Books and Magazines

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

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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

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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

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

* 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…” Musics 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

MUSICS 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)

Includes specially-compiled 60 minute CD of field recordings from the Gruenrekorder label. An excellent primer for aficionados and newcomers alike. This may be the first prose collection that pays as much attention to recorded works as it does to the concepts behind the recording and the science behind the sounds. A Closer Listen DO ANIMALS SPEAK TO EACH OTHER?WHAT DO THEIR SONGS MEAN?WILL WE EVER BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM AND TALK BACK? Ever since the accidental discovery of whale song in 1967, the idea of complex animal sentience has been gaining strength within the scientific community. A growing number of researchers and academics are exploring the idea that animals enjoy music on a similar level to human beings. Animal Music is the first anthology to present an overview of the current state of this vital debate. Its authors have spoken to the leading scientists, researchers and musicians in the field to uncover hidden meanings and new perspectives. They visit the world’s largest library of animal sounds, hack into the mysterious sonic world of shrimps, travel back in time to the point where animal and human songs diverged, and decode the latest neuroscientific findings about animal music and communication. The book includes exclusive interviews with Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Yannick Dauby, Slavek Kwi and Geoff Sample as well as features on Bernie Krause, David Rothenberg and Olivier Messiaen and many more. Includes specially-compiled 60 minute CD of field recordings from the Gruenrekorder label. 01 Tikal Dawn – Andreas Bick, Germany02 hermetica – Daniel Blinkhorn, Australia03 Amazons & Parrots – Rodolphe Alexis, France04 Grand Canal Springs (Excerpt) – Tom Lawrence, Ireland05 seals – Martin Clarke, United Kindom06 BOTO (extract) -ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE, Ireland07 Adélie_penguins (Excerpt) – Craig Vear, United Kindom08 Pilot Whales (Excerpt) – Heike Vester, Norway/Germany09 Brame, septembre 2011 – Marc Namblard, France10 formica aquilonia, sweden – Jez riley French, United Kindom11 Schwebfliegen – Lasse Marc Riek, Germany12 central mongolian high mountain range habitat – Patrick Franke, Germany13 Otus spilocephalus – Yannik Dauby, France14 untitled#292 – Francisco López, Spain15 Summer Sunset 01 – Eckhard Kuchenbecker, Germany16 Waldkauz-Balz – Walter Tilgner, Germany17 WHAT BIRDS SING – David Rothenberg, United States of America Animal Music rides in on a wave of energy that fuses the worlds of science and art in an accessible and engaging way. A definite page turner if ever there was one. Caught by the River

Animal Music - Sound & Song in the Natural World Book+CD

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Foreword by Sonny Rollins. Henry Grimes recorded and toured with some of the most imaginative American jazz musicians including Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, and Albert Ayler. This book examines the bassist’s long but turbulent musical career, recounting his continuously creative artistic life as bassist, violinist and poet. Henry’s a giant. – Cecil Taylor, 2000. On the records he was on, he stood out. He had a big sound, and it really punched out whatever ensemble he was in. – William Parker, 2003. I am so happy to hear that Henry is playing again. He is one of the great individualists, and his absence left a space that nobody else could fill. – Dave Holland, 2003. Henry has always been a serious, intense, and fearless musician whose personal life reflected those exceptional qualities. I admire him greatly. – Sonny Rollins, 2007. Henry Grimes is among the greatest improvisers living in the world today. His playing is exquisite. – Roscoe Mitchell, Mills College, 2010. Barbara Ina Frenz, born in 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland, is a German historian, author and copywriter living in Frankfurt am Main. Frenz grew up in a jazz-loving family, studied history, philosophy, and art history in Frankfurt, and gained her PhD with a study on equality in the Middle Ages. Frenz was a research associate at the Universities of Frankfurt and Würzburg from1989 to ’99 undertaking historical studies sponsored by various foundations. Since 2001, after further education in creative writing, she has worked in the creative areas of advertising and as a writer of poetry, texts in history and culture, and contributions to the German jazz magazine Jazzpodium.

Music to Silence to Music: A Biography of Henry Grimes

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