• British Experimental Music After Nyman, in

    Virginia Anderson (see profile)
    Music and philosophy
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    experimental music, minimalism, postminimalism
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    Tomorrow is the Question presents an approach to experimental music designed to be different from that of the ‘first wave’ authors (David Nicholls, David Patterson, Christopher Shultis), by exploring a global, multi-ethnic, and postgenre scene beyond strictly Cagean music. The chapter itself begins by noting a radical difference in subject matter between Gavin Bryars’ foreword to the Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music (2009) and the book itself. This begs the question of what ‘experimental’ music actually is: the process and the resulting sound? Or is it cultural: the shared ethics and activity that tie musicians together as a group, regardless of the music they make? I compare the ethos and activity of the Scratch Orchestra, who appear in Michael Nyman’s Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond (1974) with the Leicester School of composers (which Bryars founded). The Leicester School music can sound classical, almost opposite to the ‘textbook’ definition of experimental music, yet its subject matter and presentation exemplify traits that are fully as experimental as Cage. This is an uncorrected draft of Virginia Anderson, ‘British Experimental Music after Nyman’, from Tomorrow is the Question: New Directions in Experimental Music, ed. Benjamin Piekut (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014), pp. 159–179. The pages have been broken up to reflect the pagination in the book. Thanks to University of Michigan press for allowing the reproduction and dissemination of this draft.
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    5 years ago
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