Baker & Taylor American avant-garde composers discuss their work and their influences
Book News An exploration of 20th century American experimental music presented through conversations between the author, a composer and musicologist himself, and 16 more or less well-known composers, each of whom is broadly classified as experimentalist, avant-gardist, minimalist, performance artist, or post-modern. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer William Duckworth, a cutting-edge composer and musicologist himself, spent more than a decade visiting the leading lights of new American music, beginning with the music's spiritual godfather, John Cage, and progressing through the latest innovators. His goal was to let the composers talk about their work in their own words; to show how their personal lives and struggles to create their art colored their output; to discuss seriously their aesthetic goals; and to analyze their influences. The discussions that result are free-ranging but always focused, revealing the many radically new approaches pioneered by these artists. The life of the composer is one of struggle, often against incredible odds, in pursuit of an individual vision that is often misunderstood if not openly maligned by mainstream culture. It is rare that a sympathetic ear is given to the composer's concerns; rarer still that the composer gets a chance to discuss craft with another craftsperson. These enlightening interviews, filled with personal revelations and the unique voice of each composer, will delight fans of twentieth-century music and the avant-garde, as well as anyone interested in the life of the arts.