“‘Poems for play’ collects thirty-six scores composed for the Jesuit Monastery and its surrounding environment, in the town of Ano Syros on the island of Syros, Greece. ‘Poems for play’ pays homage to the specificity of time and place, with a titular nod to the duality of meaning: 'to enjoy oneself by interacting with one's surroundings', vs ‘the realisation of creative form through the choreography of social poetics, and the mechanics of body/building as instrument.”‘Poems for play’ is a FSC certified 46-page A5 publication, on perfect bound Indigo Arcoprint stock, in a signed/numbered edition of 100 copies.
Áine O'Dwyer – Poems for Play
'One of the world’s most singular guitarists, Loren Connors is among few living musicians whose prolific body of work can be said to be wholly justified in its plenitude. On more than 100 records across almost four decades, Connors has wrung distinct shades of ephemeral blues from his guitar, its sound ever-shifting while remaining unmistakably his own. From his early, splintered take on the Delta bottleneck style through his song-based albums with Suzanne Langille and on to the painterly abstraction that defines his current work, Connors has earned the admiration of many, leading to collaborations with the likes of John Fahey, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, and Kim Gordon.
In the mid-80s, Connors took a partial break from music and focused instead on the art of haiku, for which he received the Lafcadio Hearn Award in 1987. With his wife Suzanne Langille he also co-wrote an article on blues and haiku, “The Dancing Ear,” published in the Haiku Society of America’s journal. It was during this period that Connors penned the material that appears in Autumn’s Sun, a chapbook first published by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley’s Glass Eye in 1999. The text features diary excerpts from 1987, lyrically fragmented observations interspersed with haiku-like poems that paint an idyllic impression of the passing seasons in his home of New Haven, Connecticut. With synesthetic perception, Connors gazes from tranquil domestic streets. Sycamore, elm, and catalpa trees are activated by the breeze and made to rustle in unison with their natural and artificial surroundings, including the howling dogs from which Connors derived his ‘Mazzacane’ moniker. As summer fades to winter, Connors portrays death as an undramatic certitude, the flux of his own maturation reflected in musings on his son’s. Like his music, Autumn’s Sun is tender without being sentimental, conjuring those rare, delicate moments when time stands still.
5 x 7.5 inches
Paperback Edition of 1,000
This edition includes “The Dancing Ear” and an introduction by Lawrence Kumpf.
Loren Connors – Autumn's Sun
Writings is the first collection to widely survey this singular polymath’s prolific activity as a writer. Edited by artists Constance DeJong and Andrew Lampert, the book spans the years 1961 – 2012 and includes fifty-seven pieces: essays originally published in small press magazines, exhibition catalogs, anthologies, and album liner notes, along with other previously unpublished texts. Conrad writes about his own work, with substantial contributions on The Flicker, Loose Connection, Four Violins, Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals, Early Minimalism, Yellow Movies, Slapping Pythagoras, and Music and the Mind of the World, as well as that of his peers: Tony Oursler, Jack Smith, Rhys Chatham, and Henry Flynt, among others. He devotes critical essays both to grand subjects—horology, neurolinguistics, and the historical development of Western music—and more quotidian topics, such as television advertising and camouflage. He also writes on media activism, network communications, censorship, and the political and cultural implications of corporate and global media. No matter the topic or theme, Conrad always approaches his subjects with erudition, precision, and a healthy twist of humor.
Tony Conrad (1940–2016) was a multidisciplinary artist known for his groundbreaking art, music, films, and videos, although his work doesn’t fit comfortably within any of these disciplines. He eschewed categorization and actively sought to challenge the constraints of media forms, their modes of production, and the relationships of power embedded within them.
576 pages5 x 7.4 inchesPaperbackEdition of 2000
Tony Conrad – Writings
This two-volume set, Poësy Matters and Other Matters, presents selected texts by the Swedish polymath Catherine Christer Hennix. Volume one, Poësy Matters, is divided into two sections: poetry and drama, with each section also containing pieces of commentary by Hennix or her longtime collaborator Henry Flynt. Volume two, Other Matters, is divided into two sections: first, program notes and essays about a wide range of topics (including music, psychoanalysis, and mathematics), and second, a reproduction of Hennix’s 1989 work The Yellow Book.
The first comprehensive publication of Hennix’s written work, Poësy Matters and Other Matters illustrates the singular depth and variety of her contributions to contemporary music, art, literature, and mathematics. Best known as a composer, Catherine Christer Hennix has, throughout her fifty-plus-year career, produced innovative work in the fields of not just minimal and computer music, but psychoanalytic theory, intuitionist mathematics, poetry, and prose as well. Born in Stockholm in 1948, Hennix became involved with the local jazz and electronic music communities while in her teens, meeting visiting musicians such as Eric Dolphy and Albert Ayler, studying with trumpeter Idrees Sulieman, and becoming a member of the Elektronmusikstudio. In the late 1960s Hennix traveled to New York City, where, through Åke Hodell, she met Dick Higgins and, in turn, many other members of the New York avant-garde, including La Monte Young, who would become a formative figure for Hennix and introduce her to both Henry Flynt and her eventual guru, Pandit Pran Nath.
In the ensuing decades Hennix has continued to compose and perform music in a variety of formations, including in Flynt’s Dharma Warriors, a quartet with Arthur Rhames, and more recently, with her own Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage. Hennix’s ongoing explorations of mathematics, meanwhile—namely, the work of L.E.J. Brouwer—have led to teaching positions at SUNY-New Paltz and at MIT, and an extended collaboration with Alexander Esenin-Volpin.
The texts in Poësy Matters and Other Matters reflect Hennix’s diverse training as well as her long-standing personal interests in La- canian psychoanalysis and Japanese and Middle Eastern poetic forms, resulting in a rich, diffuse collection of writings that reveal one of the avant-garde’s most implacable, not to mention overlooked, creative minds.
Edited, with an introduction by Lawrence Kumpf
2 individual books, packaged together
311 pages, 448 pages
6.75 x 9.5 inches
Paperback Edition of 1,000
Catherine Christer Hennix – Poësy Matters and Other Matters
Joseph Jarman (1937 - 2019) was a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist best known as a founding member of trailblazing avant-garde jazz group Art Ensemble of Chicago. Jarman was responsible for the Art Ensemble’s signature face paint and elaborate costumes as well as the pioneering theatrical and multimedia elements of their shamanistic performances, which could include dance, comedy, performance art, surreal pranks, and—notably—the recitation of Jarman’s poetry.
In 1977, Art Ensemble of Chicago Publishing Co. published Jarman’s Black Case Volume I and II: Return From Exile, a collection of writing conceived across America and Europe between 1960 and 1975. Comprised largely of Jarman’s flowing, fiery free verse—influenced by Amus Mor, Henry Dumas, Thulani Davis, and Amiri Baraka—the book also features a manifesto for “GREAT BLACK MUSIC,” notated songs, concert program notes, Jarman’s photos, and impressions of a play by Muhal Richard Abrams, the founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians of which Jarman was also an original member. Jarman writes poetry of personal revolutionary intent, aimed at routing his audience’s consciousness towards growth and communication. He speaks with compassionate urgency of the struggles of growing up on Chicago’s South Side, of racist police brutality and profound urban alienation, and of the responsibility he feels as a creative artist to nurture beauty and community through the heliocentric music that he considers the healing force of the universe. A practicing Buddhist and proponent of Aikido since a 1958 awakening saved him from the traumatic mental isolation of his time dropped by the US army into southeast Asia, Jarman sings praise for the self-awareness realization possible through the martial arts. With cosmic breath as its leitmotif, his poetry both encourages and embodies a complete relinquishing of ego. While some of the poems contained within Black Case have already been immortalized via performances on classic records by Jarman and Art Ensemble of Chicago, its republication in print form breathes new life into a forgotten document of the Black Arts Movement.
With a new preface by Thulani Davis and an introduction by Brent Hayes Edwards
8.25 x 6.75 inches
Paperback, perfect bound edition of 2,000
Joseph Jarman – Black Case Volume I and II: Return From Exile
Brand new book featuring photos of Peter Brötzmann at Cafe OTO taken over the past decade by Dawid Laskowski. With text by John Chantler, Hamish Dunbar, Heather Leigh and Seymour Wright.
64x240, 96 pages, 1+1, 150 gsm G print, 2 cover with 4 pages 1+1, 300 gsm munken pure rough, sewed book, with open spin.
Dawid Laskowski – Brötzmann at OTO
Delighted to carry this one. "Uncollected Texts draws together a number of Carolee Schneemann’s earliest writings—many exceedingly rare and several that are published here for the first time—ranging from letters to the editor, dream journals, and film criticism, to satirical poems, detailed discussions of her art, and pointed feminist critiques. Edited by Branden W. Joseph, the book includes 30 texts by Carolee Schneemann written between 1956 and 1981, as well as an introduction by Joseph.
First published in short-run magazines like Caterpillar, Film Culture, The Fox, Manipulations, and Matter; academic journals such as Performing Arts Journal; and mainstream publications including the New York Times and The Village Voice, the writings gathered in this volume shed light on some of Schneemann’s most important artistic achievements. Schneemann writes about her most famous “kinetic theater” piece, Meat Joy; anti-Vietnam War works such as Snows, Viet-Flakes, and Divisions and Rubble; the multimedia performance Up to and Including Her Limits; and the double-screen film Kitch’s Last Meal. Frequently referring to one another, the assembled writings produce a densely interwoven tapestry of cross-references that provide unique insights into Schneemann’s artistic development while also foregrounding the artist’s uniquely poetic style.
Carolee Schneemann is an artist based in Upstate New York. For over 60 years, she has worked in painting, photography, performance, film, video, mixed media, and installations to create groundbreaking pieces that focus on gender, politics, and sexuality. The recent retrospective Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting originated at Museum der Moderne Salzburg (Austria, 2015), then traveled to the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (Germany, 2017) and MoMA PS1 (New York, 2017). Her work has also been the subject of exhibitions at the Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart (France), the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (Spain), and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York, New Paltz (New York). Her publications include Parts of a Body House Book (1972); Cezanne, She Was A Great Painter (1975); More Than Meat Joy: Performance Works and Selected Writings (1979, 1997); and Imaging Her Erotics (2001).
Branden W. Joseph is the Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of Random Order: Robert Rauschenberg and the Neo-Avant-Garde (MIT Press, 2003); Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage (Zone Books, 2008); The Roh and the Cooked: Tony Conrad and Beverly Grant in Europe (August Verlag, 2012); and Experimentations: John Cage in Music, Art, and Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2016). Joseph has authored numerous other publications on artists, including Angela Bulloch, Mike Kelley, Jutta Koether, Lee Lozano, Seth Price, and Andy Warhol, as well as on such topics as music and torture (“Across an Invisible Line: A Conversation about Music and Torture,” with Suzanne G. Cusick, Grey Room, 2011). He was consulting curator, with Sabine Breitwieser, of the retrospective Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting (2015) and is also founding co-editor of the journal Grey Room (MIT Press)."
5.5 x 8.5 inches164 pagesPaperback8 B&W imagesEdition of 2000January 2018
Uncollected Texts – Carolee Schneemann
"Presented by Sacred Realism Press, D=D is the culmination of 15 years of work and the latest and most ambitious installment of Bryan Eubanks and Joe Foster's Don (now Dan) Brown and Dan Reynolds' project. The book itself contains 391 pages of letters, notes, aphorisms, scores, images, and commentary from Brown and Reynolds, with contributions from related figures including Jenny Haniver, Tim Bradley, and of course Gwendolyn Lovequist and Jack Lunetti, offering furtive glimpses into the thoughts, work, and lives of these still under-recognized figures of contemporary American music. While it might be tempting to see D=D as epistolary speculative biography it also may call to mind the heteronyms of writers like Fernando Pessoa and especially Antoine Volodine. But make no mistake --D does equal D and everything is as it seems.
The accompanying audio CD compiles Eubanks and Foster's interpretations of Brown and Reynolds' Holy and Old musics, respectively, bookended by two cassette recordings from the composers themselves, which should be of special appeal to listeners with an interest in never before exposed corners of American West Coast musical experimentation and iconoclasm."
mixed by Joe Foster & Bryan Eubanks, Berlin 2018mastered by Dick Stormm, the Bronx 201910 tracks, total running time: 52:28391 page hard cover book with glass mastered CD, edition of 500
release date: April 17th, 2019
Don Brown & Dan Reynolds – D=D
* This book is a monster. It's huge. Hence price and postage. So you know...
free improvisation: what goes on? how does it work?
how can you write about it?
Musicswas published, from 1975 to 1979, by musicians and artists on the London scene of free improvisation, focusing on the most innovative participants of their generation. Steve Beresford, David Toop, Annabel Nicholson, Evan Parker, David Cunningham, Lindsay Cooper, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, Derek Bailey, Hugh Davies, Peter Riley and many, many others contributed to the writing, graphics and photography.
Musicswas a blueprint for the interdisciplinary activities of sound art, field recording, free improvisation, live electronics, 20th century composition & audio culture. It came out six times a year and ran for twenty-three hand-assembled issues. The journal covered improvised and non-western music alongside performance art, reflecting the broad interests of the so-called “second generation” of London’s improvisers, and provided a convivial focus point. Overlapping with thelondon musicians’ collective (lmc), the publication first launched in Spring of 1975, with the tagline:an impromental experivisation arts magazineand a manifesto that proposed the destruction of artificial boundaries, and linked Free Jazz, the academic ministrations of John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and K. Stockhausen and indigenous and non-European music.Musicswas significant in the discussion of traditional Asian instruments as paths of equal value for the performance of musics.
Produced by what was effectively an anarchist collective with few publishing skills and no support, the magazine’s roughness, marginality and scarcity has kept it from those who are active, even prominent in the field. Musicsis an entree to the arcane world of the 1970s London improviser’s scene and presents scores, dialogues, debates, positioning, arguments, accolades, critiques, absurdist/dada notions, and a bit of pranksterism - all with collective enthusiasm.
Founding Editor David Toop: “with rose-tinted affection I recall mass paste-up sessions with spray mount… a page of reviews of electronic music by women, written by Lily Greenham in 1978… in the same issue are five beautifully written and illustrated pages about listening in Greece. An Aural Sketchbook by Dave Veres was just one example of pieces about listening practice and field recording; others include Found Sounds by Michael Leggett, Sounds in Kyōdo by Kazuko Hohki, New York Sounds by Fred Frith and Sounds Heard at La Sainte-Baume by Hugh Davies. There are also invaluable accounts of groups such as The People Band, Feminist Improvising Group, CCMC, Los Angeles Free Music Society, MEV and the Dutch musicians associated with Instant Composers Pool. Interspersed among all this loamy archival material are a few essays of grinding tedium, snarky barbs of wit, barely decipherable photographs…”
Introduction: Steve Beresford / Foreword: David Toop
isbn: 978-0-9972850-5-5 / Publisher:ecstatic peace library
Pub date: 1 September 2016
Flexi-bound cover, Swiss-bound, 800 pages
Experimentations provides a detailed historical and theoretical analysis of the first three decades of experimental composer John Cage's aesthetic production (ca. 1940-1972). Paying particular attention to Cage's inter- and cross-disciplinary engagements with the visual arts and architecture during this period, the book sheds new light on some of Cage's most controversial and influential innovations, such as the use of noise, chance techniques, indeterminacy, electronic technologies, and computerization, as well as upon lesser known but important ideas and strategies such as transparency, multiplicity, virtuality, and actualization.
Ultimately, it traces the development of Cage's avant-garde aesthetic and political project as it transformed from the emulation of historical avant-garde precedents such as futurism and the Bauhaus, to the development of important precedents for the post-World War II movements of happenings and Fluxus, to its ultimate abandonment in the aftermath of problems encountered in the vast, multimedia composition HPSCHD (1967-69).
Branden Wayne Joseph – Experimentations : John Cage in Music, Art, and Architecture
In this first installment of acclaimed music writer David Toop's interdisciplinary and sweeping overview of free improvisation, Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970 introduces the philosophy and practice of improvisation (both musical and otherwise) within the historical context of the post-World War II era. Neither strictly chronological, or exclusively a history, Into the Maelstrom investigates a wide range of improvisational tendencies: from surrealist automatism to stream-of-consciousness in literature and vocalization; from the free music of Percy Grainger to the free improvising groups emerging out of the early 1960s (Group Ongaku, Nuova Consonanza, MEV, AMM, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble); and from free jazz to the strands of free improvisation that sought to distance itself from jazz. In exploring the diverse ways in which spontaneity became a core value in the early twentieth century as well as free improvisation's connection to both 1960s rock (The Beatles, Cream, Pink Floyd) and the era of post-Cagean indeterminacy in composition, Toop provides a definitive and all-encompassing exploration of free improvisation up to 1970, ending with the late 1960s international developments of free music from Roscoe Mitchell in Chicago, Peter Brötzmann in Berlin and Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg in Amsterdam.
David Toop Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom before 1970
What is experimental music today? This book offers an up to date survey of this field for anyone with an interest, from seasoned practitioners to curious readers. This book takes the stance that experimental music is not a limited historical event, but is a proliferation of approaches to sound that reveals much about present-day experience. An experimental work is not identifiable by its sound alone, but by the nature of the questions it poses and its openness to the sounding event. Experimentation is a way of working. It pushes past that which is known to discover what lies beyond it, finding new knowledge, forms, and relationships, or accepting a state of uncertainty. For each of these composers and sound artists, craft is developed and transformed in response to the questions they bring to their work. Scientific, perceptual, or social phenomena become catalysts in the operation of the work. These practices are not presented according to a chronology, a set of techniques, or social groupings. Instead, they are organized according to the content areas that are their subjects, including resonance, harmony, objects, shapes, perception, language, interaction, sites, and histories. Musical materials may be subject, among other treatments, to systemization, observation, examination, magnification, fragmentation, translation, or destabilization. These restless and exploratory modes of engagement have continued to develop over recent decades, expanding the scope of both musical practice and listening
We have needed a reformulation of what experimental music now means, i.e., what has become since Michael Nyman took stock of it in 1974and this book beautifully fulfills that requirement. Jennie Gottschalk takes a fresh and independent look at experimental music of the last forty years, finding both points of continuation from the previous era and many novel and heartening developments. It is also an adventure story with surprising twists and a panoramic cast of characters, like a novel in which works and ideas are the central figures, seemingly with a collective life of their own. --Michael Pisaro, Composer and Faculty Member, Composition and Experimental Sound Practices, California Institute of the Arts, USAReading Experimental Music Since 1970 it is impossible not to be dazzled first by the range and imagination of experimental music and sound art that is being made today, and second by the way in which Jennie Gottschalk has described and catalogued so much of it, so lucidly. Impeccably and authoritatively researched, by a writer who is both a practitioner and an astute observer, it deserves to be the go-to reference for years to come. --Tim Rutherford-Johnson, author of 'Music After The Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989', UKThis book is a unique achievement. Without catering to current fashions or well-worn academic assumptions, it transcends the limits of both journalism and traditional musicology to be both comprehensive and insightful. Reading it has helped me to ask new questions about a history that I thought I knew quite well. --David Dunn, Assistant Professor of Music, University of California Santa Cruz, USA
About the Author
Jennie Gottschalk (born 1978 in Stanford, CA) is a composer based in Boston. She holds a bachelor's degree in composition from The Boston Conservatory (2001), and a masters degree and doctorate from Northwestern University (2008). Teachers have included Larry Bell, Yakov Gubanov, Jay Alan Yim, Augusta Read Thomas, and Aaron Cassidy. Recent performances in Los Angeles (Dog Star Orchestra) and Chicago (Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble). Her dissertation and current work explore connections between American pragmatist thought and experimental music. Current projects include a string quartet, a childrens book, an experimental music blog (soundexpanse.com), and a residency at the Conway School of Landscape Design. For additional resources related to this book, please visit the authors website at soundexpanse.com.
Jennie Gottschalk - Experimental Music Since 1970 Book
Mayhem are the most influential Black Metal band in the world, and obviously no strangers to controversy. Death Archives offer never before seen photographs and unique insight into one of music’s most extreme subcultures.During the band’s ongoing career, now spanning thirty years, bass player and only surviving band member from the original line-up, Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud, has collected enormous amounts of photographs, video diaries and memorabilia. In this unique documentary book, Stubberud shares the first groundbreaking years of Mayhem’s existence including their first photo-sessions in full corpse regalia; recording sessions, and exclusive stills from live video footage of their earliest gigs. In Necrobutcher’s Death Archives he shares rarely seen photos of the band before death of singer Pelle “Dead” Ohlin and murder of guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth.Once Mayhem established their unique sound, The Norwegian Black Metal scene grew ferociously and globally finding common ground in violent imagery, horror iconography, fierce anti-Christian views, which ultimately led to over fifty church fires, among them the iconic Fantoft Stavkirke in Bergen. The violent nature of the music also led to the brutal murder of Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth in 1993 by Varg “Count Grishnak” Vikernes internationally known as Burzum.Today, Norwegian Black Metal is one of the most distinct and controversial subcultures in the music world, its popularity spanning globally from China to Mexico. The book is not only a documentation of a band – it is also a story about Norway, and a unique Norwegian subculture where a deep fascination for authentic Nordic culture and nature is deeply immersed.
Death Archives: Mayhem 1984-94 by Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud with Svein Strømmen & Christian Belgaux
Published by Ecstatic Peace Library with afterword by Thurston MooreSoftcover, 2018256pp195 x 266 mm
The Death Archives: Mayhem 1984-94
In Vol. 2 of Blank Forms' Journal, Maryanne Amacher remains a focal point, with three pieces related to our work with the pioneering sound artist’s archive. The late polymath avant-garde artist Tony Conrad is represented twice, through a selection of handwritten notes and a new transcription of a 1989 phone interview with Alan Licht.
Music from the World Tomorrow includes contributions by Marcus Boon, Catherine Christer Hennix, Patty Waters, Larry J Nai, Limpe Fuchs and Zoro Babel, Akio Suzuki, Amy Cimini, Scott Fisher, Olaf Stapledon, Andrew Lampert, Klaus Lang, Tashi Wada, Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, John Corbett, Annea Lockwood, Crys Cole, Matana Roberts, and Kan Mikami (translated by David Hopkins). Edited by Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero.
Blank Forms Journal 2: Music From The World Tomorrow Book
Edited by Lawrence Kumpf with Joe Bucciero and Mark Harwood. Contributors include Henning Christiansen, Thomas Groetz, Diedrich Diederichsen, Dick Higgins, Lars Morell, Per Kirkeby, Bjørn Nørgaard, Helmer Nørgaard, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Anton Lukoszevieze, Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, Michael Glasmeier, Ute Wasser- mann, Stíne Janvin Motland, Mark Harwood, Lucy Railton, Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Lia Mazzari, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Francesco Conz, and Emily Harvey.
The third issue of Blank Forms’ journal is released in conjunction with Freedom is Around the Corner, a retrospective exhibition and performance series devoted to the work of pioneering Danish composer and artist Henning Christiansen (1932–2008).
Perhaps best known for his collaborations and artistic affinities with notable artists such as Joseph Beuys and Fluxus members like Nam June Paik and Dick Higgins, Christiansen, who worked primarily on the remote Danish island of Møn, moved beyond his Fluxus roots to create a vast, often ineffable body of work that spanned music, performance, film, and visual art over the course of a fifty-year career. Yet Christiansen’s work has remained under the radar, even in the ten years following his death: only a few of his recordings were available until recently, and his prolific compositional and visual outputs have rarely been performed or exhibited in the United States. Freedom is Around the Corner—the exhibition, the performance series, and the journal—seek to present Christiansen’s life and work in a holistic manner that befits his dynamic practice.
Like previous issues of the Blank Forms journal, Freedom is Around the Corner collects a combination of newly discovered, never-before published, and newly translated materials; in this case, many of the materials were found in the Henning Christian- sen Archive during the exhibition’s curatorial process. The issue begins with the first of four newly translated interviews with Christiansen himself, conducted circa 2006 by the German writer Thomas Groetz. Two others, conducted by Francesco Conz and Michael Glasmeier in the 1990s, come later in the issue; together these three interviews, which had only existed as audio recordings before, offer a well-rounded picture of the late-career Christiansen through his own, good-humored lens.
The fourth interview, a more experimental text conducted by Helmer Nørgaard, was originally published in Danish in the magazine DMT, in a 1986/87 issue devoted to Christiansen. In this issue we’ve created a translated facsimile of that DMT issue, which also featured texts on Christiansen by his prominent Danish collaborators, the writer Lars Morell and the artists Per Kirkeby and Bjørn Nørgaard. We hear from other Christiansen collaborators through correspondence—including in transcribed letters from Emily Harvey and Dick Higgins, whose messages to and from Christiansen were recently discovered in the Archive—and through interviews, including newly conducted interviews with his wife and longtime collaborator, Ursula Reuter Christiansen; Bjorn Nørgaard, who spoke with Christiansen’s son Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen; and later musical collaborators Werner Durand and Ute Wassermann.
Except Nørgaard, these collaborators will all speak or perform as part of the Freedom is Around the Corner programming; a section of this issue features many of the other performers as well, younger artists who have grappled with Christiansen’s legacy. Represented through interviews (Lucy Railton), original artworks (Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Stíne Janvin), and essays (Mark Harwood, Anton Lukoszevieze of Apartment House), these artists demonstrate the lasting and diverse impact of Christian- sen’s work on today’s musical landscape. Lukoszevieze’s essay introduces a newly translated libretto for Dejligt vejr i dag, n’est-ce pas, Ibsen, a 1964 opera with music by Christiansen and libretto by Hans-Jørgen Nielsen which Apartment House, commissioned by Blank Forms, will perform twice during the run of the exhibition.
Taken together—and even more, in conjunction with the exhibition and performances—the texts in this journal provide an in-depth look, previously unavailable, especially in the United States, at a towering but overlooked figure in the postwar musical as well as artistic avant-garde. Support for Freedom is Around the Corner comes from the Nordic Culture Point, the Nordic Culture Fund, Snyk, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Consulate, Goethe-Institut, the Danish Consulate General, Music Norway, and Ultima Contempo- rary Music Festival.
Blank Forms Journal 3: Henning Christiansen – Freedom is Around the Corner book
In the 1970s David Toop became preoccupied with the possibility that music was no longer bounded by formalities of audience: the clapping, the booing, the short attention span, the demand for instant gratification. Considering sound and listening as foundational practices in themselves leads music into a thrilling new territory: stretched time, wilderness, video monitors, singing sculptures, weather, meditations, vibration and the interior resonance of objects, interspecies communications, instructional texts, silent actions, and performance art.
Toop sought to document the originality and unfamiliarity of this work from his perspective as a practitioner and writer. The challenge was to do so without being drawn back into the domain of music while still acknowledging the vitality and hybridity of twentieth-century musics as they moved toward art galleries, museums, and site-specificity. Toop focused on practitioners, whose stories are as compelling as the theoretical and abstract implications of their works.
Inflamed Invisible collects more than four decades of David Toop's essays, reviews, interviews, and experimental texts, drawing us into the company of artists and their concerns, not forgetting the quieter, unsung voices. The volume is an offering, an exploration of strata of sound that are the crossing points of sensory, intellectual, and philosophical preoccupations, layers through which objects, thoughts and air itself come alive as the inflamed invisible.
Spotify and QR Codes
This is a book about music, and we wanted to bring the print text to sonic life. We have compiled a series of web links to take you to recordings of the music, musicians, and artists David Toop describes, as well as to artists’ websites. We have placed codes in the margins, so you can listen to the music written about as you read. These codes can be scanned by a smartphone camera. On some phones, the built-in camera app will automatically recognise a code. On other phones, you would need to download a QR code reader app.
We have endeavored to find online as much of the music as possible, whether the pieces have been commercially released or not. Many of the links take you to the Discogs database. There, there are links to videos and audio on YouTube. Some links take you to the artist’s gallery website or personal site.
For the music that is commercially available, we have compiled an Inflamed Invisible playlist on the Spotify music streaming service. The playlist is accessible.
Individual tracks from this playlist are seen as Spotify codes in the margins. To scan these, please download and use the Spotify app on your phone. Select the magnifying glass icon to search, then select the camera icon and scan the code.
Atau Tanaka, Sonics Series Editor
David Toop – Inflamed Invisible
Published by Public Bath Press, paperback, 368 pp, 2019
"This book, the only history of free jazz in Japan, has been reprinted many times in Japan and is finally available to readers overseas in English translation. From its earliest stirrings in the 1960s until it reached international recognition in the 1970s and after, free jazz in Japan is a unique music that has found its perfect scribe. Teruto Soejima was a writer who fell in love with a music and devoted his life to it as promoter, critic, label owner, tour organiser, and much more.
"If you like jazz at all, if you like the unique voices of Japan at all, this book will open your ears to many sounds you haven't heard, or heard of, before.
"Introduction by Otomo Yoshihide. All new photos in this edition, none used from the original Japanese volume." - Publisher Public Bath
"Soejima Teruta was a legend on the scene of jazz and improvised music in Japan ... Much more than a critical observer, Soejima-san was a tireless supporter of music and musicians, and will always be remembered for his brilliant mind and gentle soul."- John Zorn
Free Jazz In Japan: A Personal History by Teruto Soejima
Pianist and composer Fred Van Hove (°1937) was involved in the Big Bang of European free improvisation (Machine Gun by the Peter Brötzmann Octet), but also became one of Europe’s finest and most underestimated improvisers. Mostly known for his 70’s trio with Brötzmann and Han Bennink, Van Hove’s trajectory over the past 4 decades has been one of the brilliant, but unsung stories of the music.
The new Dropa Disc release Fred Van Hove At 80 is an effort to rectify this imbalance and give some credit where it’s due. Combining three sublime concerts that were recorded in 2017 with a 80-page hardcover book containing a rich, extended essay by Hugo de Craen and beautiful photos from the year in which the celebrations took place, Fred Van Hove At 80 is a much-needed document that no serious lover of the music can afford to miss.
Fred Van Hove at 80