Submit Your Music

If you are interested in having your music released by Starkland, please review the following information:

Starkland is a nonprofit, tax-exempt label that releases recordings of contemporary classical music, also described as alternative classical, experimental, avant-garde, electroacoustic, or just new music. Before submitting your music, please check our catalog to ensure that your music is appropriate and a good fit.

Your music would be in distinguished company. Other composers and performers heard on Starkland include: Charles Amirkhanian, Ashley Bathgate, Phillip Bimstein, Tim Brady, Martin Bresnick, Mary Ellen Childs, Nick Didkovsky, Tod Dockstader, Paul Dresher, Ethel, Ellen Fullman, David Garland, Peter Garland, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), JACK Quartet, Aaron Jay Kernis, Phil Kline, Guy Klucevsek, Kronos Quartet, Lukas Ligeti, Keeril Makan, Ingram Marshall, Žibuoklė Martinaitytė, Merzbow, Meredith Monk, Lisa Moore, Pauline Oliveros, Todd Reynolds, Frederic Rzewski, Elliott Sharp, Carl Stone, Kathleen Supové, Lois V Vierk, Pamela Z, John Zorn, and more.

Starkland’s promotion is exceptional. We will create a press release, one-sheet, and a comprehensive EPK. We will send your album (either as a physical CD or an EPK) to 100-200 print, web, and broadcast media contacts. This list will be assembled from your own list combined with Starkland’s excellent promo list, carefully cultivated over 30+ years. Starkland has developed ongoing relationships with nearly all major new music critics in the US. We also do considerable follow-up with major media contacts. To date, our releases have received an average of 14 reviews each, though this can vary widely. Starkland will also announce the release and will post impressive reviews on our Facebook page, usually with a boosted presence. If you want, we can arrange for ads in your choice of publications, depending on your budget.

Starkland’s recordings have been praised in The New York Times, Gramophone, Stereophile, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Fanfare, Washington Post, American Record Guide, Chamber Musician Today, Sequenza21, Boston Globe, Sound & Vision, New York Magazine, and The Wire. Our releases have been featured on prominent national radio programs such as NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Starkland would arrange for a noted figure to write an Introduction for your album. Past intro writers include John Adams, John Luther Adams, Laurie Anderson, Claire Chase, Kyle Gann, Allan Kozinn, David Lang, Ingram Marshall, Meredith Monk, Bill Morrison, Pauline Oliveros, John Schaefer, and Elliott Sharp.

Your album would be mastered at the highest level, typically by multiple Grammy-winner Silas Brown.

Starkland would hire a professional graphic designer to create cover art and design the booklet which contains the Introduction, your notes, your bio, and credits.

Starkland automatically submits each release for Grammy consideration and other awards competitions as appropriate.

Your release will be available at Bandcamp, Amazon, Apple, Spotify, and much more.

Annual reports show how many units were sold, gross income, and royalty calculations as appropriate. Over the last 30 years, Starkland has never missed sending Royalty Reports on time.

Starkland has never had a release become out-of-print.

We only review music for a full CD project. We do not review music online.

As with nearly every new music album released in the US, financial support is needed to help cover the costs for production and promotion. The required funding amount is typically much less than what other new music labels request, because at present Starkland subsidizes the administrative and overhead costs associated with your CD project. Starkland does not charge on overhead fee that is common at other labels.

If your project is accepted, you will be offered a choice between a physical CD or a digital-only album. While this may be a complicated choice, here are some advantages of each:

Physical CD Advantages

  • A more professional approach that represents an impressive, higher level of commitment.
  • More likely to be reviewed and receive airplay.
  • A physical object that can be sold to fans at a concert.
  • Something tangible you can hand or mail to a VIP, such as a Presenter.

Digital Album Advantages

  • Much less expensive.
  • Widely accepted these days by critics, bloggers, and publications.
  • Generally accepted at radio stations, though some stations only air CDs.
  • Will be accompanied by a full PDF of all the related materials (Introduction, notes, bio, etc.), but the PDF can become separated, especially at radio stations. The audio quality will be as high as a CD, and can even be offered as a hi-res version (e.g., 24 bit and 88.2 kHz).

If you would like us to consider your recording project, please send:

  • Recordings of your music. Indicate whether these are final, mastered recordings or not. Good quality concert recordings are also acceptable for purposes of reviewing the music. You can send these in 2 ways:
    • As a physical CD (mailed to Starkland, PO Box 2190, Boulder, CO 80306, USA).
    • As CD-quality wav files (minimum 16 bits, 44.1 kHz). We do not audition mp3 files, and we do not review music online (such as at SoundCloud).
  • Your bio and program notes for the music, as Word docs or PDFs. Do not merely send a website link.
  • Press quotes about the music for this album, if available.
  • A statement that you understand that Starkland will need to receive financial support to produce and promote the release.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. It can take up to a few months to carefully consider your project and respond. If you have questions, please email us at