Talking Music: Conversations With John Cage, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, And 5 Generations Of American Experimental Composers

William Duckworth - 1995
    Herein, John Cage recalls the turning point in his career; Ben Johnston criticizes the operas of his teacher Harry Partch; La Monte Young attributes his creative discipline to a Morman childhood; and much more. The results are revelatory conversations with some of America's most radical musical innovators.

A Listener's Guide to Free Improvisation

John Corbett - 2016
    Maybe they’re even suspicious of it. John Coltrane’s saxophonic flights of fancy, Jimi Hendrix’s feedback drenched guitar solos, Ravi Shankar’s sitar extrapolations—all these sounds seem like so much noodling or jamming, indulgent self-expression. “Just” improvising, as is sometimes said. For these music fans, it seems natural that music is meant to be composed. In the first book of its kind, John Corbett’s A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation provides a how-to manual for the most extreme example of spontaneous improvising: music with no pre-planned material at all. Drawing on over three decades of writing about, presenting, playing, teaching, and studying freely improvised music, Corbett offers an enriching set of tools that show any curious listener how to really listen, and he encourages them to enjoy the human impulse— found all around the world— to make up music on the spot.           Corbett equips his reader for a journey into a difficult musical landscape, where there is no steady beat, no pre-ordained format, no overarching melodic or harmonic framework, and where tones can ring with the sharpest of burrs. In “Fundamentals,” he explores key areas of interest, such as how the musicians interact, the malleability of time, overcoming impatience, and watching out for changes and transitions; he grounds these observations in concrete listening exercises, a veritable training regime for musical attentiveness. Then he takes readers deeper in “Advanced Techniques,” plumbing the philosophical conundrums at the heart of free improvisation, including topics such as the influence of the audience and the counterintuitive challenge of listening while asleep. Scattered throughout are helpful and accessible lists of essential resources—recordings, books, videos— and a registry of major practicing free improvisors from Noël Akchoté to John Zorn, particularly essential because this music is best experienced live.           The result is a concise, humorous, and inspiring guide, a unique book that will help transform one of the world’s most notoriously unapproachable artforms into a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer - 2009
    He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music -- often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Now, noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer's oeuvre and presents them here, in one compelling volume.A member of the elite group of the defining rock critics who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, Palmer possessed a vision so complete that, as DeCurtis writes, "it's almost as if, if you read Bob, you didn't need to read anyone else." Blues & Chaos features some of his most memorable pieces, including gripping stories about John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Moroccan trance music, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Philip Glass, and Muddy Waters.Wonderfully entertaining, infused with passion, and deeply inspiring, Blues & Chaos is a must for music fans everywhere.Flirtations with chaos / by Anthony DeCurtis --The big picture : "The opinions expressed are dangerously subjective." --The blues : "A post-Heisenberg-uncertainty-principle mojo hand" --Jazz : "A kinetic kaleidoscope" --The originators : "Where the hell did this man come from?" --Soul and R&B : "It had to come from somewhere, and the church is where it all came from" --Classic rock : "Musically, we weren't afraid to go in any direction whatsoever" --John Lennon and Yoko Ono : "Now the music's coming through me again" --Punk rock and beyond : "Fear and nothing" --World music : "The world is changing and so is our music" --Morocco : "We fell through each other, weightless, into the sky" --On the edge : "Listen, as if a new world had suddenly opened up" --Sonic guitar maelstrom : "All hail the overdriven amp."

Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music

Alvin Lucier - 2012
    Lucier explains in detail how each piece is made, unlocking secrets of the composers' style and technique. The book as a whole charts the progress of American experimental music from the 1950s to the present, covering such topics as indeterminacy, electronics, and minimalism, as well as radical innovations in music for the piano, string quartet, and opera. Clear, approachable and lively, Music 109 is Lucier's indispensable guide to late 20th-century composition. No previous musical knowledge is required, and all readers are welcome.

A Brief History of New Music

Hans Ulrich Obrist - 2012
    It brings together leading avant-garde composers of the early postwar period such as Elliot Carter, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen; pioneers of electroacoustic music such as Francois Bayle, Pauline Oliveros, Iannis Xenakis and Peter Zinovieff; minimalist and Fluxus-inspired artist-musicians such as Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt, Phil Niblock, Yoko Ono, Steve Reich and Terry Riley; and figures that have moved between classical/experimental realms and more pop terrain, such as Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, Howie B., Arto Lindsay and Caetano Veloso. Obrist's interviews map the evolution of the new music in Europe and America across all of its genres, from musique concrete to the recent hybridizations between pop and avant-garde, as techniques from both realms cross-pollinate. A Brief History of New Music is an ideal introduction to the experimental and new classical music of the past half-century.

Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers

George Oppen - 2007
    Editor Stephen Cope has made a judicious selection of Oppen's extant writings outside of poetry, including the essay "The Mind's Own Place" as well as "Twenty-Six Fragments," which were found on the wall of Oppen's study after his death. Most notable are Oppen's "Daybooks," composed in the decade following his return to poetry in 1958. iSelected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers is an inspiring portrait of this essential writer and a testament to the creative process itself.

Darger: The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum

Brook Davis Anderson - 2001
    The trove included massive, multi-volume illustrated manuscripts, double-sided nine-foot-long watercolor murals, photo-enlarged tracings, and hundreds of sketches. Depicting a turbulent world, these works are the product of the fertile yet tormented imagination of a secretive Chicago janitor who has since been recognized as one of the supreme self-taught artists of the 20th century.Cataloguing in full color the American Folk Art Museum's recent acquisition of 37 paintings, among other Darger works, this informative yet affordable volume offers a general introduction to a controversial self-taught artist.

Rick Steves Snapshot Naples & the Amalfi Coast: Including Pompeii

Rick Steves - 2009
    In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the essentials of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, including Pompeii, Vesuvius, Positano, and Amalfi Town. Visit Naples' Archaeological Museum, the Pompeii Forum, or the cathedrals and beaches of the Amalfi coast. You'll get Rick's firsthand advice on the best sights, eating, sleeping, and nightlife, and the maps and self-guided tours will ensure you make the most of your experience. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves Snapshot guide is a tour guide in your pocket.Rick Steves Snapshot guides consist of excerpted chapters from Rick Steves European country guidebooks. Snapshot guides are a great choice for travelers visiting a specific city or region, rather than multiple European destinations. These slim guides offer all of Rick's up-to-date advice on what sights are worth your time and money. They include good-value hotel and restaurant recommendations, with no introductory information (such as overall trip planning, when to go, and travel practicalities).

Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories

Alan Licht - 2007
    Sound art’s roots can be found in the experimental work of Italian Futurism, Dada, and later the Fluxus group and the pioneering efforts of the American composer and artist John Cage. In the wake of this groundbreaking work, sound art began to mature into a movement, and artists explored the interactive possibilities of sound and in turn created entirely new modes of experiencing and engaging with art. In this volume, the complete story of sound art is told by one of the country’s leading critics and scholars. The author traces the history of this form of art–highlighting the convergence of the indie world bands such as Sonic Youth with the art world–looking at the critical cross-pollination that has led to some of the most important and challenging art being produced today, including work by Christian Marclay, LaMonte Young, Janet Cardiff, Rodney Graham, and Laurie Anderson, among many others.

The Roaring Silence: John Cage: A Life

David Revill - 1992
    His work and ideas - about silence, indeterminacy, nonintention, art's role in bringing the everyday object to our attention, the singularity of performance - have had influence not only in the world of music but also in dance, painting, printmaking, video art, and poetry. As an exponent of Zen Buddhism since the early fifties, he has had an important role in introducing Zen spirituality to the American artworld and general culture. Among his friends and collaborators have been longtime associate Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp, Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Those who have acknowledged his influence in their work range from minimalist composer Philip Glass to rock musicians David Byrne and Brian Eno. The Roaring Silence is the first full-length biography of John Cage. Written with Cage's full cooperation, it documents his life in unrivaled detail, interweaving a close account of the evolution of his work with an exploration of his aesthetic and philosophical ideas. David Revill never assumes specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, but sets Cage's work in the context of his personal development and contemporary culture. He draws on numerous interviews with Cage and his associates. Paying due attention to Cage's inventions, such as the prepared piano, and his pioneering use of indeterminate notation and chance operations in composition (utilizing the I Ching), Revill also illuminates Cage the performer, printmaker, watercolorist, expert amateur mycologist, game show celebrity, and political anarchist, and discusses his pronouncements on social and environmental issues. The biography includes comprehensive chronologies of his musical and visual works. Arnold Schoenberg once called Cage, his former student, "not a composer but an inventor - of genius." David Revill shows how this multifacete

True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney

Lawrence Weschler - 2008
    Weschler chronicles Hockney's protean production and speculations, including his scenic designs for opera, his homemade xerographic prints, his exploration of physics in relation to Chinese landscape painting, his investigations into optical devices, his taking up of watercolor—and then his spectacular return to oil painting, around 2005, with a series of landscapes of the East Yorkshire countryside of his youth. These conversations provide an astonishing record of what has been Hockney's grand endeavor, nothing less than an exploration of "the structure of seeing" itself.

Why Jazz Happened

Marc Myers - 2012
    It provides an intimate and compelling look at the many forces that shaped this most American of art forms and the many influences that gave rise to jazz’s post-war styles. Rich with the voices of musicians, producers, promoters, and others on the scene during the decades following World War II, this book views jazz’s evolution through the prism of technological advances, social transformations, changes in the law, economic trends, and much more.In an absorbing narrative enlivened by the commentary of key personalities, Marc Myers describes the myriad of events and trends that affected the music's evolution, among them, the American Federation of Musicians strike in the early 1940s, changes in radio and concert-promotion, the introduction of the long-playing record, the suburbanization of Los Angeles, the Civil Rights movement, the “British invasion” and the rise of electronic instruments. This groundbreaking book deepens our appreciation of this music by identifying many of the developments outside of jazz itself that contributed most to its texture, complexity, and growth.

Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations

Philip Guston - 2010
    Over the course of his life, Guston’s wide reading in literature and philosophy deepened his commitment to his art—from his early Abstract Expressionist paintings to his later gritty, intense figurative works. This collection, with many pieces appearing in print for the first time, lets us hear Guston’s voice—as the artist delivers a lecture on Renaissance painting, instructs students in a classroom setting, and discusses such artists and writers as Piero della Francesca, de Chirico, Picasso, Kafka, Beckett, and Gogol.

A Little History: Nick Cave & Cohorts, 1981-2013

Bleddyn Butcher - 2014
    And then enthralled. He set about trying to catch their lightning in his Nikon F2AS.That quixotic impulse became a lifelong quest. A little history got made on the way.Collected here for the first time are the fruits of his labour. A Little History is an extraordinary document, tracking Nick Cave's creative career from the apoplectic extravagance of The Birthday Party to the calmer disquiet of 2013's Push The Sky Away via snapshots, spotlit visions and sumptuous, theatrical portraits. It mixes the candid and uncanny, the spontaneous and the patiently staged, and includes eyeball encounters with Cave's baddest lieutenants, men for the most part who long since burned their own bridges down. Butcher's Nikonic eye defines moment after arresting moment in Cave's glorious, sprawling story: it's a splendid testament to two brilliant careers.

Pretty Things Don't Break: A Memoir

Lauren Jayne - 2016
    Her father was charming, but a monster. Lauren Jayne’s riveting memoir transports you into her roller-coaster life from page one. Travel with Lauren from her parents’ topless jazz club in Australia to her wild-child years growing up in the heart of Seattle’s grunge scene in the 1990s. She was a girl on a mission: ditching the chaos-filled life she was born into to find love In Seattle, Lauren finds the family she has always longed for in her tight group of friends. Here she experiences her first love, first loss, and finally, through a deeply rooted internal strength, a boundless determination to have the life she has always longed for and deep faith. She finds that what she has been looking for was closer than she ever knew. Dealing with life head-on, she fights her way through abandonment and self-loathing, a debilitating eating disorder and suicide. You cannot escape this addictive memoir without being personally affected - you will feel as if you are right by her side the whole way through, rooting for her. Sydney, Rome, and Israel: a lifelong journey of pain, loss and learning This captivating memoir will transport you into Lauren Jayne’s bizarre and larger-than-life world. You will journey around the world ping-ponging from Vegas where you will fall in love with her zany Mafia-drenched grandparents, Israel where she will discover a deeper faith, Rome where her love of culture is ignited, and back to Seattle where a suicide crumbles her world, only to finally bring it back together. You cannot read this evocative and beautifully written true story without gaining a new perspective on life. Scroll up to grab your copy of Pretty Things Don't Break: A Memoir now