Sunday, June 1, 2014

Records Create the Landscape

In response to my quote about AMM and the importance of documentation, Dan Barbiero responded with his review of this book that deals with how recordings of the early experimental music of John Cage and others helped shape and exert its influence. There are some interesting thoughts here, and Dan teases them out nicely. I've often been impatient with those who say that recordings can never capture the experience of being at a performance and hearing the music live. In so many ways, that goes without saying, but on the other hand, I'd rather listen to a recording of a Charlie Parker performance from 1948 than read about it. Thank goodness someone was there pushing the buttons. I am glad to have recordings of me and my brother from 1977. We did a lot of stuff together, more than I can remember, but I can at least approach some of that sonic intensity through the magic of tape.


  1. I really want to read that book! Would also love to talk about your AMM marathon....

  2. Yes, I want to read it too. In the meanwhile, soon, I will start Eddie Prevost's book No sound is innocent : AMM and the practice of self-invention, meta-musical narratives, essays--it just came in on ILL. Yeah, I've been on an AMM kick, sparked both by the shows you've passed my way and some recordings Ben from New Ting turned me on to. Huge slabs of totally unique sound sculptures, really unlike any other improv out there. I am finding that it suits my mood these days more than anything else. I think I prefer the Rowe/Prevost/Tilbury trio stuff, but everything I've heard from all periods and various combinations really floats my boat! The super-long quiet passages remind me even of some territory New Loft has explored over the years. I have appreciated Morton/Cook's writing about AMM in the Penguin jazz guide, and also the AMM overview in The Wire Primers. I feel like I'm playing catch-up, even though I have listened to them on and off over the years. What AMM do you recommend?