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'So honest and pure as to count as a true rapture' JOAN DIDION 'A poetic masterpiece' JOHNNY DEPP 'Our St John of the Cross, a mystic full of compassion' EDMUND WHITE 'A roadmap to my life', from the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of cafes and haunts she has worked in around the world REVISED EDITION WITH FIVE THOUSAND WORDS BONUS MATERIAL AND NEW PHOTOGRAPHS M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village cafe where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer's society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York's Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer's craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith's life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.
This is the first comprehensive study of the life and work of Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Paduan-born harpsichord maker and contemporary of Antonio Stradivari, who is credited with having invented the pianoforte around the year 1700 while working in the Medici court in Florence. Through thorough analysis of documents preserved in the State Archive of Florence, Pollens has reconstructed, in unprecedented technical detail, Cristofori's working life between his arrival in Florence in 1688 and his death in 1732. This book will be of interest to pianists, historians of the piano, musicologists, museum curators and conservators, as well as keyboard instrument makers, restorers, and tuners.
Keith Jarrett is one of the great pianists of our times. Before achieving worldwide fame for his solo improvisations, he had already collaborated with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. His 'Koeln Concert' album (1975) has now sold around four million copies and become the most successful solo recording in jazz history. His interpretations of the music of Bach, Handel, Bartok or Shostakovich, have also received much attention in later years. Jarrett is considered difficult and inaccessible, and has often abandoned the stage during his concerts due to restless audiences or disturbing photographers. Only few writers have come as close to Keith Jarrett as Wolfgang Sandner, who has not only been following Jarrett's remarkable career from the nineteen-sixties onward, but has actually had the opportunity to visit him in his home in Oxford, New Jersey. Sandner squelches some legends here, such as the one concerning Jarrett's alleged Hungarian Roma family background. For this biography, which is full of detailed musical analyses and cross-references to other artistic genres, Wolfgang Sandner has also collected new information about the origins of Jarrett's paternal family from today's Baden-Wurttemberg region in Germany - this, not least, thanks to the translator, Keith Jarrett's youngest brother Chris. This English edition is a significantly extended and updated version of the German original as concerns important aspects of Keith Jarrett's life and work.
The Prodigy have sold 25 million records and single-handedly reinvented the crossover between dance and rock music, with legendary songs such as 'Firestarter', 'Omen' and 'Breathe'. However, long before they became a stadium-filling rock monster, The Prodigy were prowling the underground of the UK rave scene, first as a blistering demo of tunes by the 'prodigious' teenage Liam Howlett, then latterly with their breakthrough masterpiece, Music for the Jilter Generation. Martin Roach was present throughout the band's early years and documented their rise to fame from the underground into the bright lights of music superstardom. Containing hours and hours of exclusive interviews, the book chronicles the band's early years in minute detail, speaking the each band member and all the key playes along the way. With a new introduction and fresh interview with band members putting these classic early phase in the context of their historically important career, this book is a must-buy for the millions for Prodigy fans eager to learn about the band's formative days.
The Frederic Chopin Annik LaFarge presents here is not the melancholy, sickly, romantic figure so often portrayed. The artist she discovered is, instead, a purely independent spirit: an innovator who created a new musical language, an autodidact who became a spiritually generous, trailblazing teacher, a stalwart patriot during a time of revolution and exile. In Chasing Chopin she follows in his footsteps during the three years, 1837-1840, when he composed his iconic "Funeral March"-using its composition story to illuminate the key themes of his life: a deep attachment to his Polish homeland; his complex relationship with writer George Sand; their harrowing but consequential sojourn on Majorca; the rapidly developing technology of the piano, which enabled his unique tone and voice; social and political revolution in 1830s Paris. Each of these threads-musical, political, social, personal-is woven through the "Funeral March" in Chopin's Opus 35 sonata, a melody so famous it's known around the world even to people who know nothing about classical music. The result is an engrossing, page-turning work of musical discovery and an artful portrayal of a man whose work and life continue to inspire artists and cultural innovators in astonishing ways.
A complete biographical reference work covering all aspects of the
classical music world.
Based on lengthy interviews with Ellington's bandmates, family, and friends, Duke Ellington and His World offers a fresh look at this legendary composer. The first biography of the composer written by a fellow musician and African-American, the book traces Ellington's life and career in terms of the social, cultural, political, and economic realities of his times. Beginning with his birth in Washington, DC, through his first bands and work at the legendary Cotton Club, to his final great extended compositions, this book gives a thorough introduction to Ellington's music and how it was made. It also illuminates his personal life because, for Ellington, music was his life and his life was a constant inspiration for music. When A. H. Lawrence was a young trombone player in the '40s, he met Ellington and befriended the elder musician. From that point forward, he closely followed Ellington's career. Because of his deep love for Ellington's music, he began interviewing many of the stars of Ellington's early bands, hoping to capture from them, before they passed away, their memories and insights. Drawing on these interviews with legendary musicians-including many who worked with Ellington from his earliest days, such as drummer Sonny Greer, who played with Ellington's first bands in the '20s and who continued in his bands through the early '50s-the book offers a rounded and human portrait of the great composer and musician. Ellington's son Mercer was particularly forthcoming, offering new information about his childhood and experiences working with his father. The insights into the family that he shared have not previously been published. The result is a thorough biography that offers unique insights into Ellington: the man and his music. This fresh and balanced portrayal will undoubtedly add to our understanding of one of America's greatest artists and bring renewed attention to his distinguished body of work.
Considered by many the world's greatest composer, Ludwig van Beethoven achieved his ambitions against the difficulties of a bullying and drunken father, growing deafness and mounting ill-health. This biography tells the story of his life and work from his birth in Bonn in 1770 and his early employment as a court musician to his death in Vienna in 1827. It describes his studies with Haydn in Vienna and his work during the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. His most financially successful period followed the Congress of Vienna in 1815, despite several unhappy love affairs and continuous worry over his nephew, Karl.
The second of four volumes in this extensive reference work dedicated to rock'n'roll's most influential guitarist and composer, Chuck Berry. It contains details of bootlegs; radio albums; movies; TV shows; video and DVD releases; international tour itineraries; hits, achievements and awards; Berry's songs, roots, and influence on other artists; tributes; Chuck Berry in print; fan clubs and websites; plus annotated discographies of pianist Johnnie Johnson (post-Berry) and the ultimate Berry copyist, Eddy Clearwater.
Bono (U2) once said, "More than any other band, The Who are our role models." Starting as a simple four-piece 'mod' band in the early 1960s, The Who went on to conquer the world with their unique and supremely powerful music that transcended any genre and appealed to fans across the world. The original lineup of Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend and John Entwhistle honed their sound and recorded some milestone albums in rock history: Live at Leeds, Tommy and Quadrophenia are just some of the legendary records they released.
Eagles: Take It To The Limit is the fascinating inside story of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, written by one of music journalism's most influential voices. Ben Fong-Torres was at Rolling Stone magazine when the Eagles were a cover story in 1979. He followed the band's career, interviewed them himself, and even played in the now-famous Eagles vs Rolling Stone magazine softball match. Filled with anecdotes and insights spanning almost 50 years, Take It To The Limit follows the Eagles as the band changed line-up, toured the world, made the best-selling album in American history, split up, and finally reunited. Fully updated in anticipation of their 50th anniversary, this is an exceptional tribute to one of the great American bands.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon described him as the Beatles' "favorite group," and yet no figure in popular music is as much of a paradox as Harry Nilsson. A major celebrity at a time when stadium rock was in its infancy and huge concerts and festivals were becoming the norm, Nilsson's instrument was the studio, his stage the dubbing booth, his greatest technical triumphs were masterful examples of studio craft, and he studiously avoided live performance. He was a gifted composer of songs for a wide variety of performers, having created vivid flights of imagination for the Ronettes, the Yardbirds and the Monkees, yet Nilsson's own biggest hits were almost all written, ironically, by other composers and lyricists. He won two Grammies, had two top ten singles, and numerous album successes. Once described by his producer Richard Perry as "the finest white male singer on the planet," near the end of his life, his career was marked by voice-damaging substance abuse and the infamous deaths of both Keith Moon and Mama Cass in his London flat. His music remains prevalent today, through the 1995 tribute album For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson (featuring performances of Nilsson's hits by Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks, Fred Schneider and others) and recent covers, such as Aimee Mann's recording of "One" (popularized as the main track on the Magnolia soundtrack) and Neko Case's arrangement of "Don't Forget Me" on her album, Middle Cyclone. In this first ever full-length biography of Nilsson, author Alyn Shipton traces Nilsson's life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence, and charts his gradual move into the spotlight as a talented songwriter. With interviews from Nilsson's friends, family and associates, and material drawn from an unfinished draft autobiography Nilsson was writing prior to his death, Shipton probes beneath the enigma and the paradox to discover the real Harry Nilsson, and thereby reveals one of the most creative talents in 20th century popular music.
Andre Tchaikowsky was only 46 when he died, internationally renowned as a pianist - and he made the headlines after his death when he left his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in performances of Hamlet. Yet for all his facility at the keyboard Tchaikowsky's real passion was composition. The internal conflict between pianist and composer compounded an already complex character. A Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, Tchaikowsky was also a homosexual. The diaries he kept between 1974 and his death chronicle the struggles that ran through his life. Debt kept driving him back to the concert platform when his true wish was to find the time to compose. His spirited writing details the joys and vicissitudes of his life with striking candour. The diaries are introduced and annotated by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who also provides a chronology of Tchaikowsky's life and a survey of his music. Includes a CD of the pianist in recital. Anastasia Belina-Johnson is Head of Classical Music at the Leeds College of Music.
The latest book in the bestselling All the Songs series, this is the most in-depth exploration of Springsteen's songs ever written. Spanning nearly 50 years of albums, EPs, B-sides, and more, read the full story behind every single song that The Boss has ever released. Moving chronologically through Springsteen's long career, expert authors Margotin and Guesdon explore everything there is to know about every single song. No stone is left unturned across 670 pages, from the inspiration behind the lyrics and melody to the recording process and even the musicians and producers who worked on each track. Uncover the stories behind the music in this truly definitive book - a must-have for every Springsteen fan.
The Beach Boys pioneered the wildly popular "Surf Sound," selling more records than any other American band. And 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of their groundbreaking and hugely influential album Pet Sounds and its follow-up single, "Good Vibrations." This book offers the first fully illustrated, in-depth examination of the group's story, with a special emphasis on the creation of those two masterpieces and what came after. More than 150 images include classic and rarely published photographs, album artwork, and archive memorabilia. By examining the writing, recording, and performance of the band's entire catalogue, mostly created by Brian Wilson, the book presents a unique look at the times, trials, and tribulations that went into making the Beach Boys, both before and after their 1966 triumphs.
Written shortly after the close of World War II, Escaping Extermination tells the poignant story of war, survival, and rebirth for a young, already acclaimed, Jewish Hungarian concert pianist, Agi Jambor. From the hell that was the siege of Budapest to a fresh start in America. Agi Jambor describes how she and her husband escaped the extermination of Hungary's Jews through a combination of luck and wit. As a child prodigy studying with the great musicians of Budapest and Berlin before the war, Agi played piano duets with Albert Einstein and won a prize in the 1937 International Chopin Piano Competition. Trapped with her husband, prominent physicist Imre Patai, after the Nazis overran Holland, they returned to the illusory safety of Hungary just before the roundup of Jews to be sent to Auschwitz was about to begin. Agi participated in the Resistance, often dressed as a prostitute in seductive clothes and heavy makeup, calling herself Maryushka. Under constant threat by the Gestapo and Hungarian collaborators, the couple was forced out of their flat after Agi gave birth to a baby who survived only a few days. They avoided arrest by seeking refuge in dwellings of friendly Hungarians, while knowing betrayal could come at any moment. Facing starvation, they saw the war end while crouching in a cellar with freezing water up to their knees. After moving to America in 1947, Agi made a brilliant new career as a musician, feminist, political activist, professor, and role model for the younger generation. She played for President Harry Truman in the White House, performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and became a recording artist with Capitol Records. Unpublished until now but written in the immediacy of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, Escaping Extermination is a story of hope, resilience, and even humor in the fight against evil.
For many fans, David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust era remains the most extraordinarily creative period in his career. As a member of Bowie's legendary band at the time - The Spiders From Mars - Woody Woodmansey played drums on four seminal albums: The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Aladdin Sane. Woody's memoir, which he started work on in 2014, focuses on this key period and brings it to glorious life. With the confidence of youth, Woody always thought he'd be in a famous band but the nineteen-year-old rocker from Hull never expected to be thrust into London's burgeoning glam rock scene, and also into a bottle-green velvet suit and girl's shoes. Playing with Bowie took him on an eye-opening and transformative journey. In Spider From Mars he writes candidly about the characters who surrounded Bowie, recalling the album sessions as well as behind-the-scenes moments with one of the world's most iconic singers. The result is an insightful, funny, poignant memoir that lovingly evokes a seminal moment in music history and pays tribute to one of the most outstanding and innovative talents of our time.
The film 'Scott of the Antarctic' was produced by Ealing Studios and released in 1948. It recounts Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated second expedition to the Antarctic in 1910-1913. The film is well-known for its score, composed by Vaughan Williams, which was later reworked to create his Sinfonia Antartica. Vaughan Williams's original score for the film was heavily edited in the studio and halved in length in order to create the final edit. It is now presented in its full, unedited form, assembled by the conductor Martin Yates, allowing listeners to hear the full grandeur of the composer's original for the first time. A recording of the work is available on the Dutton Epoch record label.
With sales of over 200 million albums, AC/DC is not just the biggest rock band in the world, it's a family business built by three brothers: George, Malcolm and Angus Young. As with any business, some people prospered, while others got hurt along the way. The Youngs: The Brothers Who Build AC/DC is unlike any AC/DC book you've read before. Less a biography, more a critical appreciation, it tells the story of the trio through 11 classic songs and reveals some of the personal and creative secrets that went into their making. Important figures from AC/DC's long journey to the top open up for the very first time, while unsung heroes behind the band's success are given the credit they are due. Accepted accounts of events are challenged while sensational new details emerge to cast a whole new light on the band's history - especially their early years with Atlantic Records in the United States. Former AC/DC members and musicians from bands such as Guns N' Roses, Dropkick Murphys, Airbourne and Rose Tattoo also give their perspectives on the Youngs' brand of magic.
Rebellion is a part of youth. Sometimes it's dangerous. Instead of a sword, I hold a guitar in my hands. I'm in the same, rigid world but instead of Molotov cocktails, I've got a computer. It's a much more powerful weapon. Confessions Of A Heretic is the forthright and erudite memoir of the front man and driving force behind the Polish heavy-metal group Behemoth, currently at the top of their game following the release of their 2014 US Top 40 album The Satanist. Presented as a series of interrogations by friends and associates, the book reveals a complex man of great contrast-a health-conscious, highly personable intellectual known for his extreme views and even more extreme music-lifting the lid on everything from his clashes with the Polish Catholic church to appearing as a judge on the Polish edition of The Voice to his recent battle with leukaemia.
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