Reviews that mention John Cage

March 22, 2016

Microgroove: Forays into Other Music

John Corbett
Duke University Press

By Ken Waxman

Searching for the equivalent of a travel guide to the often uncharted territories of turn-of-the-century, so-called other music should lead to this volume. A collection of essays, interviews and reviews written between 1990 and 2014, Microgroove outlines the achievements of many of the progenitors and disseminators of non-mainstream music during that epoch. A Chicago-based music writer, concert promoter, art curator and record producer, John Corbett has been intimately involved with variants of what he describes as “music that demands a different mode of listening” for decades. Like an embedded anthropologist studying the culture of particular tribes Corbett is also able to place these sonic advances in a global context. MORE

March 8, 2015

Topless Cellist The Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman

Joan Rothfuss
The MIT Press.

By Ken Waxman

A commitment to experimental music of any sort is usually a short cut to obscurity, poverty and disdain. However during her short life (1933-1991), and especially in the 1960s and 1970s, cellist Charlotte Moorman was as famous as anyone associated with non-mainstream music could be. Vivacious and determined, Little Rock, Ark.-born Moorman was a guest on popular TV shows hosted by the likes of Johnny Carson, received regular coverage in major publications and was the guiding force behind New York’s annual multi-media Avant Garde Festival from 1963 to 1980. As author Joan Rothfuss writes: “it would become her mission to bring experimental art to an audience as broad as any that Hollywood could command.” MORE