18 agosto 2019

Insieme manifesto artistico e racconto autobiografico, è giunto alle stampe l'atteso libro di Elliott Sharp IrRational Music, pubblicato da Terra Nova Press seguendo il successo di una campagna di finanziamento collettivo attivata via Kickstarter.

Elliott Sharp's new book IrRational Music is a mix of memoir, music theory, and ruminations on culture, art, and philosophy. Speaking of IrRational Music, author Jonathan Lethem states “Elliott Sharp’s writing, like his music, recombines the scrupulously discursive with the deeply humane and reflective. What a joy it is to be informed by this remarkable account of the coming-of-age of his psyche, his curiosity, and his methodology. Sharp paints a picture of lost kingdoms of the avant-garde which aren’t really lost, but continuous in our present if we’re inclined to notice them. With this book, a reader joins Sharp in the step-by-step reinvigoration of intentional sound itself – sound as culture, as science, as art -- a process that can never be finished.” From composer and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick: "Sharp is of the first generation of composers to come of age in a musical environment when everything seemed connected; Gregorian Chant to John Cage's chance. His book, IrRational Music, is a fascinating window into that moment in time when music opened up to everyone and all things became possible.”

17 agosto 2019

L'autobiografia di Paul Sears, poliedrico batterista nei Muffins e in innumerevoli altre formazioni, è pubblicata da Stairway Press con un bel cd antologico di complemento e un titolo che rende omaggio a una delle passioni musicali del titolare, Sun Ra: Angels and Demons That Play.

Angels and Demons That Play is a mostly chronological narrative about my life in music with the occasional foray elsewhere. Some of it is jumbled date wise because of the many connections from different times. Think of it as sort of a low rent version of Frank Zappa's Conceptual Continuity concept. It is written entirely from memory, and includes comments from many friends and contributors. Among these are actual journalists and published writers; Jamil Guellal, John Paige, Ted White aka Doctor Progresso, and Michael Layne Heath. Additionally, Jamil, Ted, and John were all DJs at one time on WGTB-FM in Washington DC during the 1970s.
The title is a nod of respect to, & a variation of the title of the great 1960s record entitled Angels and Demons At Play, by Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra. Special thanks to Nick Prol, who provided the wonderful art and great cartoons. I have been thinking of doing this book project for years, but it was Chad Hutchinson, a friend and co-founder of the popular NEARfest progressive rock festival in Pennsylvania who sealed the deal – he got tired of hearing wacky stories a few years back, and said “Just write a book, willya?” So I did. I treated this book project as kind of a casual “I'll do it someday DIY project” until an actual publisher, Stairway Press, dropped into my lap a couple of years ago, and expressed interest in doing it proper.


16 agosto 2019

Ma ad uscire allo scoperto per il suo libro sarà presto l'autore stesso, Benjamin Piekut, con un primo incontro pubblico in programma al Cafe Oto londinese il prossimo 13 ottobre. Con lui saranno David Toop, Cutler, Hodgkinson, Georgina Born e forse altri.

In its open improvisations, lapidary lyrics, errant melodies, and relentless pursuit of spontaneity, the British experimental band Henry Cow pushed rock music to its limits. Its rotating personnel, sprung from rock, free jazz, and orchestral worlds, synthesized a distinct sound that troubled genre lines, and with this musical diversity came a mixed politics, including Maoism, communism, feminism, and Italian Marxism.
In Henry Cow: The World Is a Problem Benjamin Piekut tells the band’s story—from its founding in Cambridge in 1968 and later affiliation with Virgin Records to its demise ten years later—and analyzes its varied efforts to link aesthetics with politics. Drawing on ninety interviews with Henry Cow musicians and crew, letters, notebooks, scores, journals, and meeting notes, Piekut traces the group’s pursuit of a political and musical collectivism, offering up its history as but one example of the vernacular avant-garde that emerged in the decades after World War II. Henry Cow’s story resonates far beyond its inimitable music; it speaks to the avant-garde’s unpredictable potential to transform the world.
For this event we're pleased to present author Benjamin Piekut in conversation with David Toop, with special guests Chris Cutler, Tim Hodgkinson, Georgina Born, and possibly other Cows. All will be available to sign copies. Book sales provided by ReR Megacorp.