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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Arcana by John Zorn. Gerry Hemingway. Frances-Marie Uitti. David Shea. Elliott Sharp. John Schott.
David Rosenboom. Marc Ribot. Cultural Writing. Through manifestos, scores, interviews, notes and critical papers, contributors to this in-depth anthology address composing, playing, improvising, teaching, and thinking in and through music. Rather than attempting to distill or define musician's work, ARCANA illuminates it with personal vision and experience. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 2nd by "Granary Books" first published July 1st More Details Original Title.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Arcana , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Arcana: Musicians on Music. It's meticulous, it's dry, it brought a tear to my eye. These texts are for the seriously deranged opponent of conformity. View all 3 comments.
Feb 12, Tristan rated it really liked it. John Zorn is not that well known by your average music listener. The musicians he collaborates with and produces, or whom he offers to release under his label Tzadik, are more well known than the man himself.
That said, he is a genius and a major influence on a diverse array of musicians from classical, through to metal. His compositions rank amongst the most profound musical experiences I have ever had. His ability to blur genre lines, and also his contribution to each genre is unparalleled in John Zorn is not that well known by your average music listener. His ability to blur genre lines, and also his contribution to each genre is unparalleled in my opinion, and anyone truly passionate about music should take the long and winding road through the Tzadik catalogue.
Each musician is given the space to discuss and illuminate their thoughts on music. Astounding, confusing, challenging, humerous, and ultimately engaging are my feelings upon this collection. I would call the experience of reading these essays a re-education; by giving these eclectic individuals an opportunity to elucidate what music means to them, John Zorn has provided us with a link to the unknown, the juices that make musicians create.
It has to be appreciated before entering this world that musicians are not necessarily great writers. Some of these essays are not technically well written nor do they try to be. Each essay is unique and propels you into the subconscious of the writer.
Give it a go if you want a sneak peek into the madness that is the creation of music and be ready for a ride, be ready to throw out your preconceptions of what is to be a musician and what music is. This group of enigmatic folk have been and will continue to redefine music for years to come and they're worth listening to, and in this case reading. Jun 18, David Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: music.
This book is to lite reading what nuclear war is to Ghandi. Some pages are actual hand-written scores from the musicians involved in the book, showing examples of their non-conformist approach to composing.
Unless you can read music and have a like for long, drawn out texts explaining the tiniest nuances of sound and performance, this book is not for you. For avant-garde musicians, though, this is the Bible, the Holy Grail, the introduction to the secret society of the forward-thinking composers This book is to lite reading what nuclear war is to Ghandi.
For avant-garde musicians, though, this is the Bible, the Holy Grail, the introduction to the secret society of the forward-thinking composers of our time.
I'm reading them all over again, starting with this one and purchasing the ones that I don't have yet I didn't realize how quickly John Zorn started publishing these texts after the third one came out. One of the most useful parts of the book is the Recommended Listening section at the end. It highlights some important recordings from the past few decades that have mostly been ignored due to their departure from typical composition designs. Not for students learning to play the violin to satisfy their parents.
Definitely for musical prodigies stricken with chronic individualism. Sep 24, Adam rated it liked it. I had very different expectations for this book, and I had for years.
I was expecting an essay or two by John Zorn, rather than a brief extremely introduction and a list of images. There were some essays that were enjoyable, some that were informative, but, as a whole, I really don't understand the purpose of the book. The essays work at different purposes. I don't know what I was expecting, really. Some essays I'd read over and over again, get inspired by, take something from. Others were fr I had very different expectations for this book, and I had for years.
Others were frustratingly un-written. Mar 19, Charlie rated it liked it. Some musicians write really well and some really don't. I am usually all for diversity, but you get the impression that some of these people would have never even of picked up a pen if Zorn hadn't persuaded them to do it, which is a shame because some of the bits in here are really interesting.
Jan 10, Mike rated it really liked it Shelves: essays-criticism , music-film. Some of the essays are fascinating glimpses into how artists of News York's so-called "downtown" scene think about and create their work while others in the collection are piles of self-indulgent babble.
This combination of insight, theoretical arguments, pretentiousness, and humor make Arcana a representative cross-section of the scene it sets out to define. Jun 18, Jeffrey rated it liked it. This book should have been a perfect fit for me, but in actuality reading it was a mixed pleasure. The writings vary wildly in style and quality. Some are genuinely interesting, some dry and technical, some painfully pedantic, and some just kind of dumb.
Definitely contains some worthwhile gems, but Zorn's seemingly hands-off editing approach has resulted in a pretty scattershot collection. Jul 07, John marked it as to-read Shelves: music-reference. Very good so far. Each author contributes something completely different. For example, Scott Johnson has a long essay on aesthetics and Bill Frisell shows how he uses open strings on the guitar to create resonant melodies.
Wide variety of stuff here. Feb 12, Phil rated it liked it. This is musicians writing about music. Jan 23, Lawrence rated it really liked it Shelves: music. Mar 27, Geoffrey Olsen rated it it was amazing.
Terrific collection of essays and other writings. Reading this as a non-musician attuned my ear and mind in new ways to music.
Arcana : Musicians on Music
These words and their longer cousins, the ism-family surrealism, postmodernism, abstract expressionism, minimalism , are used to commodify and commercialize an artist's complex personal vision. This terminology is not about understanding. It never has been. It's about money. The audience is deprived of its right to the pleasure of creating its own interpretation, and the critic no longer has to think about what is really happening or go any deeper than the monochromatic surface of the label itself, thus avoiding any encounter with the real aesthetic criteria that make any individual artist's work possible.
Arcana: Musicians on Music
Arcana by John Zorn
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