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.
Brötzmann at OTO – Dawid Laskowski
* 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
Originally published in the mid-1970s, Womens Work was a magazine that sought to highlight the overlooked work of female artists working at the cusp of the visual arts, music, and performance. The magazine was edited by Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood and featured text-based and instructional performance scores by the following 25 artists, composers, and choreographers:
Beth Anderon, Ruth Anderson, Jacki Apple, Barbara Benary, Sari Dienes, Nye Ffarrabas (participating as Bici Forbes), Simone Forti, Wendy Greenberg, Heidi Von Gunden, Françoise Janicot, Alison Knowles, Christina Kubisch, Carol Law, Annea Lockwood (also included as Anna Lockwood), Mary Lucier, Lisa Mikulchik, Ann Noël (included as Ann Williams), Pauline Oliveros, Takako Saito, Carolee Schneemann, Mieko Shiomi, Elaine Summers, Carole Weber, Julie Winter, and Marilyn Wood.
The magazine was designed by Alison Knowles, who deliberately chose off-white paper and brown inks as a contrast to the sterile, white-paged publications prevalent at the time. The works contained in the magazine range in scope and take on a multitude of forms, employing both typed and written text, often with visual elements such as diagrams, drawings, and photographic images. The editors were and remain adamant that the work should be performed; that they not remain static as an artifact.
We wanted to publish work which other people could pick up and do: that aspect of it was really important…this was not anecdotal, this was not archival material, it was live material. You look at a score, you do it.
– Annea Lockwood
The first issue, published in 1975, took the form of a saddle-stitched magazine and the second, published in 1978, took the form of a fold-out poster. This facsimile edition reproduces both and houses them in a custom self-folding box. Womens Work is produced in an edition of 1,500 and retails for $24.00.
Alison Knowles (b. 1933) is a conceptual artist known for intermedia works in text, graphics, sound, installations, transvironments, performances, paperworks and publishing. She is a founding member of Fluxus, the experimental avant-garde group formally launched in 1962. Her most recent retrospective was at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2016. In 2019 she debuted in Havana, Cuba.
Annea Lockwood (b. 1939) is an artist and composer whose lifelong fascination with timbre and new sound sources is reflected in her multidisciplinary work, which has incorporated chamber music, performance, electronic and environmental sound, and visual art. Recent works include commissions for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Thomas Buckner and the S.E.M. Ensemble, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She is a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award.
8.5 x 9 inchesMagazine and PosterEdition of 1500May 2019
V/A – Womens Work
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
Published by Public Bath Press, paperback, 168 pp, 2016
"Toshiharu Osato’s literary memoir of the origins of Tokyo's most uncompromising punk band Gaseneta, who invented postpunk artcore just as the rest of the world was coming to terms with punk. It certainly sets a record for literary references in a book about artcore music! Funny, thoughtful and ultimately moving account. Awarded Best Book of the Year for 2017 by terminal-boredom.com!" - Publisher Public Bath
Biba Kopf writing in The Wire 400 described Gaseneta Wasteland as a "heartbreakingly funny, insightful and moving memoir of Gaseneta, a short-lived Japanese art punk group who revved up and roared and crackled and coughed and collapsed down the deep dark hole of their own devising in lates 1970s Tokyo... Osato's memoir makes you feel the burn like no other."
Gaseneta Wasteland by Toshiharu Osato
“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
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
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)
“This is the prize-winning history of the music known as Enka, one of the dominant forms of postwar popular music, that rearranged everyone’s understanding of the history of postwar pop. Love it or hate it, Enka is a necessary background for anyone hoping to understand the music of Japan. With a new introduction by the author and full color printing (unlike the Japanese original), this is a must-have for your collection.”
Creating Enka: The “Soul of Japan” in the Postwar Era by Wajima Yusuke
Published by Public Bath Press, paperback & CD, 312 pp, 2017
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 complete translation of Folk ni Ikiru, with additional autobiographical writing and interview material added.
Clive Bell writes in The Wire 412: "Hopkins has done a great job with a wild text. He has fleshed out the story by including extracts from Mikami's 1973 writings, plus an interview reviewing the ten records he made in the 1970s when Columbia tried repeatedly (and failed) to make him a star... The lasting impression is Mikami's passion in everything he tackles, and his thoughts about his spiritual and artistic path as he approaches his 70th birthday: 'In order to keep your essence pure, you have to become dirtier than the thing that tries to foul your pure essence'."
A Life In Folk (And Other Bitter Songs) by Kan Mikami