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Artist
David Toop
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Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom
Label
Bloomsbury
Catalogue Number
9781501314513
Release Date
May 2016

Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom is the latest publication from acclaimed music writer David Toop (Ocean Of Sound, Wire) Composed as a sweeping overview of free improvisation, Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom starts by introducing the philosophy and practice of improvisation (both musical and otherwise) while investigating a wide range of improvisational tendencies: from surrealist automatism to stream-of-consciousness in literature and vocalization. From the free music of Percy Grainger to the free improvising groups emerging out of the early 1960s (Group Ongaku, Nuova Consonanza, MEV, AMM, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble); and from free jazz to the strands of free improvisation that sought to distance itself from jazz. In exploring the diverse ways in which spontaneity became a core value in the early twentieth century as well as free improvisation's connection to both 1960s rock (The Beatles, Cream, Pink Floyd) and the era of post-Cagean indeterminacy in composition. Described by Thurston Moore as "Toop engages the readers interest with a sentient breath of prose charged by academic insight where poetic space becomes the page" and Evan Parker "David Toop has dived into the Maelstrom that is the genesis of improvised music and come up with a string of pearls. There is so much here that will be new to even those of us who thought we knew the subject.". Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom is set to follow Toop's other books Ocean of Sound and Haunted Weather as a future classic of writing on the avant-garde.

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