Esperanto music in some form. In conclusion, all of our income is needed to make the publishing plans for Vinilkosmo evolve. That’s possible mainly thanks to the support of Esperanto speakers who buy CDs and pay to download albums and songs. Secondly, through the support of the Esperanto community by associations and foundations and that is required even if we’re not talking about large sums of money here. Without that, publishing in Esperanto would no longer be possible for Vinilkosmo.

What is now happening with your company?

New CD "Urbano" by Inicialoj DC

Vinilkosmo just published two albums (the completely Esperanto album from inicialoj dc and the third album by Dolchamar). We also published 3 videos from Africa which can be bought for download on our site. These are clips of songs by Konga Espero from the Afrika Kompilo.

  • We are preparing to republish Jacque Yvart’s CD about Brassens in Esperanto (that CD has been published 5 times) and so we’re making a more current release with 7 more Bassens titles and some old recordings and remixes.
  • HHK2 (Hip Hop Compilation 2) is being prepared as well.

Both of the above should appear before Spring 2011.

  • We’re working with a new Russian underground label “Hey Hula!!” to get ready for a new compilation of hardcore punk, crust, trash, noise, etc. Most likely the Russian label will publish it. If we’re lacking materials, we can always throw in a few more titles from the underground compilation from 2000 which was a cooperation of Vinilkosmo and the Brazilian label “La blua papilio”. You can find more information about the Russian project Esperantokoro (Esperanto heart)
  • At the moment, we don’t know if we’ll be able to work on further projects. We’ll see how well the current projects do and see if we get enough income and then make plans for the future.

Most likely we’ll have to start asking for pre-orders to make sure we can produce albums in the future. If there aren’t enough pre-orders, then we won’t be able to go into production. That makes production difficult, but we won’t have any more resources in the immediate future.

Thanks Flo for such a comprehensive interview! If you want to support Esperanto music and culture, buy a CD or digital download from Vinilkosmo today!

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About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.


  1. Marcus Aurelius:

    Thanks for the interesting interview!

    After reading the second part, I created a PayPal account and bought two mp3-albums from Vinilkosmo-mp3: 62 minutoj de Persone and Kia Viv’ de Kore. The songs in “62 minutoj” are amazing! The band had a saxophonist at the time, and that introduces a fun atmosphere to the songs! And Kia Viv’ is an album that has been in my wishlist for a long time… Finally I bought it! I was not sure about international payments (and I did not have a credit card), that’s why it took so long. Even converting from € to R$, it was cheaper than most CDs I bought here in Brazil from big companies…

    Both albums are highly recommended! I like other artists as well, so hopefully these will not be my last purchases.