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Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury Academic
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Djll
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, nonfiction
Very fine study from someone who was there to see most of it take place. Toop doesn't just concentrate on the 1960s and 70s, though; he goes far back to the early part of the 20th century to begin his overview.

The writing is top notch; nuanced and subtle, even poetic at many points, and never dipping far into academese (although there were a few words I'd never seen before). Toop allows himself to meander a bit, through well-defined parameters, much like the music under discussion.

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Cobertizo
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Siéntate, no hagas nada: esto es improvisación. Permite que pensamientos extraviados, temblores interiores e impresiones sensoriales atraviesen tu cuerpo. Escuchar es improvisar: un continuo seleccionar, filtrar, priorizar, situar, resistir, comparar, evaluar, rechazar y encontrar placer en sonidos y ausencias de sonidos; implica hacer evaluaciones inmediatas y predictivas de múltiples capas de señales, tanto específicas como amorfas, y balancearlas contra la pensar antes de actuar actuar antes ...more
Alex Delogu
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engaging look at the roots of improvised music pre-1960. Toop manages to weave a narrative that is both personal and historical, searching but never quite finding the source, but always seems to be going somewhere. I'm looking forward to part two.
Tosh
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Toop, for me, is the ideal artist who also writes profound and inspiring books on music culture and its history. To read any of his books is like having the greatest driver take you to unannounced routes through cultural history. "Into the Maelstrom..." is a book that addresses the nature of musicians and composers dealing with the issue of improvisation. The range of artists that are written about in this book is absolutely amazing. The beautiful thing is Toop was also in the height of ...more
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David Toop (born 5 May 1949) is an English musician, author, and professor and chair of audio culture and improvisation at the London College of Communication. He is a regular contributor to British music magazine The Wire and the British magazine The Face. He was a member of the Flying Lizards