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Occasional Pieces: Writings and Interviews, 1952-2013 (Hardback)
  • Occasional Pieces: Writings and Interviews, 1952-2013 (Hardback)
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Occasional Pieces: Writings and Interviews, 1952-2013 (Hardback)

(author), (foreword)
£74.00
Hardback 368 Pages / Published: 30/03/2017
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As one of the original pioneering composers of the American experimental music movement and a well known scholar of classics, Christian Wolff has long been active as a significant thinker and elegant writer on music. With Occasional Pieces, Wolff brings together a collection of his most notable writings and interviews from 1950 to the present, shining a new light on American music of the second half of the twentieth century. The collection opens with some of his earliest writings on his craft, discussing his own proto-minimalist compositional procedures and the music and ideas that led him to develop these techniques. Organized chronologically to give a sense of the development of Wolff's thinking on music over the course of his career, some of the pieces delve into connections of music-making to social and political issues, and the concept of indeterminacy as it applies to performance, while others offer insights into the work of Wolff's notable contemporaries including John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, David Tudor, Frederic Rzewski, Cornelius Cardew , Dieter Schnebel, Pauline Oliveros, and Merce Cunningham. An invaluable resource for historians, composers, listeners and students alike, Occasional Pieces offers a deep dive into Christian Wolff's musical world and brings new light to the history of the American experimental movement.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190222895
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 658 g
Dimensions: 240 x 179 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This long-anticipated book is a tremendously valuable resource for studies in contemporary American music since the 1950s. In addition to being one of our nation's most original and prolific composers, Wolff is an intelligent, articulate, elegant writer. * Amy C. Beal, author of New Music, New Allies: American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to Reunification *
For those who claim that writing about music is a futile enterprise, and that perhaps a composer should not write about their own music, let this book dispel any doubts. Christian Wolff's life, music, and thought exemplify how complexity, imagination, vision, and an ear for sounds previously unheard can be combined seamlessly, creating a body of work unlike any other before (and, I expect, after) him. For those of us who have always wondered: 'how does he do it?', this new book provides an essential and welcome piece of the puzzle. We still won't know, but the clarity, depth and honesty of Wolff's writing brings us, tantalizingly, a bit closer to the answer. * Larry Polansky, composer and performer *

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