Edited by Lawrence Kumpf. Contributors and featured artists include Onyx Ashanti, Amy Cimini, Marcia Douglas, Kazuo Imai, Werner Durand, Peter Gente, Heidi Paris, Robert Ashley, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Spencer Gerhardt, Adrian Rew, Paul Cummings, and Walter De Maria.
Taking its name from Maryanne Amacher’s visionary, unrealized opera, the fourth issue of Blank Forms’ journal, Intelligent Life, features a select group of unpublished, newly translated, or otherwise rare texts that augment our organization’s concerts, publications, exhibitions, and archival initiatives. The issue opens with a short literary essay by the author Marcia Douglas, in which a deep bass riddim guides a deaf narrator and a reincarnated Bob Marley through important sites in Rastafarianism’s development. Next come two interviews with crucial (though very different) figures in postwar avant-garde music: the Japanese guitarist Kazuo Imai and the American composer Robert Ashley, along with pianist and frequent collaborator “Blue” Gene Tyranny. The previously unpublished interview with Imai was conducted by Blank Forms’ Editor and Artistic Director Lawrence Kumpf during Imai’s first trip to the United States, in 2018, and finds the artist reflecting on recent work with the collective Marginal Consort as well as his foundational experiences playing with two other titans of Japanese experimentalism, Takehisa Kosugi and Masayuki Takayanagi. The interview with Ashley and “Blue” Gene, meanwhile, first published in German in 1984 on the occasion of a staging of Ashley’s opera Atalanta, was translated for the first time into English for this publication.
Intelligent Life continues with a series of longer pieces showcasing a diverse set of complex practices and histories, beginning with that of Detroit-based artist Onyx Ashanti. Onyx contributes his own Octavia Butler-referencing “sonocybernetic manifesto,” first published online in 2016, which exists simultaneously as theoretical treatise, memoir, and practical guide to his idiosyncratic technology-based practice. The manifesto is bolstered in this issue by a rare and extensive interview, conducted by Blank Forms’ Curatorial Assistant Adrian Rew in 2018. Following this exploration of Onyx’s life and work, the issue dives deeper into mathematics, with a comprehensive essay on Catherine Christer Hennix’s engagement with intuitionism and other esoteric approaches to math, written by the mathematician and musician Spencer Gerhardt. Gerhardt’s lucid, previously unpublished essay serves as a necessary complement to Blank Forms Editions’ forthcoming collection of Hennix’s abstruse, mostly unpublished body of writing, Poësy Matters and Other Matters.
The issue continues with a sort of titular essay, a rich analysis of Amacher’s Intelligent Life—the first such piece on this work—by Amacher scholar Amy Cimini. An incredibly prescient work that sought to upend any remaining vestiges of traditional operatic form and staging, Intelligent Life tells the story, set in 2021, of employees at Supreme Connections LLC, a futurist sonic entertainment corporation that formed following the collapse of a failed algorithmic music recommendation service. Cimini traces the technical and theoretical innovations with which Amacher imbued the work, situating it amid a detailed explication of Amacher’s still-overlooked practice. Intelligent Life—the journal issue—then concludes with a lengthy interview with the artist Walter De Maria. One of the few interviews De Maria gave in his lifetime, this one, created for the Archives of American Art in 1972, sheds significant light on De Maria’s early intellectual and artistic development as well as his work as a musician. Although he largely stopped playing music by 1970, and although few recordings of his efforts exist, De Maria played alongside musicians ranging from Lou Reed to Don Cherry to Henry Flynt, establishing himself early on as a force in jazz and avant-garde circles in both the Bay Area and New York City.
Taken together, the texts compiled here present a kaleidoscopic view of the last fifty years of experimental art and music in the United States and beyond, mining the conceptual, technical, historical, or otherwise marginal details undergirding artists’ lives, ideas, and approaches that may otherwise remain buried.
Blank Forms – Journal 4: Intelligent Life book
From scouring flea markets and eBay to maxing out their credit cards, record collectors will do just about anything to score a long-sought-after album. In Vinyl Freak, music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrows deep inside the record fiend’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is composed in part of Corbett's long-running DownBeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. In other essays where he combines memoir and criticism, Corbett considers the current vinyl boom, explains why vinyl is his preferred medium, profiles collector subcultures, and recounts his adventures assembling the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive, an event so all-consuming that he claims it cured his record-collecting addiction. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.
About the Author:
John Corbett is a music critic, record producer, and curator. He is the author of Microgroove: Forays into Other Music and Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein, both also published by Duke University Press, and A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation. His writing has appeared in DownBeat, Bomb, Nka, and numerous other publications. He is the co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey, an art gallery in Chicago.
Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium 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
Ed Askew is a singer-songwriter and painter born in 1940 in Stanford, Connecticut. Moving to New York for a few months in 1967, he was offered a recording contract with ESP — home also to Sun Ra and Albert Ayler — and soon released his first album Ask The Unicorn, now regarded as a folk-psychedelic classic.
Between 1968 and 1986 Ed lived mostly in New Haven, playing occasional shows there, solo and with his band. Around 1987, he moved to New York City, where he continues to write and record songs, and occasionally perform.
Never having heard of Ed previously, the wind in the trees happily encountered him on a rare visit to play with his band in London. The purity, pathos and power of his music blew us away. One song played included the words
wind in the trees is blowingthoughts in the mind
ED ASKEW Moon in the Mind
Fate was speaking, so subsequently we got in touch and Ed offered the opportunity to publish Red Lamp Poems, a collection of visual/concrete poetry — terse, playful, tender — composed, typed and elaborated with a painter’s eye and a musician’s phrasing back in 1969 on a delicately-tinted variety of graph papers.
Ed Askew - Red Lamp Poems book
Following his investigation into experimental music and sound recording in Records Ruin the Landscape, David Grubbs turns his attention to the live performance of improvised music with an altogether different form of writing. Now that the audience is assembled is a book-length prose poem that describes a fictional musical performance during which an unnamed musician improvises the construction of a series of invented instruments before an audience that is alternately contemplative, participatory, disputatious, and asleep. Over the course of this phantasmagorical all-night concert, repeated interruptions take the form of in-depth discussions and musical demonstrations. Both a work of literature and a study of music, Now that the audience is assembled explores the categories of improvised music, solo performance, text scores, instrument building, aesthetic deskilling and reskilling, and the odd fate of the composer in experimental music.
About The Author
David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording, also published by Duke University Press. As a musician, he has released fourteen solo albums and appeared on more than 180 commercially released recordings. Grubbs is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe and visual artists Angela Bulloch and Anthony McCall, and his work has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a founding member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has appeared on recordings by Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Will Oldham, and Matmos, among other artists. Grubbs has written for The Wire, BOMB, Bookforum, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
David Grubbbs - Now that the audience is assembled book
"In London, in the fall of 1965, a group of four musicians dissatisfied with the constrictions they had encountered in the British jazz scene, came together with a highly thought-out agenda to revolutionize the way music was created, rejecting rules firmly in place then (and still today) among even the most forward-looking of musicians: no repertoire, no solos, no regular rhythms, no melodies, no fear of silence, 100% improvised. Keith Rowe was one of the founding members. They called themselves AMM and soon added the composer Cornelius Cardew, an associate of John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who was seeking to escape what he thought were equivalent strictures in the avant-garde classical world. As a quintet, AMM created music unlike anything else being done at the time and, being immersed in the London scene of the mid-60s in which musical boundaries were amorphous, found themselves on the one hand sharing bills with nascent bands like Pink Floyd, The Who and Cream while on the other working with and alongside Yoko Ono and Christian Wolff.
"Rowe, a guitarist trained as a painter, adapted to his guitar the lessons he’d learned in the visual arts, placing it flat on a table or the ground as Jackson Pollock had done with his canvases, using it as a sound source to be approached with all manner of implements, opening up a vast new territory of exploration, one which would be enormously influential in rock, contemporary classical, and the field of free improvisation.
"Over 12 years in the making and via exhaustive research and exclusive interviews Brian Olewnick has traced Rowe’s life from childhood through the present, with focuses on London’s mid-60s experimental music scene, the political unrest of the late 60s, the radical politics of the early 70s, the ongoing saga of AMM through the 90s and the accompanying advance of creative music over that time period, centered around Rowe’s participation in those events and his major contributions to the contemporary avant-garde environment. Through the many ups and downs of AMM and beyond, Rowe has become an éminence grise to generations of musicians and is still today continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of sound.
"Brian Olewnick is a new music writer and visual artist. He helped run the avant-garde jazz loft Environ from 1976-1980 and was eventually seduced into writing about contemporary music in various forms from jazz to modern classical, free-improvisation and beyond. He has written for All Music Guide, The Wire, Time Out New York and other publications in addition to his blog, Just Outside, one of the principal sites for analysis of new music where he has published over 2,000 reviews since 2006. He has given talks on the craft of writing about contemporary music in Philadelphia, Västerås, Sweden and Sokołowska, Poland. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Kinderhook, New York."
Brian Olewnick - Keith Rowe: The Room Extended Book
Reception is the first comprehensive examination of how Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage embraced and employed radio in some of their most sophisticated and experimental works between 1942 and 1991.
This includes Rauschenberg’s artworks Broadcast (1959) and Oracle (1962-1965), and Cage’s compositions, Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951), Water Walk(1959), and Variations VII (1966).
Author, Alana Pagnutti’s discussion considers how (influenced by renowned Canadian media philosopher, Marshall McLuhan), they both used the medium of radio to foster and provoke new qualities of experience and elicit the participation of their audiences.
The foreword is written by Angus Carlyle, co-director of Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) at London College of Communication (UAL).
As the UK prepares to switch off FM radio in favour of DAB (digital radio) between 2017-2022 (a transition happening globally), Pagnutti’s thoughtful and engaging book serves as a timely prompt to re-examine these radio-works before advances in technology change them forever.
‘Pagnutti makes us into fellow witnesses. After finishing the book for the first time I looked at the index, it was like reading a glittering recipe for some magical potion, the very thing I had only just inhaled.’ – Richard Wentworth
To celebrate the launch of this book the first ever UK performance of Cage’s, Water Walk (1959) was hosted by Cafe Oto, London, in July 2017.
Alana Pagnutti - Reception: The Radio-Works of Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage Book
MAGAZINE is the inaugural issue of Blank Forms’ journal, bringing together a combination of never-before published, lost, and new materials that supplement our live programs. It is envisioned as a platform for critical reflection and extended dialogue between scholars, artists, and other figures working within the world of experimental music and art.
Following “Let Freedom Fry”—a short statement by Joe McPhee drawing out the contemporary political climate in relation to his practice as a creative improviser—the magazine is bookended by four texts surrounding the practice of pioneering sound artist Maryanne Amacher; an essay by Bill Dietz on his collaborations with Amacher and his work with her archive; an unpublished 1988 interview highlighting Amacher’s ideas around her Long Distance Music and Mini Sound Series; a conversation between Marianne Schroeder, Stefan Tcherepnin, and Lawrence Kumpfrevealing the archival questions raised by Amacher’s work; and science fiction writer Greg Bear’sshort story Petra, a tale of gargoyles coming to life and breeding with humans in a post-apocalyptic Notre Dame, from which Amacher’s 1991 piece got its name.
This issue also includes Branden Joseph’s interview with The Dead C’s Bruce Russell, accompanied by Russell’s essay exploring the Situationist tradition of ‘mis-competence’ in New Zealand electronic music. Charles Curtis contributed notes on the interpretive challenges posed by a posthumous performance of Terry Jennings‘ minimalist classic Piece For Cello And Saxophone. Shelley Hirsch, Richard Skidmore, and Dennis Hermanson provide a series of writings on and remembrances of the late Ralston Farina, whose scarcely documented “visual poetry” was an important precursor to what we now call “performance.” And from her own 2016 performances at the Emily Harvey Foundation, Dawn Kasper supplies her original proposal document and score notes for an improvisational interpretation.
MAGAZINE features two new French-translations: an excerpt from François Bonnet’s book of phenomenology, The Infra-World, translated by Robin Mackay, and a Christophe Broquainterview with enigmatic huntress of sounds Anne Gillis, translated by Adrian Rew. Ian Nagoski’s rare 1998 conversation with Éliane Radigue, conducted and largely ignored at a time when there was little interest in her music, provides one of the clearest overviews of the visionary composer’s early work and life. Supplementing the texts are numerous archival photos and documents, plus “Dark Matters,” a poem by Joe McPhee.
Edited by Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero with contributions by Greg Bear, François Bonnet, Bill Dietz, Dennis Hermanson, Shelley Hirsch, Branden W. Joseph, Dawn Kasper, Joe McPhee, Ian Nagoski, Adrian Rew, Bruce Russell, and Richard C. Skidmore
Blank Forms - Magazine
Expanded and revised hardback 2nd edition of this legendary Ra artefact.
All will be shipped immediately on receipt of stock late-November.
Twenty years after its first publication, ART YARD are proud to present the fully revised 2nd edition of Hartmut Geerken’s long unobtainable Omniverse – Sun Ra, a definitive hitch-hiker’s guide to the Sun Ra galaxy. The new, completely revised edition features: - unpublished photographs of Sun Ra and the Arkestra by Hartmut Geerken and Val Wilmer- a fully revised discography by Chris Trent, co-author of The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra- articles by Geerken, Amiri Baraka, Chris Cutler, Robert L. Campbell, Salah Ragab, Gabi Geist and others- new full colour images of hundreds of Sun Ra album covers, posters, handbills and ephemera, including reproductions of rare hand drawn and coloured LP sleevesFor five decades, Sun Ra brightened planet Earth with his unique, provocative and esoteric musical philosophy. Touring the world with his formidable Arkestra, he represented and affirmed a new vision of Black history and culture, embodied and spread a new and powerfully influential Black philosophy, and revolutionised music with sounds from beyond the purple star zone. Ra accepted no limitation imposed on him by earthly powers: his vista was the universe, his travel was interplanetary, his music borne along the spaceways as he delivered messages of light to a sleeping world. Now more than ever, the value and radicalism of his protean musical inventiveness, his socially collective self-determination, and his philosophical and poetic profundity can be seen. Where Ra went, we are slowly going, and we will find his message for us waiting there. The new edition of Omniverse – Sun Ra is a major contribution to Sun Ra studies, and a dazzling overview of its subjects astonishingly productive career on Earth - the definitive companion to the many worlds of Sun Ra.
Omniverse – Sun Ra by Hartmut Geerken and Chris Trent Book
A Life in Folk (and other bitter songs), the English translation of legendary folk singer Mikmai Kan's autobiography is now available. The book comes with a CD of Mikami live in Sapporo in February of 2017. The book is a the complete translation of Folk ni Ikiru, with additional autobiographical writing and interview material added.
Kan Mikami Autobiography: A Life in Folk (And Other Bitter Songs...) book
"In May 1977 Derek Bailey gave me a press ticket for Company Week - a series of concerts of improvised music in London. I made some notes at the time, but there seemed to be nowhere suitable to publish the extended commentary I eventually produced. So I wrote it into a dummy book and it to Derek. Most of it is reproduced here." Peter Riley 1994
Original copies of this rare and invaluable document.
Peter Riley - Company Week
A Secret History of the Esoteric UndergroundRevised & expanded edition464 pages, hardback/paperback, 216mm x 156mmFully illustrated in colour with 240 images.
* Full colour throughout* Two new chapters and a significant number of new images* Cover by Mark Titchner
Strange Attractor Press are proud to announce the release of a new revised and expanded edition of David Keenan’s seminal secret history of the UK’s esoteric underground, England’s Hidden Reverse.
Based around hundreds of hours of interviews with members of Coil, Nurse With Wound and Current 93 as well as contemporaries, friends and associates, EHR illuminates a shadowy English underground scene whose work accented peculiarities of Englishness through the links and affinities they forged with earlier generations of the island’s marginals and outsiders, such as playwright Joe Orton, writers like death decadent Eric, Count Stenbock, ecstatic mystic novelist Arthur Machen and occult figures like Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley.While functioning as an obsessively researched biography of the three interrelated groups EHRalso works to track the trajectory of their influences, explicating a reverse current that runs counter to the mainstream. Written over a period of six years and first published in 2003, the book flits between John Balance and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of Coil’s original Threshold House in Chiswick and the old boys’ school they later moved to in Weston-super-Mare to Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound’s goat farm and visionary art environment in Cooloorta in Southern Ireland to the roof of a house in Muswell Hill where David Tibet of Current 93 receives a vision of Noddy crucified in the sky. From there it moves further back and faster; to eye witness accounts of early Whitehouse performances; to the formation of Throbbing Gristle and the birth of industrial music; to the last moments of the visionary painter Charles Sims; to Angus MacLise, ex-of the Velvet Underground, casting his poem Year as a work of elementary magic; to Shirley Collins, AE Housman and Denton Welch’s visions of England in eternity.Long out of print and with the first edition demanding serious money from collectors, this much-anticipated expanded edition comes completely redesigned, with many new and previously unseen photographs and ephemera. It also comes with two new chapters, a final summing up of how the Reverse has changed gear since the book was first published and a new Chapter Zero entitled Crime Calls For Night where Keenan presents a daring argument that traces the transgressive urge that animates industrial culture all the way from Palaeolithic cave art through rock n roll and punk rock and up to contemporary noise music.About the AuthorDavid Keenan is an author and critic based in Glasgow Scotland. He has been a regular contributor to The Wire magazine for the past 20 years. From 2005 to 2015 he co-ran Volcanic Tongue, an online retailer and magazine dedicated to the enthused presentation of contemporary underground music. His debut novel The Comfort Of Women will be published by Strange Attractor in 2016.
David Keenan - England’s Hidden Reverse Book
* 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
Published by New DocumentsEdited by Will Holder, Alex Waterman.
American composer Robert Ashley (born 1930) has taken contemporary opera beyond the opera theater and into the television screen. Ashley’s operas draw an elegant cosmology of American consciousness out of storytelling, short phrases, ranting, chanting, profanity and the linguistic textures that make American speech musical. Working with the same four speakers/singers (Joan La Barbara, Sam Ashley, Tom Buckner and Jacqueline Humbert) for 30 years, Ashley has developed a collective, operatic form of storytelling whose production is almost entirely oral. Little exists on the page by way of a fully notated score, leaving the singers to fill in musical nuance and inflection through a process of “character development” that exists more off the page than on. Yes, But Is It Edible? is the culmination of activity and research around Ashley’s notational style that the editors have developed through a series of “rehearsals” and public readings ongoing since 2009.
Robert Ashley - Yes, But Is It Edible? Book
Issue 2 of the Cesura//Acceso, journal of music, politics and poetics. Featuring work by Paul Abbott, Larne Abse Gogarty, Kim O'Neil, Danny Hayward, David Morris, Nathaniel Mackey, Federica Frabetti and Mark Fell, Irene Revell and Annea Lockwood, ESW, Abject Subject Ensemble, Sophie Hoyle, Hannah Black, Naroder Bourniki, Paul Rekret, Clair Potter, Sacha Kahir, Byron Peters and Tyler Coburn, Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Verity Spott.
Cesura//Acceso - issue 2 Book
Compost and Height is pleased to announce the publication of Patrick Farmer’s new book, Yew Grotesque.
Farmer has been working on this book for the last year as part of a joint commission from Sound and Music and Forestry Commission England. It was developed during a series of week-long residential trips to Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, where Farmer resided in a log cabin and spent time walking the forested area between Coniston Water and Lake Windermere. This direct relationship between the forest and the book is veiled, though the underlying presence is integral to its makeup.
Yew Grotesque completes a series of works, comprising Farmer’s previous books try i bark and wild horses think of nothing else the sea. Together the three books offer both a direct and indirect textual engagement with listening. The relationship between these publications is typified by the words of Jack Spicer, a poet who felt that his own works “echo and re-echo against each other”, “create resonances” and can’t “live alone anymore than we can”.
The undertow of Farmer’s preceding books, found in the knots and temporary dichotomies of the external and internal, now find their opposite in the publication of Yew Grotesque. The new book’s underlying personality and its observation of the many divergent angles and qualities of listening was prevalent from its conception, but its role in sealing and joining the three books together was only made apparent towards its end. It is a perverse book of praise that attempts to lay itself out flat by concerning itself with the tools that can make the object, rather than the object itself.
Yew Grotesque opens on the morning of a symposium, observing the protagonist as he moves through a series of exercises in a hotel room, whilst intently listening to his inner speech rehearse a speculative conversation between two dead artists.
Patrick Farmer – Yew Grotesque (Book)
“Far to the North. past the towns, beyond the forests, and more distant than most have dared to go, there lies a small group of islands that against all the odds survive amongst the rocks and brine at the very edge of everything.”
The Nuckelavee is a fresh re-telling of an old Orcadian folk story, written and illustrated by Oliver Barrett in this new edition from Tartaruga Press. Set across one stormy island night, The Nuckelavee follows Tammas Kelpy as he braves the wild elements and fearsome terrain, whilst something terrifying and ancient awaits him in the darkness... .Featuring stunning hand-drawn ink and pencil illustrations throughout and a hand-screenprinted dust jacket, The Nuckelavee is available in an edition of 250 numbered copies. .Oliver Barrett is a musician and illustrator whose work has featured on various prints, posters and records (both his own as Petrels as well as numerous others). This is his first book.
Oliver Barrett – The Nuckelavee
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