The Wire


MUSICS: A British Magazine Of Improvised Music & Art 1975–79 by Steve Beresford, David Toop et al.

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MUSICS: A British Magazine Of Improvised Music & Art 1975–79 by Steve Beresford, David Toop et al.

Published by Ecstatic Peace Library. Paperback, 800 pages, 2016.

Price: £80
Postage and packing:
UK – free
Europe airmail – £4
Rest of world airmail – £6
Subscribers to The Wire get a discount of £5 off each copy

Publisher Ecstatic Peace Library writes:

MUSICS was published from 1975 to 1979 by musicians and artists on the London scene of free improvisation, focusing on the most innovative participants of their generation. Steve Beresford, David Toop, Annabel Nicholson, Evan Parker, David Cunningham, Lindsay Cooper, Eddie Prévost, John Russell, Derek Bailey, Val Wilmer, Hugh Davies, Peter Riley and many, many others contributed to the writing, graphics and photography.

MUSICS was a blueprint for the interdisciplinary activities of sound art, field recording, free improvisation, live electronics, 20th century composition and audio culture. It came out six times a year and ran for 23 hand-assembled issues. The journal covered improvised and non-Western music alongside performance art, reflecting the broad interests of the so-called “second generation” of London’s improvisors, and provided a convivial focus point. Overlapping with the London Musicians’ Collective, the publication first launched in spring of 1975, with the tagline “an impromental experivisation arts magazine” and a manifesto that proposed the destruction of artificial boundaries and linked free jazz, the academic ministrations of John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and Karlheinz Stockhausen and indigenous and non-European music. MUSICS was significant in the discussion of traditional Asian instruments as paths of equal value for the performance of musics.

Produced by what was effectively a ‘communitarian’ collective with few publishing skills and no support, the magazine’s roughness, marginality and scarcity has kept it from those who are active, even prominent in the field. MUSICS is an entree to the arcane world of the 1970s London improvisors scene and presents scores, dialogues, debates, positioning, arguments, accolades, critiques, absurdist/dada notions and a bit of pranksterism – all with collective enthusiasm.

Collected here for the first time after 40 years, Ecstatic Peace Library present a complete facsimile of the magazine featuring a foreword by Steve Beresford, an introduction by David Toop and an afterword by Thurston Moore.

Flexi-bound cover, Swiss-bound.

From The Wire 393 review:

“The journal explored bioacoustics and interspecies music, environmental music, echoes, music and food, ritual music, non-Western music, many of the urgent issues threading the teaching of music, music and feminism, and music and socialism... This reissue project is a colossal Rosetta Stone.”