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Talking Music: Conversations With John Cage, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, And 5 Generations Of American Experimental Composers
Talking Music is comprised of substantial original conversations with seventeen American experimental composers and musicians—including Milton Babbitt, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, and John Zorn—many of whom rarely grant interviews.The author skillfully elicits candid dialogues that encompass technical explorations; questions of method, style, and influenc ...more
Paperback, 504 pages
Published May 7th 1999 by Da Capo Press
(first published 1995)
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I read this ages ago and enjoyed it, even though a number of the composers were unfamiliar to me. Duckworth makes what could be forbidding music seem approachable and draws interesting observations from his subjects. I recall the interview with John Zorn being a particular revelation. Time to revisit this now that I'm conversant with most of the music.
This is a very entertaining collection of interviews. Duckworth takes his time to explore the issues sufficiently deeply with his interlocutors. Hence, there is substance to the book: it certainly is more than a loose collection of freewheeling conversations. And I am grateful for the fact that Bill Duckworth expanded his survey beyond the obvious collection of Minimalists and Cage. I knew nothing about Pauline Oliveros, Glen Branca or La Monte Young and came away refreshed from reading all thei ...more
Very enlightening to read these famous composers describe their lives and how they perceive their work. A lot of the stories were inspriring, but I was also amazed at the level of egoism that some of these composers have, especially La Monte Young. A long, but very informative read.
Nov 07, 2007 James R rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of 20th century composers.
Great book, William Duckworth possesses a unique talent for asking the right questions, teasing out composers' insights into their own work and creative process, as well insight into culture, music, and composition in general.